Reasons For Dropping Orchid Leaves: Learn How To Fix Orchid Leaf Drop

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Why is my orchid losing leaves, and how can I fix it? Most orchids tend to drop leaves as they produce new growth, and some may lose a few leaves after blooming. If leaf loss is substantial, or if new leaves are falling off, it’s time to do some troubleshooting. Read on to learn what to do if your orchid is dropping leaves.

How to Fix Orchid Leaf Drop

Before you can treat any problems, you’ll need an idea on the possible reasons for dropping orchid leaves. These are the most common causes:

Improper watering: If orchid leaves are floppy and turning yellow, your plant may not be receiving enough water. Different types of orchids have different water requirements. For example, moth orchids need more water than Cattleyas.

As a general rule of thumb, water when the growing medium feels dry to the touch. Water deeply until water runs through the drainage hole. Water at the soil level and avoid wetting the leaves. If possible, use rainwater.

Improper fertilization: Dropping orchid leaves may be a sign of potassium deficiency or improper fertilization. Feed orchids regularly, using a granular or liquid fertilizer formulated specifically for orchids. Don’t use standard houseplant fertilizer. Always water the orchid first and avoid applying fertilizer to dry soil.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations closely, especially if the directions suggest a dilute solution, because over-feeding can produce a weak, spindly plant and may scorch the roots. Be sure to feed less during the winter months. Keep in mind that too little fertilizer is always better than too much.

Fungal or bacterial diseases: If your orchid is dropping leaves, the plant may be afflicted by a fungal or bacterial disease. Fungal crown rot is a common orchid disease that begins with a slight discoloration at the base of the leaves. Bacterial diseases, such as bacterial soft spot or bacterial brown spot, are evidenced by soft, watery-looking lesions on the leaves. Diseases can spread quickly.

To prevent dropping orchid leaves due to disease, remove affected leaves as soon as possible, using a sterile knife or razor blade. Move your orchid to a location where it benefits from improved air circulation and temperatures between 65 and 80 F. (18-26 C.). Apply a broad spectrum fungicide or bactericide according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

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Why Are The Leaves On My Orchid Turning Yellow?

All healthy orchids will experience yellowing of their lower leaves on occasion, as old foliage dies back. However, yellow leaves can also be a sign of many different problems with your orchid.

Why Are The Leaves On My Orchid Turning Yellow? The good news is, it’s really not too difficult to work out why an orchid is getting yellow leaves, but you need to know what to look for and how to treat it. In this article, I’ll cover the 10 common causes for yellow orchid leaves and the solutions to correct these problems.

Q. Is it safe to feed my orchid TREE Ironite

This time of year my orchid tree stops blooming and then goes through an ugly shedding stage. Then it starts to produce new growth. What I want to do is give it it a nice healthy boost, and I'm thinking that ironite will give it a good boost and also green it up, I HOPE.

If you are looking to use Ironite, I would recommend Ironite Plus. Ironite itself would just add mostly micronutrients, where Ironite Plus would add the micro and macro nutrients the tree needs to be all round healthy.

If you have noticed that the tree has been yellowish for awhile, Ironite may help, but it will be most effective if you make sure that the tree is getting all the water it needs so that it able to best take up all the nutrients that the Ironite would supply it.

8. Yellow Leaves Caused By Disease

This is the most dangerous cause. Although quite easy to diagnose, it’s quite hard to treat. You can check out several signs and symptoms of each particular disease.

Fungus, bacteria, and virus are all treated differently since they are different organisms. I won’t go into detail here about each of the different diseases, but if you have checked every other variable above and none seem to be the problem, there's a good chance your yellow leaf problem is a fungus.

With these eight tips, you should be able to identify the cause of the yellowing in your orchid leaves and treat it promptly.

If this article was of any help, please leave a comment below. We love to interact with other orchid growers and enthusiast, no matter what the level of expertise. We all can learn something new.

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