Growing Orchids As Simple As Adding Ice

Green Circle Growers and Mid American Growers have partnered with celebrity garden designer P. Allen Smith to educate consumers about orchids. The goal of the partnership is to excite consumers with dramatic offerings and easy-care benefits so they become life-long orchid collectors rather than once-in-a-while dabblers.

“I know that once people have success with orchids in their homes, that’s just the beginning,” Smith says. “Orchids love companions, and people will want to adorn several rooms in their homes with their alluring beauty.”

The Just Add Ice campaign is as simple as its name: Green Circle and Mid American are encouraging orchid consumers to add three ice cubes to orchids once a week to keep them flourishing. Green Circle and Mid American are even offering to send e-mail reminders to consumers who subscribe to its weekly reminder e-mail at JustAddIceOrchids.com/Watering.

Smith will showcase the orchids in his television shows, magazine articles, social media sites and Garden Home book series. He’ll also offer his easy-care tips and ideas for decorating with orchids in retail POP.

Green Circle and Mid American have invited Smith to work with it to create a series of designs and decorating ideas with the plants. Smith will feature the ideas on PAllenSmith.com, in social media sites and on his nationally syndicated television series, P. Allen Smith Gardens.

The Green Circle Growers/Mid American/P. Allen Smith program will begin with a holiday 2009 retail offering.

For more information about Just Add Ice Orchids visit JustAddIceOrchids.com.

Leave a Reply

67 comments on “Growing Orchids As Simple As Adding Ice

  1. That and a pinch of Fairy Dust every 5 weeks. I’ve been growing orchids as a hobby and professionally for over 40 years and think the ice idea is rubish. Everyone wants an easy for something that is actually already easy. Water when they get dry… with water! This is, in my opinion going to eventually set back orchid demand not increase it. Get into, ruin it, then on to something else. I applaud promoting orchids, but the ice idea is just plain stupid in my experienced and educated opinion, but I will start doing it when it regulary rains ice cubes in the tropics, that along with the Fairy Dust. Good Luck.

  2. We have been commercially growing warm-loving orchids such as dendrobiums since 1985 and feel that this campaign is misleading in its claims. It is true that phalaenopsis need cool temps to initiate spiking and they can probably handle the melting ice. But dendrobiums and other warm growers will not like such a shock. Note that the photos ONLY SHOW PHALAENOPSIS so that should be explained in the text. As J.B. McEverett points out, there are no ice storms in the tropics. It’s just as easy to add 3 spoons of warm water and then they could claim that as a good idea for all orchids.

  3. I’ve got another, I think, better idea that I think you guys will agree with. Most if not all tap water in the US has chemicals in it. Even filtered household water is usually run through a softener. This adds very damaging sodium to the water. Any and all of these chemicals can build up in the orchid mix. In a greenhouse you flush out these chemicals and salt build up by applying excess water and washing them away. With the “Ice Trick” there is never a chance to get rid of the build up. The best thing to do in my humble opinion for a houseplant situation is to soak the whole pot in water, preferably distilled, but even tap water will dissolve the excess salts. Let it sit for 30 or 40 minutes, let it drain, then you’re good to go. It will rehydrate the bark media from your letting it get too dry and wash away accumulated salts and toxins.

  4. One thing that warm/intermediate growing orchids, which are the vast majority grown indoors, do NOT like is cold water! So ice cubes are a DUMB idea…shame on P. Allen Smith for dumbing down orchid culture and probably planting a poison pill that will completely discourage people from ever buying a second orchid plant.

  5. I agree with the comments I’ve read. I have been a professional orchid grower for 5 years now, and our organization prides itself in not only growing healthy, superior orchids, but educating our consumers as to proper orchid care. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting systems (and the fuel for these systems) to heat our irrigation water to the proper temperature for our plants. Anyone who is serious about orchid culture knows that giving cold water to a blooming orchid can lead to almost immediate and certain bud blast. Leaching out the salts, as mentioned in a previous post, is indeed just as important. Hats off to a successful business campaign, I’m sure they will sell a ton of orchids…but oversimplifying plant care to the point of inaccurate advice is a step backwards. And it cheapens our profession.

  6. Take off your grower hats for a minute and think like a consumer. Orchids have many stereotypes associated to them like, “delicate, finicky, hard to grow, and intimidating” to name a few. Finally, someone was thinking outside the box and sought to help instantly re-educate the consumer using branding and a new marketing campaign. I applaud them! Citing research is fine, but I would challenge all of you to do your own research and actually try this watering method before making comments about it. Also, what innovative ideas have you come up with in a while? Our industry is in desperate need to think outside the box because soon our core consumer will not longer be our target market. Other industries are light years ahead of us on marketing and reinventing their products…look what Swifter did for the mop industry. Mature products and industries only have two directions they can go and one way will not only cheapen your profession, it will eliminate your profession!

  7. Please be reminded of the suggested care instructions above: “soak the whole pot in water, preferably distilled, but even tap water will dissolve the excess salts. Let it sit for 30 or 40 minutes, let it drain, then you’re good to go. It will rehydrate the bark media from your letting it get too dry and wash away accumulated salts and toxins.” . . .This is why our industry is weak. This is why we will continue to lose consumers to other leisure activities that require less time, effort, and knowlege. Great job to these guys for promoting not only orchids, but our industry in general!

