How-To

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow – Reasons and Solutions

Orchid leaves can turn yellow for several reasons. This condition is known as chlorosis, usually caused by deficiencies in the plant’s ability to absorb iron from the soil. Orchid plants naturally lack the enzymes needed to properly absorb some essential minerals from the soil. That said, adding iron-rich amendments to your orchid potting mix and providing plenty of light will usually reverse this yellowing. It’s also good to check that your orchids aren’t getting too much iron when repotting them. Plants should be moved into a fresh growing medium rather than an existing pot. In addition, soaking the roots in a bucket of water containing Epsom salts before repotting will help reduce any excess iron in the new potting medium and dilute any excess soil that might be causing an Iron deficiency in your plant.

Yellowing stems and roots often accompany yellowing leaves. This is known as chlorosis, usually caused by deficiencies in the plant’s ability to absorb iron from the Soil. Orchid plants naturally lack the enzymes needed to absorb this essential mineral from the Soil properly. That said, adding iron-rich amendments to your orchid potting mix and providing plenty of light will usually reverse this yellowing. It’s also good to check that your orchids aren’t getting too much iron when repotting them. Plants should be moved into a fresh growing medium rather than an existing pot. In addition, soaking the roots in a bucket of water containing Epsom salts before repotting will help reduce any excess iron in the new potting medium and dilute any excess soil that might be causing an Iron deficiency in your plant.

Causes of Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow

  • Bored Leaf rolled Up.
    A decline in plant vigor often causes bored or rolled-up leaves. These leaves have been pushed down by the lower leaves, making them fall out of the light. This is often accompanied by reduced growth on the top of the plant. To encourage the re-growth of these leaves, repot your orchid into a fresh potting mix and provide more light throughout the growing area.

  • Dry Soil and too Little Humidity
    A dry, low-moisture growing area can also result in yellowing leaves. To prevent this:
    Ensure that your watering pot is filled with potting mix.
    In addition, use a humidifier in your room if the humidity is too low.
    If the dryness is still an issue, add a teaspoon of mild liquid fertilizer to the potting mix every week.

  • Remove and Discard the Old Root Growth
    Remove any old root growth from the base of the orchid pot before repotting. This will reduce the risk of root rot and increase the flow of nutrient-rich water to the new roots. Remove the old roots from the potting mix and place the mix in the orchid pot, watering it thoroughly.

  • Iron Deficiency
    Iron deficiency is a common problem in orchid cultivation, and it can often be solved by repotting the plant and adding iron-rich amendments to the potting mix. Iron deficiency is caused by a lack of iron in the Soil. This results in chlorosis, the yellowing of the plant’s leaves. In addition, iron deficiency can result in the leaves turning red or pale green. Iron deficiency can often be solved by adding iron-rich amendments to the potting mix. Iron is usually added to Soil when it is first grown. However, iron is not usually fully available to plants until they have grown in it for a few weeks. Iron levels are usually low during this time, which is why iron deficiency is often seen in orchids.

  • Fungal infection
    Yellowing orchid leaves might also be infected with a fungal infection. Take a leaf and run it under cool water to check for fungal infection. You could have a fungal infection if it turns green rather than yellow. There are many types of fungal infections in orchids. The most common is bacterial root rot, which is caused by bacteria. The yellowing of the roots characterizes it. You will often see black or brown spots on the roots. The next most common fungal infection is an orchid fungus. This is a fungal infection that causes the leaves to turn yellow. There are many different kinds of orchid fungus, but they all cause a yellowing of the leaves. If you notice an infection on a plant’s leaves, the best thing to do is to cut the infected leaves off so that the fungal infection cannot spread to other parts of the plant. Wait until the infection is gone before repotting the plant.

  • Too Much Light and Heat
    A sign that your orchid is being over-exposed to light is yellowing leaves. Bright, direct sunlight is the main cause of this. So, don’t position your orchid near a window that is directly shining a light on it. To reduce the risk of your orchid being exposed to too much heat, position it away from a heat source, such as a radiator or a radiative heating system. You can also try raising the temperature of your room by using a radiator fan or a room thermostat.

  • Too Much Cold
    Contrary to popular belief, orchids do not like cold. They should be kept at a temperature of around 18°C (64°F) during the day and around 10°C (50°F) at night. If the temperature is too low, it is best to bring it up a little rather than try to heat it. If your orchids are being exposed to low temperatures, place them near a heater or in a heated greenhouse. Make sure that the orchid is kept warm, not hot.

  • Too Much Sun and Toughened Leaves
    High temperatures, especially direct sunlight, can also cause your orchid leaves to become hardened or tannin-stained. This is known as ‘toughening’ and is usually the result of excessive sunlight or high temperatures. Try moving your orchid from a position exposed to direct sunlight to a more sheltered location. When moving an orchid pot, make sure that you first remove any old root growth from the pot. This will also help reduce the risk of the new potting mix being exposed to high temperatures.

  • Removal of Root Stock
    The roots of an orchid plant are very important, as they provide the plant with essential nutrients and water. Therefore, it is important to ensure they are not removed during repotting. The roots of an orchid should always be cut off below the soil line. This prevents the roots from blocking the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot, and it also prevents the roots from being exposed to high temperatures. Roots removed during repotting should always be soaked in water before being put back into the pot. This prevents them from drying out and being burned.

  • Re-pot Orchids and Move to a New Potting Medium
    As your orchid plant grows, the roots will push out of the pot’s side. When this happens, you should report the plant to a new pot. This will allow the roots to grow downwards again, away from the sides of the pot.

If you’ve noticed your orchid has started growing roots outside its pot, it may be time to consider a change in environment. Your plant will likely continue to grow if you leave it alone, but if you notice that the soil becomes dry, you might want to re-pot it to keep it hydrated and healthy. If your orchid is indoors, add some fresh potting medium and water.

A lot of orchids don’t like to move around too much. They may sit there happily for years if you cannot re-pot them every few months. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – some orchids prefer stability. But if your orchid starts growing into the sides of its pot, it might look tired and unhealthy. It could also dry out. So check back every six months to see if the plant needs changing.

If you notice any of these signs, it probably does, but if you wonder whether or not your plant is sick, it might want to be checked by a professional.

If you notice any problems with your plants, it is best to keep them hydrated by misting them regularly throughout the day. The humidity level may change depending on where you live, but if it drops below 40%, water once every couple of days. Keep the temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 degrees Celsius) during the day.