Yellow Orchid Leaves: What to Do About It…

Question of the Week:

“Hi Ryan,
I have about 50 of my Phals potted in
pro-mix & yellow leaves they are watered on a mat that soaks up the water/fertilizer from the bottom drainage holes. A few of them have been getting ugly yellowing/brown leaves that eventually die (rot, I think). I get this at times when my Phals need repotted in spag/bark mix!

I pour the water into the tray (about 1/2″) till the pot soaks up all the liquid to the top. Then if too much water is left in the tray I pour it out but usually it soaks it all up. I wanted to figure how to do this since I dread watering all by hand! I used to water my African Violets
this way! Thanks for any info you can give me.

aerial roots
I also grow under T5 lights & as of now the lights are on for 16 hours. The temps in my orchid room
get to about 85 degrees during the day & 75 at night!
And that is with the ac on!”

– Amy Geier Warren, MI


Ryan’s Recommendation:

Hi Amy,

That’s quite a Phalaenopsis collection you have there! Yellowing leaves like you’ve demonstrated in your photos can be a result of rotting roots. We suggest that you remove the Phals with yellowing leaves from their pots and carefully inspect their roots. Root rot can cause foliage to turn yellow and die off, and if left to continue rotting, the plant will eventually die. Healthy roots are green or greenish yellow in color and firm to the touch, while rotten roots feel mushy or hollow and turn brown in color. They may even smell bad!

Once you discover Yellow Orchid Leaves on your plant, here’s what you want to do:Green Thumb Club Members Only
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