Orchid Leaves turning Brown

Ailments

by Anu Dharmani

Originally published in BellaOnline

Posted by Sys Admin almost 7 years ago.

Article Blog   Article Index

Many of us (the orchid growers!) have faced a situation when the leaves of orchids start turning brown. It is a scary situation, the leaves either fall off after turning brown or shrivel and die. What do we do? Orchid leaves can turn brown due to a variety of reasons and causes. Given below is a short list of how and why the leaves get the brown colouration as well as the prevention and cure.

Types of browning in orchid leaves
1. Leaves start browning from the tips, this can be caused due to a number of reasons.
• The leaf tips turning brown first and then drying out could be because the roots have stopped functioning, i.e. absorbing water. Roots could have rotted, sunburned, or infected with pests or disease. Insufficient watering leading to dehydration can be another cause of roots getting damaged. Remove the damaged roots to revive the orchid. 
• Sunburn can also cause leaves to turn brown. It is the likely cause if the leaves turn brown and brittle. They may also turn pale before turning brown. In this case shift the orchid to a shadier place away from direct sunlight.
• Another cause of leaf tip turning can be salt deposition, either due to over-fertilization or by using hard water for orchids. Salt deposition can be detected by examining the potting mix and leaves for any white traces of salt. In case, you find salt deposits then flush the potting mix and your orchid with pure water and reduce the fertilization frequency and concentration. Hard water can also cause salt depositions, so if your region gets hard water supply, then use RO water or rain water whichever is possible. 
• Fungus infection also causes browning of leaf tips. We can differentiate leaf tip browning from another causes by observing other symptoms of fungal infection, such roundish rings or elongated patches of gray/brown on the rest of the leaf. You can spray a fungicide, decrease the moisture as well as temperature around the orchid while increasing the amount of available light.
2. Leaves turning yellow followed by their rim or margins turning brown, it is most likely because of wrong watering practices .i.eeither over or insufficient watering.
3. Brown spots appearing on the leaf blade could be because of some infection, particularly fungal infection, which causes small ringed spots. If there are soft brown spots, then it is most probably bacteria to blame. Over watering and lack of air circulation are main causes of these types of infections. Remove infected plants parts and repot in a well-draining potting mix with plenty of air circulation.
4. Leaves first turn yellow then brown and eventually die. This is possibly due to fungal infection or less-than-adequate/over-watering watering. Remove the bad or rotted part and repot the orchid in a clean potting mix. Allow the potting mix to dry completely before watering again.

By taking remedial steps early on there are better chances of saving the orchid and drastic measures can be avoided. Use chemical fungicides/bactericides should minimal, instead maintain a healthy environment with good air circulation.

Share on Social Media:  
Log in to Add a Comment

New Topics

  1. Nancy Shapiro asked question Where did you find this type of orchid pot? in category General Discussion
  2. Charles H Wood asked question Orchids wanted St.Croix usvi in category General Discussion
  3. William Gorski asked question Is this a species or Primary Hybrid? in category General Discussion
  4. Therese Stecher asked question Banrot 40WP in category General Discussion
  5. Chen Jimmy asked question How to determine the species composition´╝č in category General Discussion

New Comments

  1. Dianne Mayne commented on topic "Banrot 40WP" by Therese Stecher
  2. Linda Thorne commented on member plant Paphiopedilum Munchkin Mopsi Aru by Linda Thorne
  3. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Orchids wanted St.Croix usvi" by Charles H Wood
  4. William Gorski commented on topic "Is this a species or Primary Hybrid?" by William Gorski
  5. Henry Shaw commented on member plant Coel. Jannine Banks 'Snow White' by Henry Shaw
  6. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Trichocentrum luridum" by Danny Lyon
  7. Carol Holdren commented on topic "What is the culture for Cattliante Chongkolnee" by Mike Minney
  8. Carol Holdren commented on topic "How to determine the species composition´╝č" by Chen Jimmy
  9. Lois Lane commented on member plant Ctna. Why Not by Alex Maximiano
  10. Carol Holdren commented on topic "SSPECIES OF ORCHID" by JENNIFER CHARMAN
  11. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Why can't I post on this site? " by Lois Lane
  12. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Historic Cattleya" by Karen Johansen
  13. Carol Holdren commented on topic "Encyclia aspera" by William Woodcock
  14. Jim McGuinn commented on topic "Designing a greenhouse for orchid growing" by Ron Hellendall
  15. Mark Bennett commented on member plant Sarcochilus Newbold Alta 'SBC092' by Mark Bennett
  16. Mark Bennett commented on member plant Sarcochilus Newbold High Noon 'SB140' by Mark Bennett
  17. Carol Holdren commented on orchid Epi. Moonlight Firefies
  18. Jeanne Uzar Hudson commented on topic "Paph Support" by Nicholas Levendosky
  19. Rosemary Chenery commented on topic "Lost tag - can anyone provide a name" by Rosemary Chenery
  20. Taylor Savage commented on topic "Myrmecatavola Frances Fox" by Elizabeth Wagner