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Orchids are the number one potted plant in the U. S., with the Phalaenopsis orchid making up most of the commercial sales. These plants can be found in grocery stores and garden centers in many different sizes and colors.

Phalaenopsis orchids make great houseplants because their temperature and light requirements are compatible with the environment found in a home or office. There is no doubt why these plants are so popular with their beautiful flowers and glossy green leaves, but caring for an orchid can be intimidating to some consumers.

One of the biggest challenges with potted Phalaenopsis orchids is proper watering. Ice cubes have been suggested as an easy way for orchid owners to provide a regular and consistent amount of water to prevent over- or under-watering.

Why Ice Cubes?

Green Circle Growers in Oberlin, OH, markets its Just Add Ice Orchids with the recommendation that the orchids be watered weekly with three ice cubes. This recommendation has intrigued many and also raised some concerns about watering a tropical plant like orchids with ice.

One goal of this recommendation is to increase consumer success with Phalaenopsis orchids by providing them with an easy way to deliver the right amount of water to their plants. In addition to being easy and convenient, the application of ice provides a slow release of water that is more readily taken up by the roots and retained by the bark media. When orchids are irrigated with water, much of the water that is applied runs through the bark and accumulates in the bottom of the pot. If orchid roots sit in water, they can be damaged, and this can lead to the death of the plant.