Why Are My Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow? Common Causes And Solutions

Posted on
Reasons Why Orchid Leaves are Turning Yellow Plantly


Orchids are beautiful and delicate plants that are known for their vibrant flowers. However, one common problem that orchid owners encounter is yellowing leaves. If you’ve noticed your orchid leaves turning yellow, it’s important to understand the potential causes and find appropriate solutions to restore your plant’s health. In this article, we will explore some common reasons why orchid leaves turn yellow and provide tips on how to address these issues.

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is a leading cause of yellowing leaves in orchids. Orchids are epiphytes, meaning they naturally grow on trees and absorb moisture from the air and rain. When their roots are constantly soaked, they can become waterlogged and suffocate, leading to yellowing leaves. To prevent overwatering, make sure your orchid is planted in a well-draining potting mix and water it only when the top inch of the potting mix is dry.

2. Underwatering

On the other hand, underwatering can also cause orchid leaves to turn yellow. If your orchid is not receiving enough water, it may become dehydrated and its leaves may start to wither and yellow. To prevent this, make sure to water your orchid regularly, allowing the water to fully soak the potting mix and drain out the bottom.

3. Lack of Light

Orchids require adequate light to thrive. If your orchid is not getting enough light, its leaves may begin to turn yellow. Place your orchid in a location where it can receive bright, indirect light for at least six hours a day. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.

4. Nutrient Deficiency

Yellowing leaves can also be a sign of nutrient deficiency in orchids. Orchids require specific nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, to grow and remain healthy. If your orchid is not receiving the necessary nutrients, its leaves may turn yellow. To address this issue, use a balanced orchid fertilizer and follow the recommended dosage instructions.

5. Temperature Extremes

Orchids are sensitive to temperature changes. Exposing them to extreme temperatures, such as cold drafts or hot, dry air, can cause their leaves to yellow. To prevent this, keep your orchid in a stable environment with temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15°C and 27°C). Avoid placing it near heating or cooling vents.

6. Pest Infestation

Pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites, can also cause orchid leaves to turn yellow. These insects feed on the plant’s sap, weakening it and causing discoloration. To combat pest infestations, regularly inspect your orchid for signs of pests and use appropriate insecticides or natural remedies to eliminate them.

7. Disease

Orchids can be susceptible to various fungal and bacterial diseases, which can manifest as yellowing leaves. Common diseases include root rot, leaf spot, and crown rot. To prevent and treat diseases, maintain good orchid hygiene by removing dead leaves and regularly disinfecting your tools. If your orchid is already infected, consult a specialist for appropriate treatment.

8. Aging

As orchids age, their older leaves may naturally turn yellow and fall off. This is a normal part of the plant’s growth cycle, and there is no cause for concern unless the yellowing is excessive or accompanied by other symptoms. Simply remove the yellowed leaves to maintain the plant’s appearance.

9. Transplant Shock

If you recently repotted or divided your orchid, it may experience transplant shock, which can cause its leaves to yellow temporarily. During this time, the plant is adjusting to its new environment and may require some time to recover. Ensure that you are providing proper care, including appropriate watering and lighting, to help your orchid overcome transplant shock.


If your orchid leaves are turning yellow, it’s important to identify the underlying cause and take appropriate action. By addressing issues such as overwatering, underwatering, lack of light, nutrient deficiency, temperature extremes, pests, disease, aging, and transplant shock, you can help your orchid regain its health and beauty. Remember to observe your orchid closely, provide it with the necessary care, and seek professional advice if needed. With proper attention and care, your orchid will thrive and continue to delight you with its stunning blooms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *