Low Winter Humidity Can Harm Just Add Ice Orchids

Low Winter Humidity Can Harm Just Add Ice Orchids

Phalaenopsis orchids are epiphytic plants, meaning that they grow on and are supported by another plant. In their natural tropical environment, these beautiful orchids attach themselves to the trunks and limbs of tall trees and are typically found growing high above the jungle floor. Unlike parasitic plant species, Phalaenopsis orchids do not rely on their host trees for nourishment. These orchids use their towering hosts to gain access to the humid but well-circulated air that floats above the densely-vegetated jungle floor, providing the ideal growing environment for these exquisite flowers.

Just Add Ice orchids thrive in humidity levels of between 55% and 75%. Unfortunately, naturally low winter humidity can frequently drop below these optimal levels, causing the emerging flowers or leaves of Just Add Ice Orchids to have a stunted or deformed appearance. Phalaenopsis orchids obtain the majority of their moisture requirements not from direct watering but from the moisture (i.e., humidity) in the air.

When humidity levels are insufficient to promote healthy orchid growth, Just Add Ice Orchid owners should use one of the following methods to raise winter humidity levels:
  • During the day, run a humidifier in the same room in which you display your Just Add Ice Orchids. Limit humidifier use to daylight hours to allow excess moisture that may collect on orchid flowers or leaves to evaporate. Exposing Phalaenopsis orchids to excess moisture overnight can promote orchid diseases and the growth of fungus.
  • If you have multiple orchids, create a more humid microclimate by grouping all of the plants together in a small space.
  • Place orchid pots on shallow pebble-filled trays of water. The pebbles will keep orchid roots from coming into direct contact with the water.
  • Run a small fan on low to keep humid air circulating.

For more tips on combating dry winter humidity, watch our orchid care video on Caring for Your Phalaenopsis Orchid in a Dry Environment.

Photo by: GollyGForce