  8. A guy like P. Allen probably wouldn’t support something like this unless he had seen it work over a period of time. Obviously Ice cubes won’t work in a commercial setting, or for the $100 Prize Orchid that a master gardener wants to keep for 30 years and pass on to their children, but apparently it works for the common household (99.9% of the market??). Hopefully a couple months worth of orchid success will encourage the consumer to buy other plants. Isn’t that what we all want?

  9. As a consumer, I have been using the ice method since April and have had great results. The orchid I received in April still has a large flower on it. Another I got in June still has nine flowers on two spikes, and I received another in August with about 20 small flowers on it. I’m hooked. This is the most satisfying blooming potted plant I have owned.

    1. The proof in the pudding will be whether the plant will rebloom next year and whether it will be alive 2 years from now. The reason why the ice cube method is promoted and seems to work ( at least in the short term) is that the orchid mass production industry pots the plants in a dense ball of sphagnum moss that allows commercial growers to simplify their culture and avoids requiring retailers to water the plants on their shelves, but offers almost no air circulation to the roots and presents a high probability of over-watering because of the poor drainage. By using ice cubes you “sort of” avoid over-watering, but ultimately the roots WILL rot and the plant will die. There are many other specific reasons why using the ice method is not good for your plants ion the long run, even if you have a good draining potting mix. I have been growing orchids for over 20 years, and my very first plant, a phalaenopsis, is still thriving and blooming. When I get a phalaenopsis, the first thing that I do AFTER it finishes blooming, is to carefully remove the sphagnum moss and repot it in a 50:50 mixture of coarse orchid bark and sphagnum, moss, and a handful of broken Styrofoam packing peanuts. The mix drains very well and I water it once a week by putting it under a running faucet and drenching it, letting the water run through the mix. All of my phals are very robust, with leaves larger than when I first received the plant, and they bloom reliably every year.

  10. I am still wet behind the ears trying to figure out how to take care of my orchids. The first one I had died rapidly. I decided to get another one and it kept it’s blooms about two and half months. I just watered it and hoping I didn’t kill it too. I have already had to cut off one of the leaves because it turned completely yellow. So I think I will try the ice trick. Can someone let me know why the leaf turned yellow?

    1. It is perfectly normal for a phalaenopsis it lose its lower-most leaf, although this usually happens after it finishes blooming and begins to grow a new leaf from the crown. If you see a new leaf forming, then I wouldn’t worry about it. If not, then you might be experiencing rot. Make sure that the plant has good drainage, including the outer pot. Standing water will kill an orchid., If it continues to lose leaves, then repot it in a loose mix (not a dense ball of sphagnum moss) it even though it is still in bloom. Treat rot by wetting the affected area with hydrogen peroxide.

  11. Well ladies and gentleman, unless you’ve actually owned a phalaenopsis orchid that you have to water with ice cubes, you should comment disrectfully. I own one of these beautiful and easy to care for plants. And instead of waiting years for blooms and new sprouts, all I have to do is add my ice cubes (3 in a week), and viola, new flowers and blooms….try it before you disrespect it people….how is it you, J.B. McEverett & Clem, can disrespect something that you don’t even own? And so what if it is easy or unusual, if it works, it WORKS!!!

  12. Well ladies and gentleman, unless you’ve actually owned a phalaenopsis orchid that you have had to water with ice cubes, you should comment disrectfully. I own one of these beautiful and easy to care for plants. And instead of waiting years for blooms and new flowers, all I have to do is add my ice cubes (3 in a week), and viola, new flowers and blooms….try it before you disrespect it people….how is it you, J.B. McEverett & Clem, can disrespect something that you don’t even own? And so what if it is easy or unusual, if it works, it WORKS!!!

  13. Well ladies and gentleman, unless you’ve actually owned a phalaenopsis orchid that you have had to water with ice cubes, you shouldn’t comment disrectfully. I own one of these beautiful and easy to care for plants. And instead of waiting years for blooms and new flowers, all I have to do is add my ice cubes (3 in a week), and viola, new flowers and blooms….try it before you disrespect it people….how is it you, J.B. McEverett & Clem, can disrespect something that you don’t even own? And so what if it is easy or unusual, if it works, it WORKS!!!

  14. I’ve recently brought a “Just add ice Orchids”. I’m totally uneducate in caring for the plant. I’m looking forward for success in growing my orchids. Help.

  15. I just recently brought a “Just add ice Orchids”. I love it and its beautiful. I think its a great idea. Who cares if it doesnt work at least it looked great for a while. People buy $30.00 dollar roses that will die quicker than this plant will. What Im saying is love the plant while it lasts.

  16. My Orchids are doing great. They look wonderful. The ice does work. You guys that are saying it doesnt must have never tried it. You should try it.

