Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow: Common Reasons And Effective Solutions

Orchid growers are generally loving and very caring people. They feel attached to the little plants.

Therefore, whenever they see little changes in their babies they feel worried about it. However, is it really necessary to be concerned if orchid leaves turning yellow?

Today, we’ll look at the most common causes of orchid leaf problems and how to fix them.

So, if you are an orchid grower read the whole article below. Hopefully, you will learn something new today.

Orchid Yellow Leaves: Quick Overview

orchid leaves turning yellow

Have a glimpse at the quick overview section. In this part, we will show you a quick view of all the reasons behind orchid leaves becoming yellow.

Please, keep reading to learn more about them.

ReasonHow to Fix It
 Natural Death Of Old leavesLet it be
Excessive Direct SunlightBuild a shade for the orchids
Lack of NutrientsApply fertilizer
Overuse of FertilizersApply once a week
High TemperaturesKeep them away from direct sunlight
Low TemperatureKeep the room temperature around


60 to 80℉

OverwateringOnly put water when it is dry
Hard Water And ChemicalsUse fresh water
DiseasesCut the affected area and apply fungicide
Sudden Change In EnvironmentEnsure ideal condition for orchids

10 Most Common Reasons behind Orchid Leaf Turning Yellow

orchid leaf problems

  1. Natural Death Of Old leaves

For billions of years, the earth is following the cycle of death and rebirth. The plants also serve the same pattern. When orchid leaves become old, they die and new leaves replace them.

As they age, Most of the orchid’s leaves become yellow. Thus, if you have an older plant, you don’t have to be concerned at all.

When it develops new flower spikes or leaves it stops the water supply for older leaves. So, older leaves turn yellow and die eventually.


  • The bottom leaves turning yellow
  • New leaves or flower spikes coming off
  • Old pant


The best solution for this situation is doing nothing. Let the plant do its natural recycling process.

Old leave will decompose and the plant will use the nutrient to grow new leaves and flowers.

Some recommend cutting the yellow leaves but it could be damaging to your plant for some reasons.

It will open a wound in your plant and increase the risk of diseases. So, you should let it fall on its own and decompose.

  1. Excessive Direct Sunlight

Every plant needs sunlight to live. But orchids are meant to stay away from direct sunlight. They can not handle too much sunshine. It causes sunburn and turns the leaves yellow.

So, if you leave them in direct sunlight where they are not used to, it will cause problems.

You will see the leaves are fading and yellowing. Besides, they might develop cracks, scorch, or burnt tips.

  • Signs
  • Orchid facing direct sunlight
  • Cracks
  • Scorch
  • Burnt tips


Despite the fact that most orchids prefer to be kept out of direct sunlight, there are a few exceptions.

Some kinds of orchids can tolerate direct suns. So, learn which type of orchids you are willing to grow first then choose the spot for them.

So, for growing orchids, you should choose a window which is away from direct sunlight.

Additionally, you can just keep them a bit away from your window. That will save the plants from too much sunlight.

If your orchids have already been planted in direct sunlight, the safest option is to provide shade.

Set up sheer curtains if you’ve already planted them near a window with direct sunlight. It will keep your plants safe by preventing extra heat.

  1. Lack of Nutrients

When your orchid is not getting enough nutrients, it can cause yellowing problems. You will see the yellow spots visible at the tips and edges. That is a clear sign of a lack of fertilizer.

The lack of potassium manganese, nitrogen, zinc, and iron are responsible for the plant’s metabolism and growth of the roots.

So, when the orchids have nutrients deficiency, it starts to show the signs mentioned above.


  • Yellow spots on the tips
  • Edges of orchid leaves turning yellow
  • Mostly happens in spring & summer
  • Leaves look powdery
  • leaf buckling


During the spring and summer season orchids grow faster by nature. They need more nutrients to fulfill the deficiency.

Therefore, you need to buy a balanced fertilizer to keep them healthy.

So, buy some balanced fertilizers and apply them according to the package instruction. However, before you buy them, make sure you get fertilizer that is specifically formulated for your orchid.

