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Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by togata57, Oct 12, 2009.
why on earth would you want to be watering with ice cubes???
You wouldn't, unless you are a SADISTIC PLANT KILLER.
Leaf, dunno if you have read Page 1 of this post, but do so if you have not---explains what this is all about.
Waites, welcome to the Forum! I am glad that you have a desire to learn how to properly take care of your orchid.
All the "ICE" orchids I have seen are phalaenopsis. They look perfectly healthy, and would probably stay that way if given bright curtain filtered sunlight, moderate temps, and sufficient moisture.---I grow my several phals in fairly cool temps (65 F.) and they do well. (2 in bloom right now, and 2 in spike.) Water thoroughly---put them in the sink and give them a gentle soaking spray once a week or so, so that the bark (potting medium) and roots get a good drink. Rest of the week I give everything a mist once a day, to keep the humidity up.---Most important: be sure that your plant is getting good drainage! Never let it sit in a puddle.
Y'see, Waites, phals are epiphytic, meaning that in the wild they live hanging off of trees. They wave their roots in the air for moisture and nutrients. If the orchid owner does what the "ICE" people suggest, it's 1. not going to give the plant nearly enough water; 2. slapping a piece of ice on the surface of a naked root is inevitably going to damage it! and; #3. there is NO REASON why anyone should do this!!!
As a matter of fact, it was my intent earlier today to update this post: no big news, but I have emailed the horticulturist who writes the weekly column for my hometown paper, The Columbus Dispatch. Informed her of these "ICE" orchids, and suggested that she consult a fellow horticulturist at our local Franklin Park Conservatory for an opinion on this dubious practice. There's one column I want to read! I received a response from her saying that her next few articles are already written, but that sometime in the spring she would be looking into this issue. At least, I have alerted a member of the news media...gave her the web site, told her about P. Allen Smith, the whole spiel. Will let you know what happens!
For all those Forum members reading this---why not do the same with YOUR local garden-columnist??????
togata, i read the entire thread before replying. however, i was a bit confused by waites expressing the desire to water with ice cubes, even after all you guys had written on the topic.
yep, i'm totally gonna contact my local garden columnist; this whole thing is bewattled.
Thought that Waites meant "won't".
Leaf, not impugning your reading thoroughness! It's just that, in the past, I have been known to get on p. 2 or later of a thread and labor under the misapprehension that I am on the first page...and, conversely, I have posted on the first page---not the last---which tends to mystify other posters, and is quite mortifying to me. Urgh!
Glad to hear that you will alert your local columnist. This whole idea (I like your word) is so bafflingly wrong-headed that it is not believable. I want to find out WHO had this idea, and why.
Went to my Kroger store today...and now a whole bookcase-like display of the hapless/helpless phals...like 20 of them. I am sorely tempted to print up cards that say 'Here's how to take care of your orchid. First, NO ICE!' Picture of melting ice cube inside the red-circle-with-diagonal-slash. Drawing of orchid shrinking away from it in terror. Leave cards in every plant I can find. Ooh, I can feel the flame of righteousness burning! As my daughter says: Preach It! I can feel the Force! (Hope it's not the police force, fingering my collar for littering or maybe subversive activities.)
No claim here to be an orchid expert but I've seen hundreds of them growing in the wild and the idea of putting an ice cube on a Phal that grows exclusively in the tropics is the stupidest thing I've ever heard! In Panama they (tropical orchids in general) grow in the wettest, muggiest as well as muddiest rain forest you can slog through. In Asia they are found in humid, hot, wet tropical infernos. In South America you wouldn't find one anywhere except where it rains much of the year, and certainly not near a freezer!
We grow 150 different types of orchids in our rain forest atrium and spend tons of money every year trying to keep them and all the other tropical plants happy when there is snow on the ground outside. This can't be anything more than a sadistic way to kill plants so you'll buy more and keep both the store nd the growers well supplied with cash!
Kroger's should allowed to fade from the face of the planet if they are part of this dumb promotion. The nearest Kroger store is over 100 miles away but the next time I'm there I will protest!
I have several pages on my site about growing orchids and just added a headline to this one:
and this one:
And this one too!
Thanks for posting this Togata.