  17. These aren’t a new type of phalaenopsis orchid as some commenters seem to think. This is a new marketing approach and slogan. (Not entirely new, the ice cube thing has been around for years.) The slogan promises to make it easier to keep the plant alive and possibly in bloom for a longer time. The real advantage to the ice is that anyone can count ice cubes and days and it seems as if one is doing something “special”. Of course it WORKS and will FOR A TIME. I’ll admit it’s far better than previous instructions that said something like “when the plant finishes blooming throw the plant away, we’re growing more”. Anyway, it probably won’t hurt the plant significantly for months whereas keeping them constantly wet or bone dry for weeks can and often will damage or kill the plant, but that’s true for most plants. It is a revolutionary new marketing approach. The people marketing this are reputable growers and marketers. They certainly aren’t watering them with ice cubes in their greenhouses however. They use water and lots of other good stuff. Keeping an orchid alive for a long time is easy. Hitting golf balls is easy. Perfecting the game is impossible which is why it is fun. I’m sure I could play 18 holes with just a ball and a stick. It all depends on what you want to achieve. Most people just want and certainly deserve pretty and long lasting flowers with minimal effort. Ice cubes will work, so will “just a little water every week or so” but that wouldn’t make a very good marketing slogan or trade mark. The plants are already pumped up with nutrient needs and they are very tough plants in general. Yes, it will work great for a few weeks or months no doubt, and if if doesn’t, don’t worry, throw it away, they’re growing more and your ice maker is making more ice cubes.

  18. Thanks!!! I will try to use ice cubes for my phalaenopsis orchids. I want to know more about the orchids.
    I am Lea from the Philippines.

  19. I’ve been using the ice cubes for 3 months now and have had great success. The blooms have lasted for an incredibly long time and I have new spikes and buds and the plant looks amazingly healthy. Don’t knock it until you try it.

    1. Come back in a year or two and then let me know how your plant is doing. The one that I bought 20 years ago is still growing well and blooms every year. I actually use water to water my plants.

  20. I first received a Baldans Kaleidoscope phalenopsis orchid as a birthday gift 3 years ago and it soon nearly died twice in my care. Scared, after 6 months, I began fertilizing it once per month with orchid fertilizer, and asked various people for advice. A local orchid society member suggested I try feeding ice cubes instead of watering about 1 year ago. I noticed the orchid remained green and grew many new roots and leaves, so I was content that it was alive and healthy and expected nothing more. A spike appeared 2 months ago, and I now have 8 buds so far! Before this, I had a consistent track record of killing many plants. I am grateful for learning the ice method for my beautiful phalenopsis!

  21. Would like to know if you have a cat. on your orchids, and can I order orchids?
    I have recently bought a few orchids in Sams Club.

  22. I’m very much a beginner, I just bought a phalaenopsis orchid from Home Depot. They are gorgeous, and I’ve only had them for 5 days, so I plan to water them tomorrow morning. The orchids came with a little tag from the ‘JustAddIceOrchids’ that tells me to water with 3 ice cubes once a week. I’m really not sure if I should do so or not? I’ve read all these comments and leaning towards trying the idea, but since the pot is small the ice cubes might touch the leaves. Would simple bottled/purified tap water sprayed onto it be a safer way? I really have no idea!

  23. I JUST WANTED TO GIVE A UPDATE ON HOW MY ORCHIDS WERE DOING. THEY ARE DOING GREAT. THEY ARE GROWING BIG. I JUST LOVE THEM. IM GOING TO GIVE MY MOM ONE FOR MOTHERS DAY. JUST GIVING YOU AN IDEA. YOU SHOULD GET YOUR MOM ONE TOO. THE STORES ALREADY HAS ALOT OF THEM OUT FOR MOTHERS DAY.

  24. I have had mine since this last March, the I lost two leaves and with some reserach have found old leaves will yellow just remove close to main stem and discard just like with any other plant. The flower stem will discolor when time to take off will pop off easil or let drop off. Watering, I use rain water so far, pouring it over a 30 seconds time frame, seems to be doing well. I was leery of using ice cubes due to salt in water but then isn’t the tropics surrounded by salt water? Don’t have the ansewers but am enjoying my plant nevertheless, just like someone said there will always be others to buy!!

  25. The Just Add Ice watering method offers a perfectly safe and easy way to care for phalaenopsis orchids. The easiest way to kill an orchid is to overwater it and by using 3 ice cubes a week, phalaenopsis orchids receive the perfect amount pre-measured water each week.

    Using ice provides the roots with a slow-drip watering process that allows the orchid roots to slowly soak up the moisture and prevents water from sitting in the bottom of the pot. Just Add Ice orchids are shipped in clear plastic containers with drainage holes that are placed directly in the decorative pots.

    While this method has been tested thoroughly and successfully for Just Add Ice phalaenopsis orchids, it may not be right for other kinds of plants. We encourage you to try it for yourself! We wish all of you the best of luck with your orchids!

  26. I’ve grown Phal. and Cattleya orchids for years. When I first started growing orchids I fell for the idea of “Just water them with ice cubes”. No, it’s not a new idea. It’s an idea that’s been around for at least 20 years. Only now, someone has decided to make money from it. Sorry people, it’s NOT the way to water ANY plant. It only takes a few minutes to take your orchid to the sink and water it properly. Why is that so difficult? Most people spend at least a few hours everyday watching T.V. but can’t take a few minutes once a week to care for a plant, really? If you are too lazy to educate yourself and properly take care of a plant, you definitely shouldn’t be trying orchids. There are, literally, hundreds of websites with vast amounts of accurate information to help you care for your plant, and here’s a wild idea…why not do some research BEFORE you buy the plant?

  27. My co-workers gave me my orchid in march 2009. I have fed it 3 ice cubes a week and it has done wonderfully! It blooms every4-5 months with numerous buds and flowers. What an awesome plant. I recommend it to anyone with a brown thumb!

