Watering Houseplants: A very bad idea, imo.

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Watering Houseplants

By imapigeon
November 15, 2013

Water indoor or outdoor planters (especially hanging ones) with ice cubes. The ice melts slowly, giving the plant's roots a thorough watering, and the water doesn't drip everywhere.

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 16, 2013 9:05 AM CST
Watering house plants or any tender tropical plant (which most indoor plants are) with ice cubes is a very bad idea.

Plants growing in the regulated temperature of a house are suited to temperatures of between 60 and 80 degrees or more! It is generally recommended to use room temperature, or even warm water to water these plants. Cold water will shock the plant, and could even induce dormancy.

In my garden in Florida, we occasionally have night temperatures that dip into the 40's and very rarely into the 30's. Everything goes dormant for weeks if not protected from the cold, and many plants die off because of the cold temperatures. The only plants I ever water after the nights have been cold are the cool weather vegetables like lettuce, cabbage family, peas etc. The rest get covered with blankets through the cold nights, and watered with warm water after the day warms up to keep them growing.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Nov 16, 2013 12:44 PM CST
I agree with you Elaine, up here in NY I think my plants would die within hours of putting ice cubes in a pot. That may work for some but even in summer I wouldnt try it.
Christine
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
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Ted5310
Nov 16, 2013 6:25 PM CST
I agree
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Nov 16, 2013 6:52 PM CST
My 2 Boston Terriers LOVE ice cubes, but if they leave pieces on the carpet, which they inevitably do, then I will toss them on top of the soil of my Dracaena fragrans… But only little pieces, and not for regular watering.

kardon
Nov 16, 2013 10:44 PM CST
I have orchids which I water with ice cubes and they do very well. They came with instructions to water them that way. I like the idea of being able to water all the house plants that way but I never thought to try it. Has anybody done this for a period of time?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 17, 2013 8:34 AM CST
How long have you had your orchids?

The producers who market orchids with those instructions are motivated to sell more orchids, not to help you grow a beautiful orchid for years to come. They want you to buy an orchid in bloom, water it with ice cubes until it finishes blooming then throw it away and buy another.

People who really grow orchids are unanimous in their agreement that watering with ice cubes is harmful to the plants in the long term. Please feel free to wander over to the Orchids forum and post a question about this. You will not find a single person there who would go near one of their treasured orchids with an ice cube.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Bud
Prescott Valley, AZ
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Lonehorseman
Dec 3, 2016 1:33 PM CST

New Member

That's interesting, I've been watering my ivy with ice cubes for years and they thrive. The advantage is if they are on a high shelf, it is easier to use ice cubes that liquids. The trick is to use a funnel. The ice cubes sit in the funnel and melt slowly. It is a drip watering system at that point. The plant adjusts by not growing roots near cold water.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 4, 2016 9:59 AM CST
Sure, it should work fine for plants that are not sensitive to cold, like ivy. But not for orchids, especially Phalaenopsis which are very sensitive to cold temperature, and often come potted in moss that also stays wet too long.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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