Keep in mind that overusing fertilizers can backfire and cause serious damage to your plants.

  1. Overuse of Fertilizers

Aside from overwatering during planting, the most common mistake we make is using too much fertilizer. We tend to overuse anything that helps to grow our little plants faster.orchid leaves turning yellow with black spots

However, that is an ideal thing to do while growing orchids.

Generally, orchids do not demand too much fertilizer. It does not mean you can not use fertilizers at all. In fact, you should apply them according to the instructions.

If you overuse it will cause issues with absorption. Your orchids will not be able to obtain irons and it will turn the leaves yellowing.


  • Yellowing the lower leaves
  • Tips are getting burnt
  • Rotting rots
  • No growth
  • Leaf fading


Once you have applied too much fertilizer you can not take it back. Thus, you have to take the action before applying them.

Make sure you’ve chosen the right orchid fertilizer before you proceed. Then, carefully read and follow the instructions.

If you can not understand the instruction just follow the weekly basis fertilizer rule. Only once a week you can apply them. This method will prevent overdoing it.

Besides,  you should also know when you have to avoid giving fertilizer. While your plants are in full bloom you should not apply them. After dropping the blossom you can start feeding it.

  1. High Temperatures

Orchids do not like a harsh temperature. They are vulnerable to high temperatures. So, around 60 to 80 degrees temperature could be perfect for growing orchids.

If you can not maintain the temperatures the leaves will turn yellow. You might notice the orchid leaves turning brown and dropping or blackening.

Sometimes, the plants also die due to too high temperatures.


  • Leaves turn yellow
  • Leaves will fall off
  • Browing or blackening
  • Dead plants


Fixing the temperature issue is one of the easiest. Before going to find the solution just simply grab a thermometer first. Then double-check the condition of the location of your plants.

If your orchids are being overheated and they are close to windows put some shades there.

It will keep the extensive heat away from your plants. If your plants come to direct sunlight it will threateningly harm them.

  1. Low Temperature

Orchids are also vulnerable to extensive cold temperate. It makes their natural metabolism process slower. That is why the leaves become yellow. Which is not a good sign at all.

If you let the plant stay like this soon you will see all the other leaves are turning yellow.

Eventually, they will turn to brown or black and then die. Surely, you do not want to see it. Do you?

Signsyellow orchid leaves

  • Leaves turn yellow
  • Leaves will fall off
  • Browing or blackening
  • Dead plants


The easiest solution for this issue is adjusting the thermostat. You should keep the temperature above 65° F to save your plants. If you feel cozy with the temperature your orchids will feel the same.

Another solution to this problem is moving the orchids to the warmer parts of the room.

However, this idea may backfire. Because plants tents feel stress while changing location.

  1. Overwatering

Overwatering is another most common reason for orchid plants turning yellow. Generally, beginners tend to apply water on the orchids more often. That does not help at all to grow these plants.

Also, it can kill the roots of your orchids by root rot. Excessive water on orchid roots prevents the plant from absorbing essential nutrients and water from the soil. That will kill the plant eventually.


  • Leaves turn yellow
  • Root rot
  • Visible water in the container
  • A bit much-wet soil


Overwatering is not a hard problem to fix. Orchids do not need much water to grow.

They are comfortable with underwatering more than overwatering. Thus, you should put a little amount of water in it.

Remember, when you see the soil is dry this is the perfect time to water it. We would recommend you trust your instinct to apply water to the plants.

  1. Hard Water And Chemicals

Watering to the plats may look like the simplest job ever. Although, it is a simple job; however, you have to keep in mind that what kind of water you are using.

Because hard water may turn orchid leaves yellow and cause falling off

Magnesium, calcium, and other dissolved minerals are present in high concentrations in some areas’ water.

If you give the orchids this hard water, they will have a hard time processing these chemicals and absorbing vital nutrients. That will cause a lack of nutrients and leaf problems.


