The main causes of leaf loss in orchids
The leaves of the orchid have turned yellow, and it is normal for her to shed old leaves. Some may lose a few leaves after flowering. When new leaves appear in the spring, the plant often loses a corresponding amount of old ones. If the loss is significant, or new leaves fall due to improper care, appropriate measures should be taken immediately, because the plant may die. Leafless orchids with good stems and some roots can be saved, especially with proper care and patience.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that the plant does not overheat and is well lit. As a result of improper lighting, the plant will immediately begin to fade. Lack of light for an extended period of time can cause the lower leaves to turn yellow. In the future, the roots may also lose viability. In this case, you need to move the plant closer to a bright window.
Additional Information! Orchids that do not receive the necessary lighting lose their immunity that protects them from all kinds of infections, and they become vulnerable to damage caused by diseases and pests.
Direct sunlight for orchids is harmful, the light should be diffused.
Too much sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow, but this time it will affect the top leaves or those closest to the window. Move the plant in this case to a less lit place.
Winter temperatures below 15°C can also cause leaves to turn yellow. Dry air, a major problem in homes during the winter months, can also be a factor.
Dropping orchid leaves can be a sign of potassium deficiency or improper fertilization. Feed them regularly using fertilizers designed specifically for orchids. Do not use standard houseplant fertilizers. Avoid fertilizing dry soil, always water the plant first.
Note! Strictly follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, because overfeeding can lead to weak plants and can cause root burns. Too little fertilizer is always better than too much. Feed less during the winter months.
Irrigation failure. Orchid leaves turn yellow, possibly if they don’t get enough water. Different types of orchids have different water requirements. Chronic lack of water can lead to wilted leaves and eventually yellowing.
Watering the plant is necessary only after the soil has completely dried. Otherwise, the roots will rot and the leaves will fall off. The orchid should be in a transparent pot with holes to make it easier to adjust the watering time. Water at soil level, avoiding wetting the leaves. When growing orchids, it is always worth remembering that the flower tolerates drought more easily than excess moisture.
If the orchid has been in a pot for a long time without a transplant and sheds leaves, it may be affected by a fungal or bacterial disease. Insects or fungal microorganisms may appear in it. As a result, not only leaves, but also roots are affected.
How to save an orchid?
If for some reason an orchid has lost all its leaves, but retained its root, it can be saved. It is difficult to care for a diseased plant, but it is quite possible to restore it. It will take some effort to get the flower to bloom again, as most orchids recover with a little care.
An orchid urgently needs resuscitation if the leaves have completely or partially fallen off and the roots have begun to disappear. If aerial roots remain, you can save it. Aerial roots are those that grow above the soil medium.
There are several ways to revive a plant at home. After inspection, all rotten and dry roots are removed. All manipulations should be carried out with a disinfected instrument. Then the sections are treated with any fungicide.
Withered plants are placed in a fungicidal solution. This will significantly increase immunity and help to cope with emerging problems. Allow the plant to dry for 2-3 hours.
The flower is transplanted into fresh soil and transferred to a well-lit place, observing all the rules of watering. The roots should be in a clear plastic pot and placed in a decorative flowerpot. These roots should have more access to sunlight than before as they will be doing all of the orchid’s photosynthesis.
The best orchid growing medium should provide the roots with a good balance of airflow and moisture.
- Charcoal provides excellent drainage and prevents bacterial buildup.
- Perlite increases moisture absorption and also provides better air circulation.
- Moss sphagnum when transplanted is an indispensable element of the environment for growing orchids. It allows air to circulate freely around the roots of the orchid.
In some cases, the most primitive “greenhouses” are used, consisting of a simple plastic bag worn over an orchid pot.
Important! The greenhouse for orchids should be made of transparent materials that transmit light well. Light is an important factor in the growth and development of plants, which is necessary both for resuscitation and for growing young orchids.
Where leaves should grow, wipe the trunk with special stimulants. In addition, fertilizers based on phosphorus or potassium can be used.
Another method of resuscitation is a hot shower. To do this, you must first water the plant with ordinary water, and then after half an hour with water up to 45 degrees. Then you need to let the orchid drain for 12 hours, and only after that the flower is placed in the same place. Such resuscitation can be carried out no more than twice a month.
To prevent orchid leaf drop due to disease, remove affected leaves as soon as possible using a sterile knife. Move to a location with good air circulation and a temperature of 18 to 26 C. Apply a broad spectrum fungicide or bactericide according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
For orchids to be safe, you need to find out what caused the leaves to fall. If the underlying factor is not clarified, then whatever one does will not work.
Preventive measures will help to avoid mistakes in the care of orchids and prevent the occurrence of undesirable phenomena. These should include proper temperature control, appropriate lighting, optimal watering and fertilizing, and measures to detect diseases and pests.