Dehydrating orchids is one of the most important issues that most gardeners are concerned about. Orchids grow well or not and also depend to a large extent on the watering method, amount of water, and watering time of the gardener.
However, we often tend to water more with the amount of water that orchids need to grow and develop. So self-watering pots are an ideal solution to help you solve this problem.
Many gardeners are still skeptical about the use of self-watering cans for orchids. Are self-watering pots good for orchids? Let’s learn about the advantages and disadvantages of self-watering cans in this article.
What Is A Self-Watering Pot?
Self-watering pot consists of three main parts: a pot for growing plants, a larger pot for storing water and covering the small pot, and a rope. The pot for growing plants will have a hole in the bottom to connect to the rope. From there, the plant’s root system will absorb water through the connection wire between the orchid pot and the water container below.
Self-watering pots will provide continuous moisture to the orchid’s root system continuously and automatically through the wire by sucking water up from the tank. So your orchid is always guaranteed moisture and avoids water shortage.
In addition, self-watering pots will also save you a lot of time and effort. In particular, it also limits over-watering, causing waterlogging and root rot. Self-watering pots are very suitable for growing orchids if you are often away from home, travel, or go on a business trip.
Are Self-Watering Pots Good For Orchids?
As you know, any automatic watering method has its advantages and disadvantages. So, to conclude that self-watering pots are good for orchids, we need to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this method.
Advantages Of Self-Watering Pots
Self-watering pots will work well with a variety of orchids such as Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Oncidium, and Dendrobium. One of the biggest advantages of self-watering pots is convenience, good moisture retention, and avoiding waterlogging.
In addition, self-watering pots also have many advantages as follows:
- Maintain appropriate humidity for the entire orchid pot but not too wet
- Simple, easy, and inexpensive system
- Self-watering time can be up to 1 month depending on the amount of water in the tank
- Save time on daily watering and don’t take much care
- Suitable for busy people, often away from home or traveling
- Prevent excess water from soiling the house or table when watering
- Limit the situation of waterlogging due to excess water not being able to drain
- Uses inorganic medium as in LECA form, so it does not cause decomposition or sudden change of habitat
Advantages Of Self-Watering Pots
Because self-watering pots always help maintain the right humidity for orchids at all times. Therefore, it is suitable in a dry and cool environment instead of a humid one.
However, if you live in a frequently wet and high-humidity environment, some of the limitations of self-watering pots that you may encounter are as follows:
- The humid environment outside and inside will cause your orchid to have an excess of moisture. From there, their leaves can be soft or lifeless
- Algae can grow in the water tank and harm your orchid
- Self-watering pots will apply to each orchid, so if you have a large number of orchids, the cost of self-watering pots is not cheap.
- Space for self-watering pots may be limited because it is easy to break on impact, especially in families with young children.
- The design of self-watering pots is still limited and lacks aesthetics for many people
Read more: Top 10 Best Plants For Self Watering Pots
How To Make A Self-Watering Pot At Home?
To make a self-watering pot at home, you will need some basic tools such as a plastic or porcelain bottle, scissors, string, and a LECA ball. However, the material for making orchid pots and containers should be made of clay. Because it will help evaporate water faster when you use plastic material.
- First, you can cut a half-gallon or one-gallon soft drink bottle to create inner and outer pots.
- You can also use glass cups or trays to make the bottom pot as long as it covers the orchid pot.
- Place the top pot upside down on the bottom pot and create a gap
- Make a vent hole in the upper pot
- Fill the lower pot with water so that the water does not reach the vent hole of the upper pot
- Use a small wire as the water line. You can use a rope from a mop or a synthetic fiber, cotton fiber has good water absorption
- Place the rope from the top pot’s vent and connect it to the bottom of the bottom pot
- Use LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregates) balls as an orchid growing medium as it is inorganic and will not decompose in wet environments.
- Place the orchid in the pot at the top with the rope below. The rope will absorb water and moisture for the orchid’s root system
How To Fertilize A Self-Watering Potted Orchid?
Fertilizing self-watering potted orchids if not done carefully will cause salt build-up and harm the plants. To minimize salt buildup, you can fertilize self-watering potted orchids using reverse osmosis.
It means that you should use distilled water, rainwater with a mild fertilizer, and less dose than usual when you apply it directly to the soil. You should not over-fertilize the water because the salt will build up and harm your orchid.
In addition, to prevent salt from accumulating in the tank, you should soak and drain fresh water into the tank once a month. In particular, you also need to keep the container clean because algae are easy to grow and multiply quickly.
Self-watering pots are an incredibly simple, effective, and convenient method of watering your orchid. From there, your orchid pot will always be maintained at the right humidity thanks to a cord that absorbs water in the tank.
In addition, self-watering pots also help you limit the lack of water or over-watering leading to waterlogging. Because we often tend to water more than the orchid needs every day. You can also make your own self-watering pots using soda cans or glass trays. Use a cord made of cotton or cotton material for better water absorption.