  28. I never would have believed it if I had not seen them the other day at a local grocery store. Here sat these Phalaenopsis , big beautiful blooms and very healthy leaves . But when I looked on the tag , it said ” just add 3 ice cubes once a week ” .

    Now I have been growing orchids for over ten years now , I have heard of this method but think it is a real gimmick to entice people to buy them . I have done alot of research on the phalaenopsis and I know any amount of cold water or cold air will set them back or kill them , yikes ! That thought just saddens me , such a beautiful plant .

    A proper watering/feeding schedule once you know the requirements of the plant is all that is needed. As far as water is concerned , you should let your tap water sit for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine in the water to evaporate . Orchids are sensitive to chlorine and will eventually lead to their death .

    As far as the ice cube method goes , it will be too much of a shock for your orchids and they will eventually show it in the weeks or months to come .

  29. That and a pinch of Fairy Dust every 5 weeks. I’ve been growing orchids as a hobby and professionally for over 40 years and think the ice idea is rubish. Everyone wants an easy for something that is actually already easy. Water when they get dry… with water! This is, in my opinion going to eventually set back orchid demand not increase it. Get into, ruin it, then on to something else. I applaud promoting orchids, but the ice idea is just plain stupid in my experienced and educated opinion, but I will start doing it when it regulary rains ice cubes in the tropics, that along with the Fairy Dust. Good Luck.

  30. We have been commercially growing warm-loving orchids such as dendrobiums since 1985 and feel that this campaign is misleading in its claims. It is true that phalaenopsis need cool temps to initiate spiking and they can probably handle the melting ice. But dendrobiums and other warm growers will not like such a shock. Note that the photos ONLY SHOW PHALAENOPSIS so that should be explained in the text. As J.B. McEverett points out, there are no ice storms in the tropics. It’s just as easy to add 3 spoons of warm water and then they could claim that as a good idea for all orchids.

  31. I’ve got another, I think, better idea that I think you guys will agree with. Most if not all tap water in the US has chemicals in it. Even filtered household water is usually run through a softener. This adds very damaging sodium to the water. Any and all of these chemicals can build up in the orchid mix. In a greenhouse you flush out these chemicals and salt build up by applying excess water and washing them away. With the “Ice Trick” there is never a chance to get rid of the build up. The best thing to do in my humble opinion for a houseplant situation is to soak the whole pot in water, preferably distilled, but even tap water will dissolve the excess salts. Let it sit for 30 or 40 minutes, let it drain, then you’re good to go. It will rehydrate the bark media from your letting it get too dry and wash away accumulated salts and toxins.

  32. One thing that warm/intermediate growing orchids, which are the vast majority grown indoors, do NOT like is cold water! So ice cubes are a DUMB idea…shame on P. Allen Smith for dumbing down orchid culture and probably planting a poison pill that will completely discourage people from ever buying a second orchid plant.

  33. I agree with the comments I’ve read. I have been a professional orchid grower for 5 years now, and our organization prides itself in not only growing healthy, superior orchids, but educating our consumers as to proper orchid care. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting systems (and the fuel for these systems) to heat our irrigation water to the proper temperature for our plants. Anyone who is serious about orchid culture knows that giving cold water to a blooming orchid can lead to almost immediate and certain bud blast. Leaching out the salts, as mentioned in a previous post, is indeed just as important. Hats off to a successful business campaign, I’m sure they will sell a ton of orchids…but oversimplifying plant care to the point of inaccurate advice is a step backwards. And it cheapens our profession.

  34. Take off your grower hats for a minute and think like a consumer. Orchids have many stereotypes associated to them like, “delicate, finicky, hard to grow, and intimidating” to name a few. Finally, someone was thinking outside the box and sought to help instantly re-educate the consumer using branding and a new marketing campaign. I applaud them! Citing research is fine, but I would challenge all of you to do your own research and actually try this watering method before making comments about it. Also, what innovative ideas have you come up with in a while? Our industry is in desperate need to think outside the box because soon our core consumer will not longer be our target market. Other industries are light years ahead of us on marketing and reinventing their products…look what Swifter did for the mop industry. Mature products and industries only have two directions they can go and one way will not only cheapen your profession, it will eliminate your profession!

  35. Please be reminded of the suggested care instructions above: “soak the whole pot in water, preferably distilled, but even tap water will dissolve the excess salts. Let it sit for 30 or 40 minutes, let it drain, then you’re good to go. It will rehydrate the bark media from your letting it get too dry and wash away accumulated salts and toxins.” . . .This is why our industry is weak. This is why we will continue to lose consumers to other leisure activities that require less time, effort, and knowlege. Great job to these guys for promoting not only orchids, but our industry in general!

  36. A guy like P. Allen probably wouldn’t support something like this unless he had seen it work over a period of time. Obviously Ice cubes won’t work in a commercial setting, or for the $100 Prize Orchid that a master gardener wants to keep for 30 years and pass on to their children, but apparently it works for the common household (99.9% of the market??). Hopefully a couple months worth of orchid success will encourage the consumer to buy other plants. Isn’t that what we all want?

  37. As a consumer, I have been using the ice method since April and have had great results. The orchid I received in April still has a large flower on it. Another I got in June still has nine flowers on two spikes, and I received another in August with about 20 small flowers on it. I’m hooked. This is the most satisfying blooming potted plant I have owned.

