Why do orchids turn yellow leaves?

Orchid is an incredibly beautiful flower, beloved by many growers. But this tropical plant rather sensitively reacts to improper care and inappropriate conditions. Often beginning flower growers, despite the constant concern for the green pet, are faced with the fact that the color of its foliage changes. Why do orchids turn yellow leaves and what to do if the plant shows signs of disease?


Usually the leaves are the first to react to adverse conditions: they begin to turn yellow, wilt, they may appear stains. Here are the main answers to the question why the orchid turns yellow.

Dry soil

If the plant really suffers from a lack of moisture, then, in addition to yellowness, this is manifested in the fact that the leaves become wrinkled and sluggish and eventually dry out. Even with regular watering, an orchid may lack moisture if it is watered incorrectly. Since the flower does not grow in ordinary soil, but in a special substrate, the water in it is poorly retained when watering in the classical way - with the help of a watering can. In relation to the orchid, a method of immersion is used: a transparent pot with a flower is lowered for 15 minutes into a container of water at 3/4 of its height. After that, the water must drain: it is necessary to prevent rotting of the roots. To determine whether the orchid needs watering is not enough to check the top layer of the substrate. The bark of which it consists, dries very quickly on the surface, but there may be enough moisture inside. Therefore, it is necessary to check the humidity at a depth of 3-4 cm. Especially negatively dried soil can affect varieties such as Phalaenopsis, Odontoglossum and Cymbidium.

Why do orchids turn yellow leaves?

Too moist soil

One of the most common reasons why orchids turn yellow leaves is excessive soil moisture. This is due to the fact that flower growers estimate its moisture content on the upper layer, which, as already mentioned, dries very quickly. Another reason - often after watering do not drain excess water. This can lead to rotting of the roots and the appearance of fungi that infect the whole plant and its "neighbors." Additional signs that the flower receives an excessive amount of moisture are:

  • yellowness on all leaves;
  • softness and moisture of foliage;
  • the appearance of dark spots on the leaves, trunk and roots.

If you have noticed these signs in an orchid, then you need to pull the flower out of the substrate and, based on the state of the roots, carry out "resuscitation": remove damaged parts, process with antifungal agents, or transplant into a fresh substrate.

Such varieties as Dendrobium, Oncidium and Cattley can especially suffer from an excess of moisture.

Hard water

orchid leaves turn yellow

Watering with water with a high level of calcium salts has a very negative effect on the plant: accumulating, they prevent the absorption of iron by the flower, which is why the lower leaves first and then the other leaves turn yellow and fall off over time. In this case, the orchid is transplanted into fresh soil and make dressing (foliar). If the leaves turn yellow in the orchid during flowering, instead of transplanting, it is necessary to sprinkle the soil with distilled water and feed in the same way. Water the flower should be filtered or at least separated by water.

Too dry air

In addition to watering, orchid needs spraying with warm water, especially in winter, when the air in the rooms is dry.

Lack of power

Lack of nutrition for orchids

Why do orchids turn yellow leaves, but at the same time remain elastic, do not frown, and the plant stops growing? What to do in this case? The combination of signs suggests that it lacks nutrition, in particular, potassium. This problem is easy to fix: you must start making regular root fertilizer fertilizer for orchids, and be sure to alternate them with foliar.

Excess fertilizer

Often for sale, plants are fed with fertilizers to stimulate their growth and flowering. But some time after the purchase, the orchid begins to turn yellow. In this case, it must be transplanted into a new substrate or, if it is in the flowering stage, wash the soil with distilled water.

Cold air, drafts

yellow orchid

Although this representative of the flora needs fresh air, when airing, the flowers need to be removed from the draft, and also to prevent cold air from falling from the air conditioner.

Direct sunlight

The orchid is very fond of light, but does not tolerate direct sunlight, especially on hot summer days when they cause burns. This manifests itself as a roughness on the leaves, then the appearance of individual yellow, brown or dry spots in places where the sun's rays fall for a long time. Over time, the foliage can completely wilt and fall off. To stop the process, it is enough to rearrange the flower in a place with ambient light (but not in the shade!), Damaged leaves can not be removed. Especially dangerous to stay in the sun can be for orchid species with light green foliage.

Lack of lighting

Lack of lighting for the orchid

If the leaves begin to turn yellow from the base and in some cases lengthen, this may indicate that the plant does not have enough light. If nothing is done, the stem will turn black with time, and the plant will die. To restore the orchid, it is necessary to cut off the diseased leaves and rearrange the flower in a lighter place. In dark rooms or in the winter phytolamps can be used. Such varieties as Lellia, Angrekum, Wanda, Rinhostislis and Cattleya especially need good lighting.

Update cycle

Most often it happens that the lower leaves of the orchid turn yellow. In this case, perhaps none of the above options are suitable, and the reason lies only in the fact that the plant discards old leaves. At the same time, 1 or a maximum of 2 lower sheets turn yellow, and the rest retain their normal color and elasticity. Depending on the type, the flower can shed its leaves every year either once in 2 years, sometimes even less often (1 time in 5 years). It is necessary to wait until the yellowed leaves dry out, and then carefully separate them.

Close Orchid Pot

Cramped pot

If the root system does not have enough space for development, this also negatively affects the orchid: it begins to turn yellow and weaken.

Although an orchid is a plant that is quite sensitive to improper care, it may for a long time not show signs of poor health. For example, in case of insufficient lighting, she will find the strength to grow safely and even bloom within 1-2 years, and after this time will begin to turn yellow. Irregular irrigation can also tolerate the plant for several months. But it will take a lot of time to restore the orchid too.

Whatever the reason for the yellowing of orchid leaves, it is always a signal that all is not well in the conditions or care of the plant. If you ignore these signs, it will continue to hurt and may eventually die. Therefore, you should immediately take some measures to restore the flower.

When growing, you should take into account the characteristics of each variety, because there are varieties that are used to the hot tropical climate, and there are some that tolerate a cooler atmosphere. If necessary conditions are met, an orchid can remain a wonderful decoration for a house for many years.

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