Why do orchid leaves turn yellow?


Orchid - one of the most popular home flowers. And although it looks fragile and very gentle, in fact it is a hardy plant, especially new species. And yet, with the wrong care and in some other cases, various problems may appear. Most often growers complain about yellowing of leaves for seemingly incomprehensible reasons. Why do orchids turn yellow leaves and what to do with this is described in this article.

Causes of yellowing leaves

Homemade orchids are open-root epiphytic plants. The modern species that can be grown at home include: Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Tselogin, Brasiya, Miltonia, Cattleya, Phalaenopsis - one of the most popular plants and some others.

Insufficient watering as one of the main mistakes in the care of orchids

The reasons why the leaves turn yellow in orchids very much. Here it is necessary to take into account many factors. Listed below are the factors that can cause this symptom.

  • Aging leaflets.
  • Lack of light.
  • Direct sunlight.
  • Lack of moisture or its excess.
  • Frequent fertilization.
  • Pests or diseases.

In addition, stressful conditions can also cause yellowing. In this case, not only leaflets are affected. Peduncle fades quickly, leaves turn yellow, become covered with specks and completely fall off.

But what can a flower become a lot of stress? This could include any drastic changes that, in one way or another, relate to the plant. Even a new flower, which was recently placed near, can be the cause of such a reaction! The same applies to injuries of the root system, leaves, pagon.

Why do orchids turn yellow lower leaves?

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Aging is one of the most frequent reasons why orchid leaves turn yellow. This fact is rarely considered a novice florist, they immediately begin to suspect the disease, improper care, inappropriate conditions for growth. And yet the orchid, though a resistant culture, can also grow old. The leaves turn yellow and fall over time, so that new, young ones grow. This is a completely natural process that cannot be prevented or stopped.

Yellow Orchid Leaves

Interesting! Seasonal yellowing and full fall of the foliage can be observed exclusively in the Dendrobium orchid.

To determine that the leaves simply grow old is very simple - the lower leaves will be yellow, not the upper leaves - only the lower tier! The process lasts a long time, within 2-3 months. So if the lower leaves have turned yellow, but all the others have a natural color, then the reason is aging. Such a process is peculiar primarily to the species Pafiopedilum and Phalaenopsis.

Why do the leaves of the Phalaenopsis orchid turn yellow?

Why do orchid leaves turn yellow? This question concerns many flower growers, especially those who plant Phalaenopsis orchids. This culture is known to be very sensitive to care and therefore, if such a problem has appeared, you should pay attention to care.

Orchid Phalaenopsis photo

  • Water scarcity. If the water is low, the leaves will turn yellow, wrinkle and fall off, because they will have nothing to eat. In this case, the state of the plant is usually satisfactory, in the early stages, the root system should also be in order - greenish with pearl shimmer. No other symptoms, problems should be observed.
  • If the plant is rare, but plentifully watered. In the case of orchids, the substrate should not be dry or filled with water. If a lot of moisture leaves begin to turn yellow, fade, but in addition, the sheet plate becomes less dense, wet (a sign of rotting). Dark spots are formed on the leaves, the roots become dark in color, black spots are also possible. The stalk acquires a patina and may also darken.
  • Orchid loves light, but in moderation. Direct sunlight for a long time can cause burns. This happens when the plant is long in the south or west window and not darkened.
Important! With a sunburn, the leaf plate of the orchid will not recover, even if you move the flower to another place. The leaf will wither anyway. But this is minimal damage and the plant will quickly recover if the lighting is adjusted.
  • With a lack of light, an orchid at home can live for 1-2 years, and then it fades, the leaves turn yellow and the flower dies completely. If the florist does not want such a short life for the plant, you need to find a more lighted place for him.
  • In order for the plant to more actively bloom, rejuvenate faster, flower growers often use mineral dressings. But at greenhouse cultivation for orchids so many minerals is a big burden. They help for a short time, stimulate flowering, but after a year the culture begins to fade. The leaves turn yellow, the peduncle dies off, and then the whole plant as a whole. So feeding should be in moderation and only when it is necessary.

Causes of yellow leaves in orchids

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Pests, fungal and infectious diseases are often the reason why orchid leaves turn yellow, but in this case other symptoms are usually noted.