  38. I am still wet behind the ears trying to figure out how to take care of my orchids. The first one I had died rapidly. I decided to get another one and it kept it’s blooms about two and half months. I just watered it and hoping I didn’t kill it too. I have already had to cut off one of the leaves because it turned completely yellow. So I think I will try the ice trick. Can someone let me know why the leaf turned yellow?

  39. Well ladies and gentleman, unless you’ve actually owned a phalaenopsis orchid that you have to water with ice cubes, you should comment disrectfully. I own one of these beautiful and easy to care for plants. And instead of waiting years for blooms and new sprouts, all I have to do is add my ice cubes (3 in a week), and viola, new flowers and blooms….try it before you disrespect it people….how is it you, J.B. McEverett & Clem, can disrespect something that you don’t even own? And so what if it is easy or unusual, if it works, it WORKS!!!

  40. Well ladies and gentleman, unless you’ve actually owned a phalaenopsis orchid that you have had to water with ice cubes, you should comment disrectfully. I own one of these beautiful and easy to care for plants. And instead of waiting years for blooms and new flowers, all I have to do is add my ice cubes (3 in a week), and viola, new flowers and blooms….try it before you disrespect it people….how is it you, J.B. McEverett & Clem, can disrespect something that you don’t even own? And so what if it is easy or unusual, if it works, it WORKS!!!

  41. Well ladies and gentleman, unless you’ve actually owned a phalaenopsis orchid that you have had to water with ice cubes, you shouldn’t comment disrectfully. I own one of these beautiful and easy to care for plants. And instead of waiting years for blooms and new flowers, all I have to do is add my ice cubes (3 in a week), and viola, new flowers and blooms….try it before you disrespect it people….how is it you, J.B. McEverett & Clem, can disrespect something that you don’t even own? And so what if it is easy or unusual, if it works, it WORKS!!!

  42. I’ve recently brought a “Just add ice Orchids”. I’m totally uneducate in caring for the plant. I’m looking forward for success in growing my orchids. Help.

  43. I just recently brought a “Just add ice Orchids”. I love it and its beautiful. I think its a great idea. Who cares if it doesnt work at least it looked great for a while. People buy $30.00 dollar roses that will die quicker than this plant will. What Im saying is love the plant while it lasts.

  44. My Orchids are doing great. They look wonderful. The ice does work. You guys that are saying it doesnt must have never tried it. You should try it.

  45. These aren’t a new type of phalaenopsis orchid as some commenters seem to think. This is a new marketing approach and slogan. (Not entirely new, the ice cube thing has been around for years.) The slogan promises to make it easier to keep the plant alive and possibly in bloom for a longer time. The real advantage to the ice is that anyone can count ice cubes and days and it seems as if one is doing something “special”. Of course it WORKS and will FOR A TIME. I’ll admit it’s far better than previous instructions that said something like “when the plant finishes blooming throw the plant away, we’re growing more”. Anyway, it probably won’t hurt the plant significantly for months whereas keeping them constantly wet or bone dry for weeks can and often will damage or kill the plant, but that’s true for most plants. It is a revolutionary new marketing approach. The people marketing this are reputable growers and marketers. They certainly aren’t watering them with ice cubes in their greenhouses however. They use water and lots of other good stuff. Keeping an orchid alive for a long time is easy. Hitting golf balls is easy. Perfecting the game is impossible which is why it is fun. I’m sure I could play 18 holes with just a ball and a stick. It all depends on what you want to achieve. Most people just want and certainly deserve pretty and long lasting flowers with minimal effort. Ice cubes will work, so will “just a little water every week or so” but that wouldn’t make a very good marketing slogan or trade mark. The plants are already pumped up with nutrient needs and they are very tough plants in general. Yes, it will work great for a few weeks or months no doubt, and if if doesn’t, don’t worry, throw it away, they’re growing more and your ice maker is making more ice cubes.

  46. Thanks!!! I will try to use ice cubes for my phalaenopsis orchids. I want to know more about the orchids.
    I am Lea from the Philippines.

  47. I’ve been using the ice cubes for 3 months now and have had great success. The blooms have lasted for an incredibly long time and I have new spikes and buds and the plant looks amazingly healthy. Don’t knock it until you try it.

  48. I first received a Baldans Kaleidoscope phalenopsis orchid as a birthday gift 3 years ago and it soon nearly died twice in my care. Scared, after 6 months, I began fertilizing it once per month with orchid fertilizer, and asked various people for advice. A local orchid society member suggested I try feeding ice cubes instead of watering about 1 year ago. I noticed the orchid remained green and grew many new roots and leaves, so I was content that it was alive and healthy and expected nothing more. A spike appeared 2 months ago, and I now have 8 buds so far! Before this, I had a consistent track record of killing many plants. I am grateful for learning the ice method for my beautiful phalenopsis!

  49. Would like to know if you have a cat. on your orchids, and can I order orchids?
    I have recently bought a few orchids in Sams Club.

  50. I’m very much a beginner, I just bought a phalaenopsis orchid from Home Depot. They are gorgeous, and I’ve only had them for 5 days, so I plan to water them tomorrow morning. The orchids came with a little tag from the ‘JustAddIceOrchids’ that tells me to water with 3 ice cubes once a week. I’m really not sure if I should do so or not? I’ve read all these comments and leaning towards trying the idea, but since the pot is small the ice cubes might touch the leaves. Would simple bottled/purified tap water sprayed onto it be a safer way? I really have no idea!

