Why Are My Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow | 10 Reason & Fixes

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Just about the most worrying thing related to orchid health care is usually the appearance of orchid leaves turning yellow. The leaves on orchids typically live for a couple of years. The leaves could quite possibly inform you of the entire healthiness of the plant; for that reason, it’s essential to take note of any differences.

Many factors exist for what reason orchid yellow leaves appear. Leaves’ color change is an early symptom of a dying orchid plant. When you see unusual color changes you have to pay more attention to your loving plant.

Let’s discuss reasons for orchids turning leaves yellow that aren’t aged and not at the bottom of the flower but young leaves on the orchid.

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow
Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow

How Do I Know The Yellowing Is Normal?

First, you have to check how many leaves turning yellow. Generally, one or two bottom leaves start changing color which is a completely normal scenario. You do not afraid of such behavior.

Orchids, such as all other flowers, get older, and during that aging change, the older leaves will turn a yellow color and die. For that reason, your yellow orchid leaves could be simply a signal that the flower leaves might be affected by age.

Don’t worry if it is just occurring to the oldest foliage, as they might be just drying out with time. Remember that the old leaves on the orchid plant are usually in the bottom. If you notice middle or top leaves color changes then your orchid is not happy and it is not a normal situation.


9 Reasons why orchid yellow leaves can appear.

There are several reasons that your plant changes its leaves’ color. We cannot give an exact reason; by closely checking the plant’s physical appearance and its potting mix and environment, we can conclude this.

1. Bacterial as well as fungal problems.

Bacterial and fungus attack is one of the main reason for yellow orchid leaves. Microbial and fungal problems on orchid leaves will show themselves, such as abnormal yellow-colored spots on the leaf. When you see unnatural yellowish spots on the leaves, this could be the consequence of some fungal infection. However, it would not turn the whole leaf yellow.

Most of the time we can see bacterial and fungus activities due to high moisture on the orchid potting mix and temperature changes. Another reason for bacterial and fungus inflection is applying fertilizer in the fall. High nitrogen in the potting medium can increase bacterial/fungus activities.

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You have to immediately take an action to prevent such a disease. Otherwise, these infections can easily spread to other plants as well.

Fix bacterial/ fungus activities.

First, isolate the inflect orchid from other plants and use a good chemical or natural treatment to prevent bacterial and fungal problems. Introducing charcoal for the orchid potting mix can mitigate further inflection. It is necessary to repot orchids with sterilized potting mix.


2. Another factor is excessive light:

Just about the most usual factors that cause orchid yellow leaves are too much light. If you have your orchid outdoors, mainly just where it is the midday sunlight, it can cause burns areas on the leaves.

Unfortunately, the yellow leaves will stay yellowish and will certainly not turn back into the bright green tone. You will undoubtedly have colorful green leaves again once the flower seems to have recovered and with new leaves growing.

How to fix too much light.

It is better to provide good partial shade for your plants. You can use a good UV-filtered curtain for this. Move your plant to the north-facing window.


3. Overwatering:

Sometimes, an excessive amount of water can also cause yellowish leaves. However, in most of these situations, you might have evidence of decay as well. Just one type of orchid that prefers normal moist conditions will be Vandas. In contrast to almost all others, varieties prefer to dry out between watering.

How to fix orchid overwatering.

You can introduce more inorganic matters to your orchid potting mix. Like perlite, pumice, and fired clay chips. These materials will reduce the moisture level. Furthermore, always water once the potting media are completely dried out. Orchids love to sit on dry medium. It is not recommended to use a high amount of moss for your potting media. Moss can retain a high level of water than any other ingredients.


4. Orchid foliage wet longer time.

orchid leaves yellowing
orchid leaves yellowing

Prolonged wetting of orchid leaves and stems can cause yellowing of leaves and rot on the leaves. Further, it can extend to orchid crown rot. Mainly this issue occurs as a result of water evening or late at night. Because there is not enough time to evaporate water droplets on the leaves.

You have to be more careful in winter and fall. Because these season water evaporation too low. During this time the leaf surface is at risk of retaining moisture for a long time. It is a big threat to plant life.

