Can You Water Houseplants With Ice Cubes?

Ice is just frozen water, right? So, in theory, the answer to “Can you water houseplants with ice cubes?” should be a resounding yes, right?

Well… It’s not quite as simple as that, sadly. Water is water, but frozen water might not be the best thing for your precious green babies! Lets look into it in more detail.

Can You Water Houseplants With Ice Cubes?

can you water houseplants with ice cubes

In an absolute pinch, if the only water you have is frozen and your plants are parched, you can use ice cubes.

However, it’s probably best not to. It is a bit of a trend at the moment, and yes it is easy and convenient – but probably not as good for your plants as room temperature water.

  • The idea behind watering with ice cubes is that you can measure the amount of water you are using, to ensure that you’re not giving too much.
  • Also, the ice melts slowly so the plant can take it on board more slowly, and it limits the amount of water sitting around the roots.
  • If your plant is hard to reach with the watering can, simply popping an ice cube or two into the pot can be a much more convenient way of watering.
  • Some potting mix is so free-draining that liquid water simply runs out; ice cubes can allow the plant to suck it up more slowly.
  • Whatever you do, you must ensure that the ice cubes do not touch the bare stems or roots of the plant as this can damage them.
  • Some plants, especially the tropical kinds, like to be kept warm and will not take kindly to being given a frozen drink.

Ice cubes can be a good and convenient way to water plants when you’re in a pinch, but do check the temperature requirements of your plants before you start.

This article goes into the pros and cons of watering with ice cubes.

What Plants Like To Be Watered With Ice Cubes?

You can, of course, water any plant with ice cubes – as long as you don’t fill the pot to the brim, and don’t let the cubes touch the roots.

The word on the plant streets is that orchids really like the ice cube method – but how true is this really?

Orchids are well-known for their aquaphobia – you really don’t want to water your orchid too much or it will turn up its toes and die.

The ice cube method certainly is a good theory – it releases the water much more slowly, meaning that it should be ideal for fussy tropical plants.

However, the temperature is an issue – orchids really are tropical plants, and they won’t thank you for letting them get too cold!

You can absolutely water your orchids with ice cubes, as long as the cube doesn’t go near the roots or the stem, but you shouldn’t use it as your only method.

How Does Ice Affect Plants?

Imagine a plant in the winter. They tend to go dormant, and what’s left above the ground will usually look pretty sorry for itself.

If your plant is covered in ice cubes constantly, even if you are doing for ease of watering, it will start to look very sorry for itself before very long!

Ice and frost can damage the very cells of the plant, from the roots to the leaves, and can even kill them.

Repeated freezing and thawing can affect even the hardiest of plants, especially those that have not developed some plants’ abilities to keep the inside of their cells liquid.

Watering with ice is all very well, but try to make sure that the ice does not damage the plant itself, or you’re in for a very sorry-looking jungle.

Can You Water Succulents With Ice Cubes?

Although some plants can tolerate an icy drink, succulents are not one of these. They are just not prepared for the cold!

Plants that come from hot climates are generally not suited to ice cube watering, so you should keep the cubes out of your cactus.

Succulents are also generally not very thirsty, and can have issues if they get too much to drink – the water from melted ice may be too much for them.

Because the ice cube releases water more slowly, you may think it is a good idea for your succulents – but sadly they just won’t thank you for their cold shower!

Are Ice Cubes Good For Indoor Plants?

Water is good for indoor plants, there’s no doubt about that, and if it comes in the form of ice then surely that’s fine?

Some people swear by watering with ice cubes. You can give a set amount; the roots are less likely to sit in water, and it is less messy.

It can actually be easier to remember to water your plants this way too; you will be reminded every time you open the freezer!

Watering with ice cubes certainly won’t do your plants any harm, as long as you stick to the rule of not allowing the ice to touch the roots or stems of your plants.

However, the temperature can be a problem for some plants – there are many that simply won’t tolerate being this cold.

It is best to avoid watering tropical plants with ice cubes, as it can cause them problems and potentially stunt their growth.

Most plants are happy to be watered this way, as long as all their other needs are being met, and it can save you worrying about root rot too.

If you are interested in the ins and outs of ice cube watering, have a look at this video:

Plants need to drink, and because ice is water, they can drink it. But, it may not be the best thing for them!

Sticking to the normality of liquid water is almost certainly the best thing for your houseplants, unless you are really stuck and have nothing else.

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