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WATERING WITH ORCHITOP – IT´S SIMPLE!

Both, keeping a rest period (temperature, moisture) and watering is the biggest challenge in successfully cultivating orchids on a windowsill. Orchitop has especially been developed to keep watering as simple as possible, thus mistakes should be avoided.

WITH ORCHITOP YOU CAN CHOOSE BETWEEN THREE WATERING METHODS
  • Watering from below (recommended for most orchids)
  • Watering from above
  • Watering by immersion

In the following description we have collected all important watering information. We decided to write a little bit more to ensure that you will find all informationneeded. We are not looking to scare you away with the length of the description. It is not as complicated as it seems at a first glance.

This decription is for organic mixes e.h. bark mixes. For culture in clay pebbles ((semi-)hydroponics) or Colomi orchidmix please refer to the special pages.

If you have any questions please don´t hesitate to get in contact with us. We will be at your Service!

HOW TO DETERMINE THE PERFECT TIME FOR WATERING

Orchitop makes watering easy and flexible. Therefore, the most important thing is to determine the perfect watering time.

In any case only water when the orchid is in the gowth period and two criteria are given: 

  • Coster is completely empty and dry.
  • Compost is moist (depending on the plants’ demand in regards to its general level of humidity) and not wet any more).

The moisture grade of the compost can be determined in two ways:

  • By weight of Orchitop
  • By color of compost
DETERMINING THE PERFECT WATERING TIME BY WEIGHT OF ORCHITOP

You can use this method with all Orchitop sizes, but it will work best with Orchitop M.

With Orchitop M and S, grab the pot with thumb and pointer at the Coaster. In case of a lot of water being left in the compost, the weight of the water will intensify the lever action and Orchitop feels heavy. The less water is absorbed in the compost the less heavy Orchitop will be.

Because of size and weight, please grab the Coaster of Ochitop L with two hands and lift it up.

The weight of Orchitop is at maximum if all water has been absorbed from the Coaster or after Orchitop has been removed from the water reservoir in case you choose to water by immersion. This applies to watering from above or below. You can use this weight as reference.

DETERMINING PERFECT WATERING TIME BY COLOR OF COMPOST

Once the compost has absorbed all water from the Coaster and is saturated with the maximum water level, it is dark and even seems to look shiny or humid. Over the next few days it will become brighter and brighter until it is completely dry.

Please water according to the desired humidity of your orchids and the colour of the compost.

The change of colour also depends on which compost you use. You have to individually decide if you can use the compost colour for indication of the humidity level. We highly recommend using weight and compost colour to determine the correct watering period.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - WATERING BY TIME INTERVALLS!!

In general NEVER water Orchids in Orchitop M and L in certain time intervals e. g. once a week, every 5th day, … because the water demand of orchids depend on many factors and change a lot during the seasons. If you water by time intervals the risk is too high that plants do not get enough or too much water.

Only with Orchitop S and already acquired experience you can water by time intervals if you are watering from above or below. Orchitop S has less capacity compared to Orchitop M and L, thus you need to water earlier. If you have a plant in Orchitop S, it is best to determine when to water by observing the colour of the compost. Orchitop S is much lighter and it is difficult to properly indicate the water level when lifting it up. According to our experience, you can water Orchitop S after 2-4 days once all water has been absorbed from the Coaster.
Please watch out for special watering requirements of your plant and please observe the water level properly, especially when starting with Orchitop.

General Advice

Please only water in the morning.

Water temperature should be the same as air temperature.

Make sure that upper parts of the plants are dry until evening.

  • WATERING FROM BELOW VIA COASTER

    Due to our experience, we recommend watering from below. Even beginners can handle it quite easily. You can even bridge holidays of one to two weeks (according to location and season) if you water the Coaster completely on the day you leave. You can make sure that you will find your orchids in best condition when you return home because you do not have to rely on inexperienced carers. Even beginners can handle it quite easily.

    Three requirements have to be fulfilled if you water from below:

    • 1.Make sure that the compost used has a certain capillarity action to absorb water from the Coaster as for example Seramis Special Compost for Orchids. In case you prefer to use bark e. g. Kiwi Orchid Bark, we recommend mixing it with clay pebbles in order to achieve good capillarity action.
    • 2.The roots of the orchid have to be long enough to reach to the lower third of the Orchitop. Only if this is achieved, the plant can get enough water.
    • 3.It will take approx. two months until your plants get used to this watering method. During this period, you should water from above and below on a rotating Basis.

    The following indications apply to the use of Seramis Special Compost for Orchids and also refer to orchids, which favour a steadily medium water level e. g. Phalaenopsis. If you use other compost, watering periods may vary.

    HOW IT WORKS

    If you choose to water from below, please put the Orchitop in the Coaster and fill it completely with water. By capillarity action, water will be absorbed slowly. After 1-2 days the Coaster should be empty half way, after 3-4 days completely empty.

    Should the water be absorbed quicker, (your coaster is already empty after a few hours or one day) you watered too late and the compost was too dry. In this case, please exceptionally refill the Coaster half way to secure a proper water supply (normally, you will not immediately refill after the water has been absorbed!).

    If the water stays in the coaster for more than four days, there are two possibilities:
    – You watered too early and the compost still has enough humidity so that no more water can be absorbed.
    – Your compost does not have enough capillarity action (please also refer to point 1: requirements for watering from below).

    The second point can occurs very often if you use fresh compost and change to this watering method. Therefore, it is very important to water on a rotary basis from above and below at the beginning.

    This watering method is gentle (water will be absorbed slowly by capillarity action as the compost has different zones of humidity) and your plant can choose how deep to grow its roots. Your plants will get used to these conditions after a short period of time. You will notice that new roots develop in the lower third of the pot, which grow directly into the Coaster and they will be completely covered with water. These roots are used to the humidity so that you can still fill the coaster with water without causing any issues to the plant.

  • WATERING FROM ABOVE

    If you tend to water too much, we recommend to water from above. You only have to fulfil one requirement: Make sure that the compost you use has a certain grade of capillarity action to absorb the water from the Coaster as for example Seramis Special Compost for Orchids. In case you prefer to use bark as for example Kiwi Orchid Bark, we recommend mixing it with clay pebbles in order to achieve a good capillarity action.

    HOW IT WORKS

    Water slowly and widespread on the compost surface until water flows into the Coaster. Go on watering until the Coaster is filled 1/3. The water left in the Coaster will be absorbed by capillarity action or it will evaporate.

  • WATERING BY IMMERSION

    If you only use pure pine barks without clay pebbles, this is the only possible watering method.

    HOW IT WORKS

    Remove the Coaster and put Orchitop into a bucket filled with water (or water with fertilizer) until the water level is about 1 cm below the top edge of the poles. Leave Orchtop in the bucket for 10 – 15 minutes so that the compost and roots can take on enough water. Now remove Orchitop from the bucket and make sure that all water can drain. Fix the Coaster and put the plant back to its place.

  • WATERING OF VANDA ORCHIDS IN ORCHITOP IN BARK MIX

    When followed our instructions for repotting Vanda in Orchitop the roots, which are outside the Orchitop and layed into the coaster, will nourish the plant. Therefore you refill the coaster after these roots are dry again. In winter you can wait for 3-6 days after roots are dry until you refill the coaster again.

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