Diseases of orchids photo

Changing the color of the root system is the main cause of rot, fungus or infection in the pot. At the same time the leaves also turn yellow and die. If time does not respond, the plant may die. So, what diseases can affect the orchid at home?

  • Anthracnose, fusarium, gray mold, rust are caused by fungi. The leaves become yellow, soften and become rotten with spores. It is not always possible to save an orchid.
  • Phytophthora or black rot - for orchids is not only dangerous, but also very contagious. It is quickly transferred to healthy plants, for a few days it spreads throughout the flower, so it is rather difficult to cure this attack even to an experienced florist.
  • Root rot affects first the root system, and then the pagon with leaves. Symptom of the disease: thick, black spots.
  • Brown rot strikes young flowers. In this case, you need to identify the problem in time, because if the infection gets to the point of growth or the stem, the culture will die. The main symptom is brown, watery spots on the leaves.
  • Of the viruses for the orchid are dangerous: Cattleya mosaic, Cymbidium mosaic, ring virus.

In addition to diseases, pests are also dangerous, which can also be the reason why orchid leaves turn yellow.

  • Aphid - not only changes the color of the leaves, but also deforms them. May cause diseases.
  • Thrips - affect almost the entire flower, except for the root. They can be seen on the yellow (brown) stripes on the surface.
  • Shchitovka noticeable growths and mounds on the leaves.
  • Spider mite attacks pagons and leaflets of culture.
  • Nematode affects the leaves and stems of orchids. Bring it hard.
  • Mealybugs infect pagons and leaves of young cultures. Outwardly, they look like small pieces of cotton wool.
  • Females are distinguished by their jumping ability. They are usually interested only in the root of the plant.

What to do if the leaves turn yellow?

There are many reasons due to which the leaflets of home-made orchids may turn yellow. After it became clear why this is happening, it is necessary to take appropriate measures to save the plant.

  • If the cause is not aging or stress, then it may be a matter of the microclimate, which has changed dramatically. You need to adjust the temperature, humidity and lighting, then the problem will disappear.
  • If it is a flower damage, it is necessary to sanitize the damage site. Growth stimulants will also help here so that the plant will recover faster. Conditions are supported sparing to avoid unnecessary stress.
  • In the case where the cause is improper watering, it needs to be adjusted. If the water is low, the flower is watered and after a week you can notice an improvement in the condition. If there is a lot of water, on the contrary, the flower is transplanted into a new substrate and regulates the rate of irrigation. In this case, the improvement will be visible in 7-14 days.
  • In the case of improper lighting, you just need to change the place for growing the crop. You can put it on another window or in the middle of the room (if it is light), as long as there is no direct sunlight or constant dusk.
  • With artificially accelerating the growth of home orchids with top dressing, the flower may wither in a year. Even if it is transplanted or moved to another place, it may not survive. But there is a solution. It is necessary to move it to a warm, lighted place and feed every 2 weeks no more! The first top dressing is fertilizer for orchids (but the concentration is reduced to 50%), the subsequent top dressing is nitrogenous substances, so that the leaves start to grow.

Yellow Orchid Leaves

Important! The orchid root system is very sensitive to fertilizers, where there is a lot of phosphorus or potassium. These substances can cause root burns and the plant will begin to fade. So if you accidentally made too much fertilizer, you need to immediately wash the roots, and the next feeding should be carried out no earlier than 1.5 months.
  • When orchids are afflicted with diseases, there is only one way out - use fungicides ("Fundazol" 0.2%, "Topsin-M" 0.2%) for houseplants. They act quickly and are not harmful to the plant. Spraying is carried out within 10 days. And for prevention, the treatment is repeated again after a month. In some cases, the plant needs to be transplanted, adjust the watering, humidity.
  • In the case of pests, you can first try the mechanical method of breeding. To do this, cut out all the damaged parts of the plant. But, naturally, for orchids, the more weakened by pests, is a great deal of stress. So it is better to use insecticides. In this case, the effective will be "Neoron", "Aktellik", "Fitoverm", "Tiofos". They are sprayed with orchids twice in 14 days. If no pests were detected within the next month, the treatment was successful. And if they appear again, the treatment must be repeated.

Yellowing of orchid leaves can occur due to completely different reasons, both dangerous and completely natural. But if time to determine where the problem came from, you can save the plant, not allowing the situation to deteriorate.