See also  How To Make Orchids Bloom Faster, Constantly Rebloom

Fixe leaves wetness.

Water early morning or morning. Then it has plenty of time to evaporate moisture on the leaves and stem. In the winter do not water directly to leaves, using a squeezing bottle directly apply water to the orchid potting mix.


5. Environmental factors and orchid yellow leaves.

Another reason for orchid plant leaves turning yellow is cold temperature. Orchids hate any cold, which means that they take all of them away from windows and locations where they might be affected by the cold. Suppose your orchids are actually outside the house.

In that case, you need to carry all of them indoors if the temperature drops below 55°F (12°C). Orchids need moisture to promote growth, but remember that water can cause fungus to grow, which also causes orchid leaves turning yellow.


How to fix low temperature. 

The perfect environment for orchids to thrive is between 64-90°F (18-32°C) throughout the day and no below 55°F (12°C) at night. In a cold winter, it is recommended to move your plant to a small greenhouse with a good plant heater. A warmer indoor area is also a good place to grow orchids.


6. Lack of Nutrients.

Whenever orchids plants might suffer from nitrogen, iron, and magnesium insufficiency, which may cause orchid leaves yellowing. This is a common reason for indoor plants. Because indoor there is lack of nutrients in the air. Therefore aerial roots cannot absorb nutrients from the air.

Chlorophyll is responsible for developing the plant green color. Thus nitrogen, magnesium, and Iron deficiency in orchids changes lead to orchids developing yellow leaves. This natural phenomenon is called chlorosis.

Nitrogen deficiencies can be further confirmed by examining the physical appearance of the plant. If the orchid is mature small, it does not have enough nitrogen.


How to fix nutrient deficiencies. 

Repot orchid plant if you feel necessary, and let your orchid determine a new root structure. As soon as it is established, apply some nitrogen and micro mineral-based feed at regular intervals (Always follow manufacture specified intervals). All the time spray diluted liquid fertilizer for the orchid aerial roots and leaves. This plant loves to collect nutrients from its aerial roots.

However excessive fertilizer can dehydrate lead to killing your orchid. Therefore always apply the manufacturer’s recommended amount at a specified period.


7. Surroundings toxin:

Ensure that the environment nearby your orchids is toxin-free, mainly because toxic gases coming from products such as coloring and cleaning liquids can also result in orchid yellow leaves.

See also  Why are orchid roots dry shriveled?

Fix toxins.

Moving your plant to a well-ventilated place is a simple and effective method to provide fresh air. Near the opened window sill is a good location in your house.


8. Too low brightness.

When you are growing your orchids in too much darker environments like bathrooms or windowless rooms, your plant leaves start changing color. These tropical climate plants prefer to get a few hours of bright sunlight. When it reduces bright light (not direct sun), it reduces booming and produces new leaves.

Fix low light.

Therefore move your plant close to a windowsill or use a grow light. south-facing and west-facing can get more direct sun and north or east-facing windows benefit from indirect light.

Hence it is more beneficial to expose your plant to a bright light source for a couple of hours.


9. Fertilize burn.

Overfertilization is also a threat to the orchids. Early signs of the overfed plant are the tips of its roots start dying and turn roots brown. Then leaves tips start browning and pseudobulbs and orchids leave turning yellow. If you do not take action, the orchid plant starts dying.

Unlike other situations of orchid overfertilization, the initial stage leaves not change to yellow. Therefore always follow the fertilizer manufacture instructions on its pack.

How to fix overfertilize.

If you are lucky enough and identify the overfertilized orchid, wash the root system using diluted water and repot the orchid plant in a fresh potting mix. Do not reuse the old potting mix ingredients they already contain fertilizer salt.


10. Old Foliage death.

Over time orchid bottom leaves turning yellow and die. This is a completely natural reason. At the same time plant develop more new leaves. Generally, these plants’ leaves last for a year. Once they reached the end of life start turning yellow.


Now you can find the exact reason that your orchid leaves turning yellow. You have to take action to prevent it immediately. Because this is an early sign of a drying orchid plant, you may lose your loving indoor plant if you get delayed.

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  1. Maria Jose Claro

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