  51. I JUST WANTED TO GIVE A UPDATE ON HOW MY ORCHIDS WERE DOING. THEY ARE DOING GREAT. THEY ARE GROWING BIG. I JUST LOVE THEM. IM GOING TO GIVE MY MOM ONE FOR MOTHERS DAY. JUST GIVING YOU AN IDEA. YOU SHOULD GET YOUR MOM ONE TOO. THE STORES ALREADY HAS ALOT OF THEM OUT FOR MOTHERS DAY.

  52. I have had mine since this last March, the I lost two leaves and with some reserach have found old leaves will yellow just remove close to main stem and discard just like with any other plant. The flower stem will discolor when time to take off will pop off easil or let drop off. Watering, I use rain water so far, pouring it over a 30 seconds time frame, seems to be doing well. I was leery of using ice cubes due to salt in water but then isn’t the tropics surrounded by salt water? Don’t have the ansewers but am enjoying my plant nevertheless, just like someone said there will always be others to buy!!

  53. The Just Add Ice watering method offers a perfectly safe and easy way to care for phalaenopsis orchids. The easiest way to kill an orchid is to overwater it and by using 3 ice cubes a week, phalaenopsis orchids receive the perfect amount pre-measured water each week.

    Using ice provides the roots with a slow-drip watering process that allows the orchid roots to slowly soak up the moisture and prevents water from sitting in the bottom of the pot. Just Add Ice orchids are shipped in clear plastic containers with drainage holes that are placed directly in the decorative pots.

    While this method has been tested thoroughly and successfully for Just Add Ice phalaenopsis orchids, it may not be right for other kinds of plants. We encourage you to try it for yourself! We wish all of you the best of luck with your orchids!

  54. I’ve grown Phal. and Cattleya orchids for years. When I first started growing orchids I fell for the idea of “Just water them with ice cubes”. No, it’s not a new idea. It’s an idea that’s been around for at least 20 years. Only now, someone has decided to make money from it. Sorry people, it’s NOT the way to water ANY plant. It only takes a few minutes to take your orchid to the sink and water it properly. Why is that so difficult? Most people spend at least a few hours everyday watching T.V. but can’t take a few minutes once a week to care for a plant, really? If you are too lazy to educate yourself and properly take care of a plant, you definitely shouldn’t be trying orchids. There are, literally, hundreds of websites with vast amounts of accurate information to help you care for your plant, and here’s a wild idea…why not do some research BEFORE you buy the plant?

  55. My co-workers gave me my orchid in march 2009. I have fed it 3 ice cubes a week and it has done wonderfully! It blooms every4-5 months with numerous buds and flowers. What an awesome plant. I recommend it to anyone with a brown thumb!

  56. I never would have believed it if I had not seen them the other day at a local grocery store. Here sat these Phalaenopsis , big beautiful blooms and very healthy leaves . But when I looked on the tag , it said ” just add 3 ice cubes once a week ” .

    Now I have been growing orchids for over ten years now , I have heard of this method but think it is a real gimmick to entice people to buy them . I have done alot of research on the phalaenopsis and I know any amount of cold water or cold air will set them back or kill them , yikes ! That thought just saddens me , such a beautiful plant .

    A proper watering/feeding schedule once you know the requirements of the plant is all that is needed. As far as water is concerned , you should let your tap water sit for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine in the water to evaporate . Orchids are sensitive to chlorine and will eventually lead to their death .

    As far as the ice cube method goes , it will be too much of a shock for your orchids and they will eventually show it in the weeks or months to come .

  57. I have eight justaddice orchids and love them. Have had four of them for more than a year.Easiest things to care for I ever saw! Love the magnificent blooms that keep coming back.

More From Marketing...
Sheridan Nurseries

September 3, 2015

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Operation Of The Year Sheridan Nurseries Raises The Bar

Ontario-based Sheridan Nurseries has long been an innovator in the Canadian market, but during the economic downturn, CEO Karl Stensson says the company decided to take things a step further. “We have survived the Great Depression, two World Wars and many other downturns in the economy,” he says. “During this last recession, our staff set out at being the best at what we do.” The company’s efforts have paid off. Sheridan Nurseries was named Operation of the Year at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence, held July 13, at Cultivate’15 in Columbus, Ohio. The company was also awarded for Excellence In Perennials Production, based on its reputation for plant quality and the activities the nursery has led and been a part of, both within its company and in the industry at large. “We are elated and proud of our staff accomplishments,” says CEO Karl Stensson. “Over the last five years, we […]

Read More

September 3, 2015

Legalization Of Marijuana In California A Strong Possibility

The push for the legalization of recreational marijuana intensifies in California as proponents promote the crop’s agricultural and economical benefits.