Thank you all. To clear up no I will not be watering with ice. I just repotted the beauty and used a spray bottle to water. Little worried of over watering, but will do my best. As a fresh new learner my thoughts on watering with ice from a marketing and busy consumer view; yes it makes since. science point has a big hole in the method being, ice is cold.
If you've repotted in bark or a standard orchid mix it is very difficult to over water. Good luck with the plant.
Gees, you guys are harsh. I'm a new member and I was just trying to learn more about orchids on this site, but I'm not too sure this website is for me. I've had my Just Add Ice Orchid for over a year now and the ice cube method has worked out great!! It had 2 flower spikes when I got it and it bloomed from January until the end of March. Now it's sending up a new flower spike. I'm wondering, has anyone on this forum even tried the ice cube watering method? Why is this watering method so stupid?!? This was the reason I purchased my first orchid, because the care instructions were EASY for a change and this watering method works! I've purchased these orchids for friends as well, and their orchids look lovely and they all water with ice! I would challenge all of you to actually try this method before bashing it!
Guess I'm moving onto friendlier forums...and continuing to water my orchid with ice:o)
Glad to hear that your orchid is healthy.
We will all perforce be moving on to other forums, very soon.
The offensiveness of this thread will, very soon, be a moot point.
You cast aspersions at us: however,you seem to feel yourself qualified to judge our friendliness after one post.
Good luck with your search.
I guess it's too late to reply to this person, since he/she has already moved on, but really, who here has tried this method? Yes, it does seem like stupid advice to water a tropical orchid with ice, but if the ice never actually touches the roots, but melts and waters the plant, yes the cold temps might be a shock, but if this person has tried it and it works, maybe it is worth a try for some of us to give it a try and PROVE that it does or does not work.
nope, i've never tried the ice cube method--- and i never will. honestly, i don't find it too hard to just pay attention to my plants and water with room temperature liquid. lol.
not everything that works is automatically a good idea. some things work better than others! ex. i've learned that putting salt in oatmeal instead of sugar technically works, buuuut you may not want to do it.
or you might like salt in your oatmeal? bet someone does... :D
Yeah, it MIGHT work if you know enough to keep the cube off of the root, etc. Tag doesn't say any of that, and product is aimed at newbie owners.
Orchids are actually easy to grow but when someone kills one they often assume the plants are difficult. Anything that works to continue that myth is bad for orchids growers in general.
I often have people come to see my "rain forest" and once I explain the simple way to keep an orchid happy they become growers........again. I am not an orchid expert and in fact don't consider myself an expert on any plant subject but I have learned how to keep new growers interested. The simple method is treat plants as close as possible to the way Mother Nature treats her plants. For orchids that means warm, bright, humid and damp.
If potted properly it is just that simple!
I woke up in the middle of the night after I posted this wondering why I didn't add this:
When we were building our atrium in 2001 I had nearly 400 orchids which we brought from Florida. There was one single strip of Lexan left to be installed on the roof when we had the first freeze of the year. The temps got to just below freezing but four days later a full 50% of all my orchids were dead! We had heat going near the orchids inside the building still half of them died when exposed to cold! An ice cube just puts freezing water on one part of the root system and there is no rational way I can imagine that can make the plant feel like Mother Nature is in charge of its care. Orchids and cold do not mix!
People are always looking for a way to get around caring for their plants. Mother Nature devised the method to grow orchids and you cannot reinvent the wheel.
Do these ice orchid sellers also recommend growing their orchids on dog bark? I'm sure that must be the most suitable bark for their purposes.
Not that it matters too much, but I'll guess based on the location of the company and the IP address of this poster that he/she is not fully disclosing his/her interest in this thread.
Still, I did receive complaints about it, and removed the posts about Google bombing. Not exactly a practice the university would want to encourage, anyway.
'Complaints about it'---I am assuming that 'it' refers to the pro-ice post. Interesting to learn the possible origin of this.
And I understand the removal of the google-bomb remarks. There are those among us (the majority) who have the sense to distinguish between an impulse and an action. However, there are those who cannot. Certainly the University would not countenance, much less encourage, such a maneuver.
I remain with questions unanswered: who thought up this hare-brained idea?; are the orchids ice-fed in the greenhouse prior to shipping?; how can a supposed gardener---P. Allen Smith---support such a thing?
