Orchids have a reputation for being plants that require a lot of care, but they are not. Their needs are not more complex than those of other more common species in your environment and they can also suffer typical problems of other plants and to the same degree. In addition to talking about the causes and how to cure orchids yellow leaves, we also attach a final section to give you a couple of tips and indications to improve your orchid’s health and even tips on how to revive orchids.
We intend to answer questions such as: why does my orchid have yellow leaves? What happens to the orchid when the leaves turn yellow? What to do when the orchids turn yellow? To do this, we have prepared the most complete and detailed list of possible causes of orchids with yellow leaves and how to act in each specific case.
Orchids yellow leaves caused by bad lighting
The orchids should be placed where the sun never hits them directly, either inside your house or in the garden. This does not mean that they do not need good lighting since they are tropical plants. For the latter, you can make the mistake of overexposing it to the sun so that it is in a warmer temperature and causing, as a result, that its leaves turn yellow; this can also affect your flowers, which will start to darken.
An easy way to get rid of these sunburns is to cut the part of the sheet that is yellow with the right tools. You must know that orchids need their leaves to store water and nutrients, so we do not advise you to prune them completely.
Orchids with yellow leaves caused by poor watering
The appearance of yellow leaves on your orchid can be due to both excess and lack of watering. This will depend a bit on the specific variety, but it is more common to be due to overwatering. A very simple method to make sure that the problem comes from an excess of watering is to observe if there are specks or black spots on the leaf. They have lost vitality. We remind you that, although they prefer humid environments, it is not advisable to overwater them.
Therefore, we recommend that you water the leaves with a diffuser, including the roots themselves. In the same way, make sure that the container or pot where your orchid is located has good drainage. If it is due to lack of irrigation, something easy to appreciate in Phalaenopsis orchids when their whitish roots show, you will only have to do the watering by immersion and let the plant itself release the excess water.
Finally, and also related to irrigation, there is the problem of the use of hard water. That is, those that have excess calcium and other salts. Remember that you must water your orchids with mineral water to prevent traces of these salts from remaining in the substrate, which will seriously harm your plant’s health.
Orchids with yellow leaves caused by improper use of fertilizer
Another of the most common possible causes of your orchids with yellow and wrinkled leaves is a poor use of fertilizers or fertilizers. It is very important that you only fertilize them with specific products for them and do not abuse them. Always stick to the proportions set by the different manufacturers.
Likewise, it is good to know that, regularly, you only need to fertilize your orchids during the growth period and that this should always be given after watering or appropriately diluted with the water of its irrigation dose. Nor is it advisable that if you have just transplanted your orchid, fertilize it during the first days.
Orchids with yellow leaves caused by disease
Orchids can also be affected by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. This is one of the first symptoms of sick orchids with yellow leaves. In these cases, the first thing you should do is isolate your orchid from the rest of the plants to prevent the disease from spreading.
The appearance of fungus in the orchid is usually closely related to poor ventilation, lack of lighting and excess humidity. Here first, small yellow spots or specks appear with a black dot in the center. We advise you that you use a systemic fungicide to treat it until it fully recovers to improving its environmental conditions.
If a bacterium has attacked the orchid, you will see its symptoms after the appearance of small yellowish necroses that secrete a kind of oily substance that, over time, ends up darkening. You can combat it by improving its growing conditions, especially irrigation, and using a cut of the affected area with previously disinfected utensils.
Orchids that are attacked by viruses tend to die during the process, so we can try to improve their conditions at all levels and wait patiently for the virus to subside and see if it manages to survive. Unfortunately, even if the plant survives, it will not flower again.
Orchids yellow leaves caused by age
Although it can always go through another of the options explained, this is one of the most natural causes if you have lovingly cared for your orchid during its life cycle. Remember that this plant loses its leaves also at the end of its life cycle, so it is very normal for yellow leaves to appear on orchids before they wilt and fall.
How to cure an orchid with yellow leaves
After knowing the causes of yellow leaves in orchids, we can make a list of basic care to improve your health:
- Make sure it gets sunlight all day, but never directly.
- Use specific fertilizer for orchids.
- Cut only the yellowish parts of the leaves.
- Do not overwater them. Use the coloring of their roots to sign the need for irrigation and let the plant manage the amount of water it needs.
- In case of disease caused by fungi, bacteria or viruses, isolate it from the rest and try to be more aware of it by improving its conditions or applying specific products to fight the disease.
One of the main doubts that arise when you are not yet used to having an orchid at home is to get nervous and wonder what to do when an orchid is drying.