Read More
More and more people are employing a landscape service, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still garden

September 2, 2015

Under Siege? Not Really, Just Go For A Walk

I have no trouble with people buying chocolates or wine instead of flowers to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or peoples’ lives. We should all have choices. However, the other night I felt like I was entering the Republican caucus. I was minding my own business by the television set and became more than a little upset. A website called insteadofflowers.com came on the screen. It provided serene music and wholesome images of busy women doing busy things. It turns out that such busy women enjoy a small token of appreciation, but apparently their enjoyment, according to the voice-over, does not include flowers. This website delivers meals to the house, anything from beef brisket to beef bourguignon. It is a fine website with a good idea. But why pick on us? Why not use “insteadofbaloneysandwiches.com” or “insteadofgrilledcheeseandsoup.com,” “insteadofburgerdoodle.com,” or a dozen other things. When did flowers get to be the whipping boy? […]

Read More
Latest Stories
eMailMarketing feature image

July 23, 2015

Is eMail Dead?

Email as a marketing technique may seem outdated, but when done well, it is still an effective way to share content and market your brand.

Read More
HGTV HOME CAST 2015

July 22, 2015

Cultivate’15: Keynote Nancy Fire Says Use Passion…

In the second keynote presentation at Cultivate’15, Nancy Fire, founder and creative director of Design Works International, discussed how the horticulture industry can capitalize on the latest design and lifestyle trends. Fire works with companies to help bring their designs to the next level, and she has expertise with textiles and surface design, market analysis and corporate rebranding. She was appointed as design director for HGTV HOME in 2011. Fire says customers today are interested in companies that show passion for what they do. That, combined with following the general direction of trends and maintaining a brand, are what will keep horticulture businesses relevant to their customers. A trend isn’t just a passing fad, Fire says, but rather, it indicates that something is developing or changing in a certain direction. Plants are important to consumers today, and fit into current trends, both inside and outside the home, Fire says. “I don’t […]

Read More
LuxFlora logo feature image

July 21, 2015

Luxflora Launches With Cultivate Speaker Event, New Web…

A new organization for women in horticulture that aims to change the way consumers think about flowers, launched at Cultivate’15 by sponsoring Ketty Maisonrouge, a marketing expert, who presented “How To Create A Luxury Brand.” Luxflora recently launched its website, as well as a page on LinkedIn, to facilitate networking among women in horticulture. The organization is working on next steps, including setting up a board of directors and officers. Updates and information on future events will be available at the Luxflora website as they are scheduled. Read about Luxflora’s mission and what it hopes to accomplish in “Luxflora Wants To Create A Lifestyle Movement.” In the session during Cultivate, Ketty Maisonrouge, owner of KM & Company, adjunct professor of luxury strategy at the Columbia University Business School and the author of “The Luxury Alchemist,” presented her ideas and expertise on luxury strategy marketing, and how it applies to horticulture. […]

Read More

July 15, 2015

New Products Featured At Cultivate’15

A multitude of new products were on display at Cultivate’15, held in Columbus, Ohio. Attendees were given a first-hand look at new plant introductions coming to market, as well as innovative hardgoods, technology and equipment. One of the new options for varieties featured at Cultivate’15 was Sporticulture, winner of the 2015 Fresh Ideas Award. Sporticulture offers access to major sports leagues’ licensed products and packing. Team logos can appear on containers and tags, allowing growers and retailers to benefit from the loyalty customers have for their favorite team. Some of the featured plant varieties included Jolt interspecific Dianthus, from PanAmerican Seed, plus six new varieties from Sakata, including ColorWorks petunias, ‘Dragon’s Breath’ Celosia, PartyTime Coleus, ‘Proud Mari’ Marigold, SunPatiens Impatiens and Vitalia Vinca. Emerald Coast Growers featured its Marsala-toned plants, as a nod to Pantone’s Color of the Year. The collection included Pennisetum messiacum ‘Red Buttons,’ Pennisetum ‘Rubrum and ‘Eaton […]

Read More

July 8, 2015

Behind The Sale: Why Dümmen Orange Bought Florexpo, And…

Dümmen Orange recently announced it has acquired the product portfolio of Florexpo Costa Rica, a leading specialist in the production of perennials, herbs and annuals. During the fall of 2015, Dümmen Orange will start up production of perennials at its upgraded Antigua Flowers Guatemala farm, formerly the Ecke II facility in Antigua, Guatemala. The Altmanns, who founded Florexpo, as well as some of the key managers in the Florexpo team, will be assuming roles in this new endeavor. “In its long history Florexpo has built a good assortment, an outstanding sales network and a professional team of employees,” Perry Wismans, managing partner at Dümmen Orange, said in a press release. “With this move, Dümmen Orange takes the next step in realizing its growth strategy – aimed at creating synergies in technology, production and sales. We realize these synergies by distributing a variety of breeding programs and cross selling these products […]

Read More
Feature image The 2015 Perennial Plant Of The Year, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’

June 27, 2015

Perennial Plant Association Wins The 2015 Excellence In…

With its emphasis on education and its Perennial Plant Of The Year program, the Perennial Plant Association boosted the popularity of perennials and helped make it the vital category it is.