  • Yellow spots on the tips
  • Yellow spots on the edges
  • Leaves look powdery
  • Leaves are falling off


Unlike the other solutions, this one could a little tough for you. It is difficult to inspect water on your own.

Thus, you have to call the local water inspector section to know about the chemical’s existence.

So, if it contains the extra chemicals either you have to set up a house filtering system or buy filtered water.

Besides, you may use rainwater. However, it is illegal in some states. So, before using rainwater just check your state’s law.

  1. Diseases

Diseases in any plants are very dangerous. If you do not prevent them quickly enough they will start to thrive.

So, do not avoid it if you see any sign of black spots in the yellow leaves.

High humidity or wet leaves are the culprits for bacterial or fungal disease. So, the diseases will spread fast if they get extensive moisture. Therefore, this time you need to take rapid action to save your plants.


  • Yellow leaf
  • Black spots on the yellow leaf
  • Spreading into the other leaves


If you notice that your orchid leaves are turning yellow with black spots, you must act quickly. Cut the leaf and remove it from the other leaves if your orchid is infected with bacterial or fungal infections.

Make a cut just above an inch of the fresh and green area using a clean and sharp blade.

Then put the affected leaf away and throw it into the trash can. If you think it could be a fungal infection you should use some fungicide where you made the cut. It will stop the infection from reoccurring.

  1. Sudden Change In Environment

If you change the environment of a plant by changing its location it can cause problems. Your orchid’s blooms and leaves may begin to fall off, indicating that it is stressed.

After buying the plant from the store it may also feel stress. Similarly, if you switch your house or your plants from one place to another, the leaves will turn yellow instead of green.


  • Yellow leaf
  • Falling leaves
  • Dropping blooms


If you see your newly brought orchid has yellowing leaves you don’t have to worry about it.

You should pick a suitable location for them and just wait till it works itself out. Because you can not do anything about it.

However, You can put them in the right climate for adjusting to the new condition. It is better to not moving their location.

Choose the perfect position for them first then start growing them there.

Top 10 Tips for Growing Orchid Successfully

orchid plant care

If you are a beginner or just about to start growing orchids in your home then this section could a game-changer for you.

A lot of people start planting orchids in their homes. However, some people are unable to do so efficiently.

This section will let you know how to grow orchids successfully. So, keep reading through the article to learn how to grow orchids successfully.

  1. Know Your Orchids

First thing first. Before planting your orchids you need to know about them first. It will help you to grow them successfully.

There are about 30,000 types of orchids are available all over the world. Different types of orchids demand different nurturing.

You need to provide light, temperature, and water according to them.

Therefore, it is very important to know your orchids. Most probably you will buy orchids from the store. So, you should know what types of orchids you are going to plant. You should learn all the basics before planting them.

You can ask any orchid community or the manager of a nearby orchid sale store if you don’t know what kind of orchids you have in your house. This will ensure that your orchids grow properly.

  1. Keep them away from Direct Sunlight

Most of the orchids can not handle too much sunshine. It makes them dry and stops growing.

Therefore, you should keep them safe from sunburn.

If you don’t have any other place to plant orchids then provide some shades there. It will prevent them from getting sunburn.

If they are placed near the window buy sheer curtains to stop direct sunlight.

  1. Never Use Ice Cubes

Orchids do not like too much cold temperature either. So, watering them with ice cubes is clearly a bad idea.

It could be extremely harmful to your plants. They love comfortable temperatures. So, while watering your orchids just use regular water.

Besides, orchids do not like overwatering at all. If you do so it will make the soil too moist that will root rot and eventually kill your plants.

So, never use ice cubes just use the regular water and keep the soil surface normal.

  1. Fertilize Once a Week

Orchids need nutrients for proper growth. If you do not provide balanced nutrients your plants leave will turn yellow and fade off.

However, people tend to overdose on it and make things worse.

If you apply too much fertilizer the leaves of your orchid will get burn. Eventually, the plant may also die.

Therefore, the best practice is to apply fertilizer once a week. However, do not forget to read the instruction before applying them.

