Why Are the Leaves on my Orchid Turning Yellow?

warwinpink22August 4, 2011

Hello everyone. I saw a previous post on this subject earlier today, but I didn't find an answer to why my orchid's leave are turning yellow. I am not sure what kind of orchid it is since my boyfriend got it for me about a year ago. I noticed that the most bottom leaves on my orchid were starting to turn yellow. I didn't think anything of it. I figured they were just getting older. But as time went by each leaf on the bottom began to turn yellow. So once the most bottom leaf is done and has fallen off the next one startst to turn yellow, and this keeps happening. Also my orchid was done flowering about a month ago I would say, and the stem from which the flowers were coming has completely died off. There was a new leaf that began to sprout but it is starting to look whithered which is really scaring me. I water it once a week with three ice cubes, and it sits in window in my room where it gets good natural lighting. So I don't know what's going on, but it really saddens me to have this orchid dieing. I love it. And it's the present my boyfriend gave me for our first anniversary. If you can help me that would be greatly appreciated!



P.S. I have posted pictures on my blog of this so if you will click the link to see those. Thank you! It is my beauty blog. Just to let you know..lol

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of My Orchid

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richardol(Santa Royale CA)

Your plant looks good in general. This type, a Phaleanopsis, grows that way. As long as it remains in the pattern of the oldest leaf dying and replaced by a new leaf at the top, everything is fine.

This latest new leaf is a problem. It looks like a heat or sun burn but not quite. Is it possible to have got a spray from some chemical, hair spray or chemical cleaner? The plant might recover if it forms another new leaf. The crown looks as if it wasn't included in whatever damaged the plant.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 6:56AM
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I moved my orchid to an area where there is less sunlight, and farther away from where I spray perfume and hairspray. So hopefully it recovers! Thank you so much for replying!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:16AM
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Lauren why are you watering with an ice cube. These plants come from the tropics to semi tropics and there for appreciate a humid climate. The ice is probably shocking it. When I was a kid I watered a plant with ice and it killed it. Too much of a shock for the roots. I would imagine the same with the orchid. I would start watering with tap water and discontinue the ice routine. Fertilize it week weekly or 1 x per month whatever is convenient to you. Phals I have learned like to be on the moist side and they don't want to really dry out. However they don't want to be soggy either and they definitely don't want water into their crown. If you do get water in there turn the plant and have it roll out. As far as the spike dying back no worries come the cooler weather it should throw another spike for you once it gets reestablished.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:28AM
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I was doing the ice cube routine because when I bought it the instructions said to water it with three ice cubes and that has worked fine for the year that I've had it. It's all of sudden that this has happened. So if I watered it with tap water, should it cold or cool water? And how much would I use? Also where can I buy fertilizer?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 11:16AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

Put three ice cubes in a glass and let them melt. Use that amount of tepid water to water your plant. Orchids don't want cold feet. The saying is that you can't water an orchid enough, but you can water too often. So you can water with a lot more than the mass of three ice cubes. It's when you water again that matters. The medium should be almost dry.

You might want to slip the plant out of the pot to check the roots. Hold the neck of the plant between your fingers and turn the plant upside down over some newspaper. Knead the pot to loosen it and slip it off. Check the roots. If they're dry or mushy you need to repot and correct your watering habit. If the roots look okay, slip the pot back on and turn the plant upright again.

Don't keep your plant in the dark. It needs light. When Richardol suggested it may be in too much light, you should pull it back a few inches, not feet. Feel the leaves. If they're warm then it's too much light. If they feel normal then they're okay.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 1:08PM
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howard_a(z6 NYC)

Perfume and hairspray are not likely serious problems. The inconsistent application of light is the number one problem for windowsill growers. It's either too much or too little and usually a bit of both during the average day. It adds up to stress and when the stress goes on for long enough... decline. The unvarnished truth is that a source of artificial sunlight needs to be in place to fill in the blanks so to speak. The plant can then be kept in a spot that does not provide hotspots of burning sun but will also not be too dark as a result.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 7:41PM
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