Read More
baker creative

June 23, 2015

Baker Creative Wins International Award For Work With J…

Baker Creative, a local branding agency, was recently selected as a Gold Award winner for the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals’ 2015 Hermes Creative Awards. Baker Creative won in the Advertising/Direct Mail Piece category for creating a factory opening invitation mailer for Jiffy Group . Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media. The Hermes Gold Award is presented to those entries judged to exceed the high standards of the industry norm. Only 22 percent of the entrants received the award. “When Jiffy needed to make a splash to draw attention to the opening of its new substrate facility in West Bridgewater, Mass., we turned to Baker Creative. The video card created by Baker Creative assisted us greatly with getting the much needed attention when inviting professional growers to the official opening,” a Jiffy Group […]

Read More

June 17, 2015

Marketing Ideas You Want To See From 2015 California Sp…

Back when California Spring Trials (CAST) were still called Pack Trials, new plants were placed on growing benches in packs so attendees could see for themselves how uniformly the plants grow. It was practical and useful. Today, CAST is primarily about introducing new plants in a way that catches your imagination and convinces you that these plants are not only disease resistant, need almost no inputs, including plant growth regulators (PGRs) and have excellent timing, but also that they are plants consumers will fall in love with. In other words, marketing. Some of the breeders go a few steps further and pull together ideas and information that growers can use for their own businesses. It can be methods to connect better with their retail customers or even to help promote our industry and its great plants directly to the public. Here are some of the standouts from CAST 2015. Pacific […]

Read More
Medal of Excellence Award

June 10, 2015

Greenhouse Grower Announces 2015 Medal Of Excellence No…

On this page, everybody’s a winner, because we’re announcing Greenhouse Grower‘s 2015 Medal Of Excellence nominees for two of our three awards in breeding, the winners of our Medal Of Excellence for Industry Achievement and Excellence In Marketing awards and the winners of our Grower Of The Year program, who are finalists for Operation Of The Year and Head Grower Of The Year. All honors will be presented during Greenhouse Grower’s prestigious Evening Of Excellence on Monday, July 13, during Cultivate’15. We hope we will see you there! Correction: Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ was bred by Kieft Seed, not Darwin Perennials, as we mistakenly printed in the June 2015 issue. Medal Of Excellence Watch Benchrunner in the coming weeks to read profiles of our Industry Achievement and Excellence In Marketing award winners, and look for these articles in our July 2015 issue. Industry Achievement Award The Kientzler Group Excellence In Marketing Perennial […]

Read More
Double Whammy Merchandise Display At CAST2015

May 28, 2015

Grow Inspiration To Grow The Horticulture Industry

We need to work together as the horticulture industry to inspire and instruct consumers with our plant knowledge and marketing expertise.

Read More
Plant-Select_for-web

May 28, 2015

PlantSelect.org And FindPlants.net Assist Consumers Wit…

The recently launched PlantSelect.org and FindPlants.net websites offer growing and maintenance tips, where-to-buy information and design ideas to help consumers have success with growing and finding plants.

Read More
Four Star Greenhouse Proven Winner Plants At English Garden

May 26, 2015

Retailer To Grower: It’s Time To Offer Services To Loc…

Retailers wonder why mass merchants are the only ones to receive stocking, merchandising and plant care from growers.

Read More
New Guinea Impatiens

May 14, 2015

10 Tips To Improve Retail Shelf Life Of Bedding Plants

Good-looking plants at retail lead to stronger sales and less postharvest shrink. Try these 10 ideas for maintaining quality and keeping plants looking beautiful.

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

May 12, 2015

Suntory And GrowIt! Garden Socially Partner On A New Se…

Three different contests will run from May through early August. Garden center retailers can upload their own photos or encourage their customers to enter and win.

Read More

May 6, 2015

Orange Is The New Green: An Interview With Dümmen Orang…

The day the news came out about the name change of DNA Green Group to Dümmen Orange, and everything that meant for the large flower breeding conglomerate, Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff talked with Dümmen Orange Operations Manager Kate Santos about what the identity shift would mean for the company, its customers and ultimately for consumers. What’s going to happen to the brands and what was behind the decision to do away with those brands and consolidate? A key objective for our organization in moving to one corporate brand is to continue to stay true to the heritage and history of the individual brands that have made us what we are today and what we will build the future of our company upon. For this reason, some of those brands that have a deep-rooted history and much more recognition within the market, will have a longer persistence in our overall […]

Read More

May 1, 2015

Restoration Landscapes: A Specialized Market For Nativ…

Restoration landscapes, depending on their purpose, often require straight native species, along with a confirmation of their known provenance. Research is key in this area and good recordkeeping is a must.

Read More
Dummen_Begonia_UnbelieveableFirstKiss

April 29, 2015

Dümmen Orange Is The New Name For DNA Green Group

DNA Green Group has a new name: Dümmen Orange. The company revealed its new name, logo and brand values at all of its facilities in 16 countries on Thursday, April 23. The well-known corporate brands Lex+, Bartels, Terra Nigra, Dümmen Group, Agribio China, Agribio Colombia, Oro, PLA, as well as the production locations, are changing their identities immediately to Dümmen Orange. Other established brands like Rijnplant, Ecke, Oglevee, Red Fox, Fides, Japan Agribio and Barberet & Blanc will convert over limited time. The company’s CEO Biense Visser calls it a logical next step. “All companies that have been acquired have a rich and successful history,” Visser says. “We have always tried to respect that heritage. Doing so, we created confusion for our customers. Our employees expressed a preference for a more uniform approach to the market, too. That is why we have chosen one large umbrella brand that embraces the entire product […]

Read More

April 15, 2015

Redesigned SunPatiens Website Offers New Tools For Saka…

Sakata Seed America's new and improved SunPatiens website launched March 1, 2015 and provides growing information, marketing support, product location and many more tools to encourage consumer success with SunPatiens.

Read More