How to Grow Orchids in Water

Growing orchids in water is possible, but it’s important to note that not all types of orchids can thrive in water. Some orchids can grow with their roots submerged in water, while others cannot. If you want to grow orchids in water, you should select orchid varieties that can grow well in this way.

General Guidelines for Growing Orchids in Water

Choose a Suitable Container

Select a container that’s wide enough to accommodate the roots of your orchid. Glass containers or vases are often used for growing orchids in water because they allow you to see the roots and monitor the water level easily.

Use the Right Water

Fill the container with clean, filtered water, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Use room-temperature water that’s free from chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals that can harm the orchids. Place the orchid in the water: Carefully place the orchid in the container so that its roots are submerged in the water. Make sure the orchid is stable and not leaning too much.

Change the Water

Change the water in the container every week or two, or when it becomes cloudy or dirty. Rinse the roots gently with fresh water before placing the orchid back in the container.

Provide Light and Humidity

Orchids need bright but indirect light to grow well. Place the container in a spot that receives plenty of light but is not in direct sunlight. You can also provide humidity by misting the leaves and roots of the orchid regularly.


Orchids grown in water need regular fertilization to thrive. Use a water-soluble orchid fertilizer and add it to the water every few weeks, following the instructions on the package.

The Best Orchids to Grow in Water

Phalaenopsis Orchids

These are commonly known as moth orchids and are one of the most popular orchids to grow in water. They have large, fleshy roots that can absorb water easily.

Paphiopedilum Orchids

Also known as lady slipper orchids, these orchids have thick roots that can tolerate being submerged in water.

Oncidium Orchids

These orchids have thin, wiry roots that can grow well in water.

Dendrobium Orchids

Some varieties of Dendrobium orchids can grow well in water, especially those with thin roots.

Vanda Orchids

Vanda orchids have thick, fleshy roots that can absorb water well. They can be grown in water or in a well-drained orchid mix.

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