Why do orchids turn yellow leaves: identify and eliminate the causes

Orchid is one of the most spectacular, luxurious, having a large number of species and varieties of exotic plants. Now it is universally grown not only in greenhouses, but also on window sills. Sometimes pets begin to hurt, the lower leaves turn yellow and disappear. Why is this happening and what needs to be done in this case? The answers to these questions are in this article.

Criteria for choosing a healthy plant when buying

  1. When buying a plant, you need to pay attention to the appearance of its leaves and roots. The leaves should be green, shiny with a wax coating without stains or damage.
  2. The roots of a healthy orchid are elastic, strong, without visible cliffs. The plant should sit tightly in a pot. Flowers do not play a decisive role in the condition of the plant, but it is better to choose a specimen with a few unopened buds.
  3. A reliable place to acquire a healthy flower is the greenhouse, where you can get expert advice on the conditions of its cultivation. It’s better not to risk buying a plant at a discount. Otherwise, you can get a sick and weak specimen, which is difficult to care for, and even dangerous for the surrounding flowers.
  4. If orchids in the store were next to other plants, then there is a chance of their infection by pests (scale insects, snails, etc.). These items must be carefully inspected when purchasing. The infected flower should be separated from other plants and sprayed with a special solution.
  5. To acquire this delicate flower is better in the warm season. If the temperature is low outside, then in order to avoid hypothermia, the purchased plant is carefully packed in paper or cellophane.

Yellow leaves of an orchid: reasons

Why do orchids turn yellow leaves

When leaves turn yellow and die in pets, this causes a natural alarm. Here are the main reasons for this phenomenon listed below.


Plants go through a leaf aging cycle. Dendrobium usually changes foliage every year after flowering. Some types of orchids in the process of natural aging can change only one or two lower leaves. There are also those that renew leaves less often - once every 3-5 years, during the rest period. Typically, such leaves completely dry and fall off themselves. To tear off or cut off the yellow leaves in this case should not be.

Incorrect lighting or watering

For a heat-loving orchid, bright scattered rays of light are important. Under natural conditions, it grows in a hot tropical climate. The lack of lighting causes increased yellowing of the leaves. However, direct exposure to light can cause burns.

Improper watering is most often due to excess moisture. This plant in vivo withstands for a long time without watering. Therefore, it should not be poured. The state of the soil can not be judged by its upper layer, which dries quickly. The soil is best tested with a wooden stick. They pierce the soil deep enough. If the soil is moist at a depth, then the plant does not need watering yet.

Lack or excess of fertilizing

The composition of top dressing is very important for the tropic native to bring the conditions of its growth as close as possible to the natural ones. Potassium plays a big role in orchidsbecause It promotes the rejuvenation of plant tissues. A lack of potassium and iron contributes to yellowing of the leaves. A common situation is when flower sellers, trying to give them the best presentation, unlimitedly use various growth stimulants. Such overfeeding is most often detected only after a couple of years, when the plant depletes the supply of such nutrition. Phalaenopsis sharply turns yellow and fades. With an excess of calcium, yellowing of the ends of the leaves is characteristic.


Orchids with improper care are susceptible to various diseases. Most often, the reason lies in the waterlogging of the soil. This favors a variety of fungal diseases. The roots rot, the infection spreads further, causing a lack of nutrients. The most common of the fungi are bacterial spotting, anthracosis, powdery mildew, gray rot. Viral infections of orchids are quite rare. Mosaic leaf spot sometimes affects phalaenopsis, cymbidium.


The presence of parasites can often be determined visually, their condition is indicated by the condition of the soil coma, roots and leaves. If you put a flower pot in a container with water so that it reaches its edges, then after a while you can observe how all the pests will try to get out of the water. The most dangerous of them are millipedes, wood lice, earthworms, whiteflies, thrips, ants, snails, scale insects, aphids, and nematodes.

Other reasons

  • Hard water greases the soil. This leads to functional chlorosis, in which yellow spots appear on the leaves, and they soon fall off;
  • too close a flowerpot does not allow the root system to develop and eat normally;
  • with a sharp change in growing conditions (lighting, temperature, watering and others), the plant may manifest stress;
  • dry air due to the close proximity of heaters in winter. In this case, you also need a humidifier or regular spraying;
  • the neighborhood of plants incompatible with orchids - yucca, araucaria, peperomia, cordilina.

How to water orchids

Yellowed orchid leaves: what to do and how to save the plant

If your pet has yellowed leaves and the plant disappears, you must first diagnose the cause of this disaster. To save a tropical beauty in most cases is possible. Only with viral diseases, a sick plant is most often subject to destruction. Help is applied differentially depending on the causes of the accident:

  • Hard water. Mandatory transplantation into a balanced substrate with washing the leaves with liquid top dressing ("Pokon", "Bona Forte"). Transplanting is not advisable during flowering. In this case, watering is carried out with half diluted distilled water.
  • Stimulant overdose. For 2 weeks, feeding should be discarded. And then do them no more than once every two weeks with special fertilizers for orchids, diluting them in half. For the appearance of new leaves, preparations with a nitrogen content are needed. Otherwise, a plant without leaves will not be able to fully bloom and die.
  • In case of overdose of fertilizers rinse the roots of the plant with running water, avoid feeding for at least a month and a half.

  • In the fight from fungal infection effective spraying "Vitaros", "Fundazolom", "Fitolavinom." First you need to trim the affected roots and foliage. Then, after transplanting the plants into clean soil, they must be treated with these drugs again. In the fight against rot, daily triple washing of the flower with 0.2% solution of baseazole helps 10 days.
  • With a tick should use "Agrovertin", "Karbofos", and then transplant the plant.
  • In the fight against whitefly and many other pests need to resort to the help of Actellika. Before using it, you can wash the plant with a weak solution of laundry soap. Prophylactically, you can wipe the leaves with water once every five days and spray it once a month with a weak solution of Actellik.
  • Periodically during dormancy need to transplant the plant in a pot with a diameter of 2 cm larger than the previous one with a layer of drainage. Then, with balanced watering, moisture will not stagnate excessively.

The causes of yellowing of the leaves of the orchid is improper care for it, namely:

  1. Lack of lighting or burns from direct sunlight.
  2. Invalid pot size.
  3. Lack of potassium and iron or an excess of calcium.
  4. Unbalanced watering or dry air.
  5. Overfeeding with biostimulants before purchase.
  6. The neighborhood of incompatible plants with it.
  7. Diseases and pests.
  8. Stress from a sharp change in living conditions.

How to save an orchid

Knowing these reasons, you can effectively deal with their consequences, so that the tropical beauty will please us for many years.