Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow? Avoid These 5 Mistakes!

Unlike snake plant or gardenia leaves that take on a more “fall aesthetic” form as they turn yellow, yellow orchid leaves definitely don’t look very appealing.

If you’ve ever encountered a yellowing orchid plant, you’ll know that it looks lifeless – almost like the plant’s soul has dried out and only a hollow carcass remains.

Gardeners who plant orchids will know that miserable feeling of wanting to help a yellowing orchid regain its crisp green color. 

This article sheds light on some of the mistakes people make when planting an orchid and how negative side effects of those mistakes can be reversed.

  • PS: I have an easy solution for you, at the end of the article.
Yellow Orchid Leaves

Well…it’s not like there’s always one particular reason for yellowing leaves. Temperature changes, natural aging, nutrient deficiencies, and sunlight exposure can all play a role in the yellowing process. 

However, if you’re making any one of these mistakes, you certainly have your answer!

We all know the dramatic effect of temperature on plant growth, longevity, and color. If you happen to keep your orchid plant outside and it’s cold, chances are it won’t take long to turn yellow.

Strike for optimal temperature which is actually decently warm and humid for most orchids since they are tropical plants.

Too warm of a temperature, however, can also spoil the plant and turn its leaves yellow. 

Hydration is obviously very important for plants. But, how do you know if you’re overwatering or underwatering yours?

Although through different processes, both underwatering and overwatering your orchid can turn its leaves yellow.

Too little water for extended periods of time dries out your orchid and causes its leaves to crinkle and turn yellow.

Too much water, on the other hand, can create a puddle that attracts rot. Sooner or later, this rot will spoil your orchid leaves and turn them yellow. 

Orchids need rich and fertile soil to thrive and stay crisp all year round. If your potting soil lacks essential nutrients, yellowing orchid leaves shouldn’t come as a surprise.

If anything, consider it an opportunity to learn a thing or two about quality fertilizers, especially those that contain nitrogen which your orchid plant could be low on. 

Every gardener knows the struggle of dealing with disease and pest infestation in your plants.

Yellowing of an orchid’s leaves is usually one of the first signs of a breach by a malicious body. One doesn’t need to be an expert to know the plants are in danger from there onwards

Pest control protocols and insecticides must be used to deal with such matters since they won’t resolve on their own. 

Like cats and dogs, plants aren’t big fans of sudden change either.

Orchids in particular have a very hard time adjusting to pruning, new environments, different soils, pots, and watering schedules.

If you’ve made any dramatic shift lately in regard to your orchid, the stress the plant is under may begin to show in its yellowing leaves.

I usually use a very simple “magic” mixture that my mother taught me that usually works, the orchid leaves (and not only that, it also works with tomato plants, cucumber plants, etc) usually become green again, beautiful and healthy in just a few days.

You will only need:

  • 5 liter of water
  • 1 liter of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of soap

In 5 liters of water I add 1 liter of milk and 1 tablespoon of soap (used for washing dishes). I apply the mixture to the leaves with a sprayer two days in a row, just once a day, and wait.

In about 5 to 10 days, the leaves turn green again (the soap serves to “fix” the mixture to the leaves, it will not harm them).

Yellow Orchid Leaves

Most people keep orchid plants near their house entrance or workstation. Just imagine the unwelcoming and demotivating energy a dull orchid with yellow leaves will add to those corners and environments. 

Yeah… Trust me… You really don’t want that! 

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow? Avoid These 5 Mistakes!

If you happen to be stuck in a similar situation with your orchid plant, try some of the remedies discussed in this article and you’ll definitely see improvements in terms of reversing the unfortunate yellowing. 

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2 Comments

  1. I have an orchid with the big leaves but a lot of roots growing down what am I supposed to do with that do I cut them do I replant it I’m at a loss here it’s a big plant but it’s not blooming and I have a lot of roots what is it that I’m supposed to do please let me know I can send you a picture

    1. Hi Yvette!

      First of all, trim any dead or damaged roots; healthy roots are green or white. Then, repot if the potting medium is old or the plant has outgrown its pot. Use an orchid-specific medium. Water once a week, letting the medium dry between waterings, and ensure good air circulation and a lot of indirect light! Let me know! 🙂

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