Orchid Leaves Splitting | 4 Major Reasons and Solutions

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Are you worried about Orchid Leaves Splitting? We are here with all the possible reasons and their solutions to help you out!

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There can be many reasons behind Orchid Leaves Splitting and we will discuss them in detail along with their solutions.

Learn How to Use Lemon Juice for Orchids here

Main Reasons Behind Orchid Leaves Splitting

While several factors can contribute Orchid Leaves Splitting, the most common reason is often due to abrupt changes in environmental conditions – specifically, fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and light. These sudden changes can cause the leaves of the orchid to crack or split as they try to adapt.

Orchids are sensitive plants that prefer stable conditions. If they’re exposed to sudden, extreme changes in their environment, their leaves might crack or split in response. For instance:

  • Temperature fluctuations: Orchids prefer a certain temperature range depending on the species, generally between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit (15-27 degrees Celsius). If the temperature suddenly drops below or rises above this range, the orchid could respond by developing split leaves.
  • Humidity levels: Most orchids come from tropical environments with high humidity levels. In a low-humidity environment, the leaves can dry out and potentially crack or split.
  • Lighting changes: While orchids need light to photosynthesize and grow, abrupt changes in light levels can also lead to leaf splitting. This is especially true if the orchid is suddenly exposed to direct, intense sunlight after being in a more shaded environment.

If you notice Orchid Leaves Splitting, but the plant appears otherwise healthy (e.g., it’s blooming or putting out new growth), it’s usually not a cause for concern. The split leaves might be unsightly, but they’re not likely to harm the plant’s overall health. However, if the splitting is accompanied by other symptoms like discoloration, wilting, or lack of growth, it might be an indication of a more serious issue.

Learn How to Grow Orchids from Seeds here

Orchid Leaves Splitting – Reasons and Solutions

If you have this question – why are my orchid leaves splitting? Then keep reading!

1. Under or Overwatering

Orchids require a delicate balance of watering. Over-watering can lead to root rot, which can cause Orchid Leaves Splitting. Under-watering, on the other hand, can lead to dehydration and leaf splitting.

Here are Signs of Overwatering & How to Save an Overwatered Plant

Solution: You should adjust your watering schedule based on the type of orchid and the environment it’s in. A general rule is to water just as the orchid’s medium is drying out. Make sure the water can drain freely to avoid waterlogging.

Pro Tip: The slow melting of the ice provides a slow water release, which prevents over-watering. However, tropical orchids may not react well to the cold temperature of the ice.

Look out for these 5 Sure Shot Signs of Underwatered Plants

2. Excessive Sunlight and Heat Intensity

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Orchids can suffer from sunburn when exposed to too much direct sunlight, causing discoloration and potentially leading Orchid Leaves Splitting.

Solution: Place your orchid in a spot that receives plenty of indirect sunlight. A north or east-facing window is often a good choice.

Check Balcony Orchid Garden Ideas here

3. Low Humidity

When the air is too dry, orchids can struggle to take up enough moisture through their roots and leaves, leading to dehydration. The lack of water can cause the plant cells in the leaves to shrink and collapse, which may result in visible physical damage like Orchid Leaves Splitting, wrinkling, or shriveling of the foliage.

Learn How to Get Orchids to Rebloom? here

Additionally, low humidity levels can exacerbate the effects of other stressors like high temperatures and strong light, which can lead to faster water evaporation from the plant tissues and potentially cause the leaves to split.

Solution:  To increase humidity for indoor orchids, you can use a humidifier or place the orchid on a tray filled with water and pebbles. The water should not touch the bottom of the orchid pot, as the intention is to increase the humidity around the plant, not to water it. As the water evaporates from the tray, it will create a more humid environment around the orchid. Regular misting of the orchid can also help to increase humidity, but it’s not always sufficient on its own, especially in particularly dry environments.

Here are 10 Ways To Increase Humidity For Houseplants That Work

Note: However, it’s important to balance humidity with good airflow, as stagnant, humid conditions can encourage the growth of fungal and bacterial diseases. So, in addition to providing humidity, make sure your orchid has good airflow.

4. Fungal or Bacterial Infections

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The two main types of infections that can cause Orchid Leaves Splitting are bacterial soft rot (caused by bacteria like Erwinia) and black rot (caused by fungi like Pythium or Phytophthora). These infections can cause tissue death, leading to spots, browning, and potentially splitting in severe cases. So, if you have always wondered – why are my orchid leaves splitting – this could be the reason.


  1. Bacterial Soft Rot: This bacterial disease starts as a yellow, wet spot that expands quickly and causes a foul smell. The bacteria make the leaves soft, wet, and mushy, and this can lead to collapse and splitting of the leaves.
  2. Black Rot: This fungal disease usually starts at the leaf tips or along the margins, making the leaves turn black and soft. This rot can spread quickly and cause severe damage, including splitting, if not treated promptly.

Check the Best Cymbidium Orchid Varieties here


  1. Remove Infected Parts: If you notice any signs of infection, you should immediately remove the affected parts of the orchid with a sterilized tool to prevent the disease from spreading.
  2. Improve Ventilation and Reduce Humidity: Orchid diseases often thrive in damp, stagnant conditions. Therefore, increasing air circulation around your orchid and reducing excessive humidity can help to prevent these infections.
  3. Use Anti-Fungal or Anti-Bacterial Treatments: After removing the infected parts, you can treat the orchid with an appropriate anti-fungal or anti-bacterial product. These are available at garden centers or online, and it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for their use.
  4. Improve Care and Maintenance: Ensure that your orchid is receiving proper care. This includes watering only when necessary (overwatering is a common cause of rot diseases), providing proper light, and maintaining an optimal temperature.
  5. Quarantine the Infected Orchid: If one of your orchids is infected, make sure to keep it separate from your other plants to prevent the disease from spreading.

Here are the Best Homemade DIY Fungicide Recipes for Plants

Quick Tips on Preventing Orchid Leaves Splitting

  • Water your orchids regularly, but avoid overwatering them. If the leaves look dry, consider giving them a little more water.
  • Place your orchids in a spot with good lighting and humidity to prevent leaf damage.
  • Handle your orchids gently. Avoid shaking or rough handling. When moving them, lift and carry them carefully, without rushing.
  • Ensure your orchids receive the necessary nutrients through fertilizers or other methods. This helps them grow strong and healthy leaves, which are less likely to split.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause salts to build up in the potting medium and damage the roots. Regularly flush the potting medium with water to remove any excess salts.

Check the Rarest and Unique Orchids Around the World here

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