Orchids show their discomfort with yellowing leaves, but we can easily help them

Have you experienced wrinkling and yellowing of orchid leaves? Yellowing, drying and leaf drop are not always a symptom of disease or a physiological disorder in orchids. For many species it is a completely natural situation related to the ageing process. What other influences can cause yellowing of the leaves? And how can each cause be best addressed?


Wrinkling and yellowing of orchid leaves is a common symptom of improper watering. Another signal that indicates an urgent need for hydration is wrinkling and drying of the roots. Paradoxically, yellowing leaves can also indicate overwatering. Without air, the roots stop taking up nutrients. In such cases, repotting the orchid in a new substrate and watering once a week will help.

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Yellowing of orchid leaves is especially common in the fall and winter, when much less sunlight reaches homes. In addition, the air temperature is raised by continuous heating. The plant reacts badly to such conditions and its leaves first turn pale, followed by yellowing over time. The orchid will come back to life if you move it to a better lit area.


Temperature also has a significant impact on the condition of orchids. If it is too high, the plants will lose excess water. This in turn causes the leaves to lose their lush green colour, turn yellow and dry out. At too low a temperature, the orchid has very similar symptoms. In addition to the yellowing of the leaves, the orchid stops producing new leaves, so that over time it loses all of them. When growing orchids at home, it is important to remember that each species has its own individual temperature requirements – both day and night.

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Yellowing leaves are most often caused by a lack of important nutrients such as nitrogen and iron. Nitrogen deficiency affects the oldest leaves, while iron deficiency affects young leaves. Therefore, remember to fertilize the plant regularly from spring to autumn, at least once every 2-3 weeks.