Steve has given us the irrefutable truth: 'Orchids and cold do not mix!'
Togata and I privately questioned the possible "source" of that post. Thanks for the info Daniel.
Having seen orchids in the wild and understanding their tropical nature the idea of using ice makes makes no sense at all.
Hello phalphan1 - Watering with 3 ice cubes a week is a safe and easy way to care for these orchids, which helps to prevent over-watering. If you've had success with caring for your orchids using a different method, then feel free to continue with your regular routine. The ice cube watering method is only recommended for Just Add Ice Orchids, as other orchids may be sensitive to ice and 3 ice cubes per week may not be sufficient. However, you're welcome to experiment with this watering method, especially if your other orchids are Phalaenopsis!
Just Add Ice ORCHIDS
I just have to thank you all for clearing that up. I have the Aldi's article too that advertises the 'just add ice' orchids and my first instinct was this would probably throw them into root shock and kill them, but then I thought uh oh what if i've been growing them wrong all along? I ended up never adding ice to my existers and luckily they're still existing :) lyn
I understand all you saying. BUT, anyone of you own a Just Add ice orchid?? My mom has a green house full of orchids, when she heard me telling her about this Just Add Ice orchid, she reacted the same way as everyone of you. BUT, JAI orchid, is the ONLY orchid I can keep it alive and thriving. If you read their post and facebook page, there are many many many people be able to have JAI orchid bloom year after year. I am not a professional like my mom. But I be able to force rooting , force blooming and doing basic bonsai on many of plants. I be able to keep poinsettia for more the 12 years and bloom every X'mas. But I just can't keep an orchid alive until my husband got me this JAI.
I am not saying you are wrong....I am very very confused myself. I also know the JAI also has it's own pot. Which is double pot and 4" distance between the inner pot with drain and outter pot (w/o drain). But I doubt that is the reason. Now I just received another orchid as a gift which is NOT JAI orchid. I don't if I can or I should treat it the same way. It's pot bound so I have to get a new pot. And has a lot of spanish moss on it which I think I need to get them out. I am sure just the store wants to keep them moist while selling. I am so confused. Hope some of you can help me.
I stumbled upon a document on the subject and was reminded of this old thread. I'll start by saying I do not advocate the use of ice cubes to water orchids.
According to the study, Ice Cube Irrigation of Potted Phalaenopsis Orchids in Bark Media Does Not Decrease Display Life in: HortScience Volume 52 Issue 9 (2017):
The Oregon Orchid Society's take on the subject: Ice Cubes and Orchids? | Oregon Orchid Society.
From OOS article:
"The bottom line is that, if you want to experiment with using ice cubes to water your orchid you should know that it is, at the very least, unconventional – and that many years have passed with people watering orchids in conventional ways with great success as long as they avoid the aforementioned pitfalls. Also, being that most orchids grow in tropical conditions, their desired water temperature is tepid – so DO NOT let the ice directly touch the roots. Ice placed directly on any part of an orchid will damage the cells and damaged plant parts can lead to secondary infections that will cause even more problems."
I am appalled at the lazy and elitist attitude promulgated by the 'add ice' approach. Orchids are plants, and like ALL plants have their specific needs to grow well. This knowledge is not some arcane code held by the privileged few: anyone truly interested can learn it.
Watering instructions are too hard for the uninitiated?
If novice orchid growers are too stupid to comprehend watering instructions for a Phalaenopsis how will they keep the cubes off the plant's roots---as they will not even know what a root is or looks like!
The late and great Steve Lucas (see Photopro, above) once said 'There are no ice cubes in the rain forest!" Good enough for me.
Success with orchids comes as does success with any plant: from common sense, research, trial and error, and seeking /heeding advice of fellow enthusiasts. Success is not a mythic gift, it is knowledge plus experience over time.
It is my belief that we who care about the plant life of the world, indoor and out, have an obligation to share our knowledge with those who seek it and be inspired by each other to learn more. We should never assume that anything we know is too difficult for someone else to learn---we should share what we know and explain if necessary. We need to welcome everyone and let them know that Yes, you can do it too!
Thanks for the article, JK.