  1. Pleasant Air Flow

Orchids do not love harsh environments. You have to provide them a pleasant atmosphere to grow.

Therefore, you should choose a place where they will get natural airflow. It will help them continue their lifecycle.

However, keep in mind that, airflow will dry the plants very quickly. So, keep an eye for it and apply water accordingly.

  1. Repotting the Orchids

Repotting is an important thing to do while growing orchids. It will keep the potting media fresh.

Also, it helps the plants to grow bigger. So, if you repot your orchids once a year they will become healthier.

Sometimes people need to re-pot the orchids out of necessity. If your plant’s roots are coming out of the container, it’s time to repot it into a larger container.

In addition, the container can be broken from time to time. To keep the roots safe, you should change it.

The best time to repotting your orchid is right after flowering.

So, before the new roots coming out your plants will get a new home and grow naturally.

  1. Prevent Disease and Problems Immediately

If you want to grow orchids successfully you need to be very caring about your plants.

You have to look after them regularly. Because the diseases can spread very fast among the plants.

If you do not take immediate action your plants may die. Hence, if you see any changes in your orchid observe them closely and find the reason behind them.

Thus, you should always have an eye for diseases and problems to take rapid action.

  1. Never Cut Healthy Canes and Pseudo bulbs

Making wounds in the body of your plants is never a good idea. You should not make a cut until it is necessary.

Similarly, you should never cut any healthy canes and pseudobulbs ever.

These canes and pseudobulbs provide energy to grow your orchid. So, if you cut them down, your plants will get less energy. Thus, they will grow slower than before.

Consequently, You should not touch the healthy canes and pseudobulbs.

  1. Place them into Right Area

Generally, people choose the window side to grow orchids. It is the best place to grow orchids in the home.

But Not all kinds of orchids are suitable to grow at home. Thus, before going to the store you should check the atmosphere first.

And if you want to successfully grow orchids, you must have a suitable environment for them.
So, after you’ve determined the temperature and condition, go to the store and ask the manager about your specific condition.

You can now find orchids that are ideal for your house. It will grow more quickly and remain stable in your environment.

  1. Ensure lighting

Orchids do not like dark places. You need to keep them in the bright places. But never put them into direct sunlight.

Generally, the best place to grow orchid is near any window.

If you put them in a dark place your orchids will fail to bloom. If your orchids are getting light properly the leaves will be bright green. It is the ideal situation for them.

However, if the orchids have dark green leaves you need to improve the lighting. Lastly, if the orchid leaf is turning yellow that means it is having too much light.

So, find the ideal situation for growing them successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Could I Perceive The Yellowing is Normal?

Yellowing leaves on orchid leaves is very common. If you have an old plant and new leaves or flower spikes are coming off from it then it is natural yellowing.

Also, when you find the yellow leaves are only at the bottom of the plant you can assume it is normal yellowing.

Why Orchid Leaf Turns Yellow and Die?

There could be numerous reasons if your orchid leaves turn yellow and die. You have to overserve closely to find out the actual reason for it.

Generally, when new flower spikes come off the orchid it stops the water supply for the older leaves. So, the old leaves turn yellow and die.

Why my Orchid has Yellow Leaves?

There could be many reasons for yellow leaves. If you read this article you can tell by yourself why your orchid leaf turns yellow.

How much Fertilizer should I Apply?

You should apply fertilizer after reading its instruction. Different fertilizer has a different rule. However, you should only apply fertilizer once a week.

What is the Ideal Temperature to Grow Orchids?

Orchids love a cozy atmosphere. Generally, 65 to 80℉ temperature is ideal to grow orchids.

So, before planting orchids keep in mind that orchids do not grow in too much hot or cold temperature.


While growing orchids or any other plants in your home, you have to be very careful in certain aspects.

Otherwise, you may cause damage to the plants without even knowing it.

We have discussed all the reasons for orchid leaves turning yellow. So, don’t be concerned about them from now on.

If your orchids are changing colors, you can use the tips we’ve given to get rid of them. Happy planting!

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