Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow? Follow these Tips to Save Them

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If you are worried about your Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow, then don’t fret! Follow these Tips to ensure your plant stays healthy and happy!

While growing indoors, Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow is one of the most common problems growers face. In this article, we will address all the possible issues and solutions to get rid of them.

Have a look at the best orchid planter ideas here

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow? Problems and Solutions

#1 Reason – Not Using the Right Growing Medium

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow

The number one reason why your orchid leaves are turning yellow is because of the use of regular garden soil to grow them. Growing them in regular potting mix or garden soil will result in the growing medium holding up excess moisture, which will cause yellow leaves.

The best way to ensure orchids grow well is to plant them in fir bark/ fine-grade coco chips/ redwood bark. You can also use sphagnum moss and coconut husk chips. This will mimic their native growing conditions. It will also allow excellent drainage while retaining the essential moisture the plant needs.

Have a look at the best growing medium for orchids here

#2 Reason – Overwatering


With these plants, you will have to ensure to not keep the growing medium saturated all the time. As rotting roots cannot transport nutrients and water, it will result in yellow foliage.

Water the plant deeply by keeping the pot under a slow running tap. Do this only when the growing medium feels dry to touch.

Here’s all you need to know about watering orchids

#3 Reason – Underwatering

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow 2
Michael’s Orchids

It doesn’t mean that to save the plant from overwatering, you end up causing draught for it! Underwatering will push the plant into stress, causing the roots to turn white, shrivel and die, barring them to transport water and nutrients to the plant, which will cause the leaves to turn yellow.

The best way to save them from underwatering is to water them once in 7-8 days during Spring and Summer. Extend this duration to once in 13-15 days in Fall and Winter. Do keep a vigilant eye on the growing medium to ensure it is never going dry completely.

Want to grow the best orchid? Avoid these mistakes

#4 Reason – Low Humidity

shutterstock/Dina V

Low humidity around orchids can result in yellow and wrinkled leaves. In their native environment, the plants grow best in typical humidity of 40–60 percent. Anything lower than this will cause dry air around the plant, which can stress it out, causing yellow leaves.

The best way to avoid this is to mist the leaves once in 2-3 days using a spray bottle. You can also help the plant by keeping its pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water. A humidifier can also do wonders!

Have a look at the best ideas for enhancing humidity for orchids here

#5 Reason – Too Much Sun

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow 3

In their native environment in forests, orchids grow under the canopy of trees, out of direct sunlight. If you are keeping the plant on a sunny window, where it gets direct sun all day long, then its sensitive leaves will turn yellow due to sunburn.

Grow the plant where it gets bright but indirect light. Keep them near a window that gets filtered light.

Learn all about reviving a dying orchid here

#6 Reason – Low Light


People think that keeping orchids in shade would mimic their native environment, and end up exposing the plant to more shade than required.

Orchids do best in bright and indirect light. If you are keeping them near a bright window, make sure to use a shade cloth or screen.

Here are the best orchid flowering secrets you need to know!

#7 Reason – Over Fertilization

Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow 4

Feeding the plant excessively will burn the roots, which will prevent them from transporting water and nutrients, causing the leaves to turn yellow.

To avoid this, do not feed your orchids every now and then. Use a formulated fertilizer that’s meant specifically for orchids⁠—you can get it from a garden center.

Or, use a balanced liquid feed, diluted to a quarter of its strength, once in 8-10 weeks. Do refer to the label for instructions.

Have a look at the best orchid fertilizers here

#8 Reason – Exposing the Plant to Cold Temperatures


Orchids are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, especially cold temperatures. They grow best in 55 F (12 C) at night and 75 F (24C) during daytime. Anything over or under it can cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Make sure the plant is never exposed to temperature below 50 F (12 C) for long durations of time. Also, keep it away from cold windows and A/C vents.

Here are the most beautiful orchids you can grow

Some Quick Pointers to Save Orchid Leaves from Turning Yellow

  • Always water the orchids early in the morning to allow complete evaporation by night.
  • Prepare a potting mix of pine bark and loamy soil for an oxygenated, well-draining medium.
  • Refrain from using moss or potting soil to avoid root rot.
  • Do not expose the plant to a temperature below 55 F or 13 C.
  • Water the plant weekly in Winter, and twice a week in Summer.
  • Ensure drilling enough drainage holes in the pot to save your orchid from turning yellow.
  • Grow the plant in shade to avert sunburnt and yellow foliage.

    How to grow Staghorn Fern on anything, read here 

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