5 Ways to Save Your Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow

With more than a hundred thousand varieties and twenty-five thousand species, orchid families are undoubtedly the largest family of blooming flowers found on the market. Although most orchids are grown as flowers to beautify the surroundings and as houseplants, not all of them are tropical beauties.


For instance, wild orchids grow everywhere except Antarctica; this is because of their constant need for a relatively high humidity and filtered light. But other orchids like Phalaenopsis orchid (moth orchid) are very easy to grow as blooming flowers as well as houseplants.

What is An Orchid

You can easily differentiate orchid leaves from other flowering plants by their three main features. They are the column (which is made up of stamens and pistils), small seeds (without endosperm and an organized embryo), and their pollen.

From time immemorial, orchid has been known to be an important flowering plant. It is associated with beauty, fertility, refinement, thoughtfulness, charm, and love among many races. They are used as a gift on important occasions.

The only disgusting part of seeing your orchid flowers bloom in an incredible way is seeing your orchid leaves turning yellow either as a result of overexposure to sunlight or stress due to low temperature. This is why you need to know how to save your orchid leaves turning yellow.

How to Save Your Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow

Due to the construction of their stems, leaves, and their flower shape, orchids are a little more complex, either as a houseplant or ornamental flower. Not only are they treasured by people of many races but their radiant and blooming colors make them stand out and easily noticeable from other flowering plants.

That is why it is imperative to monitor the growth of your orchids and take care of them right from the germination. Listed below are some basic ways that you can take to keep your orchids healthy and prevent their leaves from turning yellow.

1. Move Your Orchid Away From Direct Sunlight

Move Orchid Away From Direct Sunlight

Overexposure to sunlight is one of the major reasons why your orchid leaves turn yellow. Always keep your orchid leaves out of direct sunlight, bright light or putting a curtain to protect it from burning or been scorched when it is in contact with direct sunlight.

In fact, in summer season, orchids can get actual burn spots on their leaves. Place the plant in an indirect bright light for a while and it will regain itself just fine. The leaves will remain with yellow color and will not regain its green color.

All these depend on the amount of light on the orchid. Orchids with broader leaves require less light than those with thinner leaves.

2. Reduce Watering Your Orchid

Watering Orchid

Via ehow.com

If you notice edema, this is a symptom caused by overwatering. This happens when its roots absorb water faster than the leaves sheds through evapotranspiration.

This causes the leaves to have rough dark spots to appearing on its surface, which stays permanently but does no harm.

Overwatering your plant can lead to rotten roots, which can in return, cause its leaves to turn yellow and this will definitely freak you out. The species that requires a permanent condition that’s damp is the Vandas, whereas more than half prefer to dry in between watering.

If your plant falls among the majority, avoid watering for a week or two and treat this plant with anti-fungal preparation. You can water the plant when a part of it is rooted is getting whitening and dry before watering make sure the holes in the pot are enough to allow easy drainage.

3. Cut Away Yellow Leaves

Yellow Orchid Leaf

Via prosolutionsblog.com

When flowers turn yellow, cut down the spike up to the leaves to avoid spreading of the yellowing and the orchid plant will grow a stronger stem with larger flowers.

But make sure you use a sterile cutting tool like x-octo blade or a razor blade (new) from pack. They are great cutting tools for precision. You can also sterilize your tool using the first aid that is used on people and also by using alcohol.

Also boiling water works, but could lead to metal rust if you are not careful. Please note that it’s important that you just don’t cut your orchid leave anywhere because it could damage your orchid leaf further. Make sure you cut damaged leaf at where it meets at a union point on the plant or at the leaf base to avoid disease passing from one orchid leaf to another.

4. Increase the Level of Nitrogen

Chemical Fertilizer

Do you have enough nitrogen in your fertilizer? Your plant could be suffering from a nitrogen deficiency which also causes your orchid leaves turning yellow which could be disgusting.

Repot the orchid plant if you think it’s mandatory, and allow your orchid to reestablish a new root system. Once reestablished, apply nitrogen based feed at a regular interval.

Orchid plant absorbs nutrients through the roots hence all fertilizers should be less concentrated and water soluble. Make use of balanced orchid plant fertilizer (with the fertilization container number, which is 20-20-20 or 20-10-10). This can also be used in fertilizing your orchid plants.

Use always clear clean water to flush out any piled up salts from your potting mix. Always feed your orchids plant with high nitrogen fertilizer weekly, but always remember to dilute the nitrogen fertilizer with the guide given.

Orchid plants need sixteen (16) nutrients, seven micronutrients and nine macronutrients. They are called macronutrients because they are needed in large quantity. Examples of macronutrients - nitrogen (n), potassium (k), carbon (c), calcium (ca), phosphorus (p), sulphur (s), magnesium (mg), hydrogen (h), oxygen (o) and micronutrients- iron (Fe), manganese (mn), chlorine (cl), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), baron (b), molybdenum (mo).

Some use the sequence of fertilization to twice or once a month if you do notice the tips of leaves turning yellow. Always dilute the nitrogen fertilizers with an addition of water, as orchids need only one-quarter strength of the fertilizer.

5. Maintain a Normal Temperatures

Maintain a Normal Temperatures

Extreme low temperatures also cause your orchid leaves turning yellow.

Orchids should be kept in a room with temperatures that ranges from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. 

If your orchids are suffering from prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, simply move the orchid plant to a warmer place in your home.

Orchid plants are tropical plants that prefer warm climates. Always avoid putting your orchids close to cooling or heating fans or vents. This takes up to 10 days. 95º F is the maximum temperature recommended.

Temperatures close to the window will be hotter or colder than your house (internally) temperatures which can cause bud drop on plants. However, they also like a nice contrast between night and day temperatures.

Time to Save Your Orchid...

Taking care of your orchids should not pose a problem to you only if you take time to learn what they need. They can continue to bloom all year long and even indefinitely when properly taken care of.

Most orchids require a moderate amount of water, moderate temperature level, and slight exposure to sunlight, regular repotting and application of orchid fertilizer. This keeps them healthy and prevents their leaves from turning yellow.

I hope you have really had a nice time reading through this article; and you have gained enough knowledge to protect your orchid leaves from turning yellow.

Let me know your thoughts and comments towards the article as they will help to serve you better in subsequent posts. If you did enjoy the article, do not hesitate to share it on your social media accounts and with your friends as well.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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