Why are the leaves turning yellow in the orchid

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26 august

Introduction: Features of orchids as ornamental plants

Orchids are one of the most popular and beloved ornamental plants in the world due to their unparalleled beauty and elegance. Their genus includes more than ten thousand species that grow in different ecosystems - from tropical to temperate zones. These plants have a unique root structure that is often used to absorb water from the air. In addition, orchids are able to adapt to different environmental conditions, but at the same time, they are quite demanding in terms of keeping conditions.

List of the main causes of leaf yellowing:

1.Insufficient humid air

2.Improper watering regime

3.Problems with soil and drainage

4.Pollution and pests


But it is important to understand that the yellowing of one or two leaves, especially older ones, can be part of the natural process of plant renewal. However, if the yellowing of the leaves becomes a widespread phenomenon, it can be a signal of problems with care.

Effect of light and illumination on leaf health

Light plays a critical role in the life of an orchid. It is not only a source of energy for photosynthesis, but also a regulator for many plant life processes.

Lack of light: If the orchid does not receive enough light, the leaves may turn dark green and the plant will not bloom. Over time, such a plant can become weak and lead to yellowing of the leaves.

Excessive lighting: Too much direct sunlight can cause burns on the leaves, which appear as yellow or white spots. Over time, these spots can become brown and dry.

Unstable lighting: If the orchid changes its location, it can cause stress. For example, moving from a shady spot to direct sunlight can cause shock and yellowing of the leaves.

Pollution and pests as potential culprits


Aphids: These miniature insects are found on the underside of the leaves, sucking the sap from the plant, which leads to yellowing, crookedness and wilting of the leaves.

Spider mites: The appearance of a thin web on an orchid may indicate its presence. It also sucks out plant juices, draining the vitality from the plant.

Scabbard: Small brown or black growths on the leaves can indicate their presence. They absorb plant juices, reducing the overall vitality of the plant.


Uncontrolled fertilization: Excessive fertilizer can "burn" the roots, leading to their death and yellowing of the leaves.

Water with a high mineral content: The use of "hard" water can accumulate salts in the soil, which negatively affects the roots.

Root problems and their effect on leaf yellowing

Root rot: Waterlogging the soil can lead to root rot. Yellowing leaves are caused by the loss of a root system that cannot deliver enough water and nutrients.

Root dryness: If the soil is too dry or the plant is without water for a long time, the roots can dry out. The leaves turn yellow because they are not getting the nutrition they need.

Physical injury: Damage to the root system during transplantation or as a result of mechanical damage can cause stress to the plant and yellow leaves.

Outdated substrate: If the substrate becomes too old and compacted, the roots cannot get enough air, which can lead to rot.

Infections: Fungal or bacterial infections can attack the roots, causing them to weaken and the leaves to turn yellow.

To avoid problems with the roots, it is important to check their condition regularly, choose the right substrate, and follow the recommended watering regimen.

Check water for salt and chemicals

The water used for watering plants can contain various salts and chemicals that, in high concentrations, can be harmful to plants, causing yellowing of leaves, root burns, and other problems.

Water testing: There are special water testing kits that can be purchased at garden centers or online. These kits measure various water parameters, including the concentration of dissolved solids (TDS) and pH level.

Water filtration: If the test reveals high levels of unwanted chemicals, it is recommended to use reverse osmosis systems or carbon filters to purify the water before watering the plant.

Use of rainwater: Rainwater is often less hard and can be a great option for watering orchids, especially if the local water is high in salts or chlorine.

Too high or low temperatures as a cause of stress for the plant

Dehydration: At high temperatures, the plant can lose water faster than it can absorb it, leading to wilted and yellowed leaves.

Cell damage: Low temperatures can freeze cell fluid, destroying cell walls, resulting in wilting, blackening or yellowing of the leaves.

Adaptation to changes: Sudden changes in temperature can be particularly harmful to orchids. If a sharp drop in temperature is expected, it is better to move the plant to a warmer place or protect it.

To maintain the health of orchids, it is important to monitor the temperature regime, especially during the cold season and hot summer days.

Care recommendations: how to prevent yellowing of leaves

Proper watering regime: Try to avoid waterlogging the soil. Make sure the pot has good drainage holes and the substrate allows water to pass freely.

Optimal light level: Orchids need bright but diffused light. Avoid direct sunlight, especially on hot days.

Maintain stable temperature conditions: Avoid sudden temperature fluctuations by providing warmth during the cold season and coolness during hot summer days.

Check for pests regularly: If you find pests, start treating with appropriate products immediately.

Use a quality substrate: The substrate should be loose and well-drained so that the roots have enough air.

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Why orchid leaves turn yellow: detailed care and tips