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Survival Manual: Leaf Color Can Tell Your Orchid’s Future

The most wanted houseplants all over the world are definitely orchids. But at the same time, most plant lovers are afraid of growing orchids due to the number of problems they arise. Orchids are a bit fussy when it comes about their growing conditions and most of the time they need special care.

But, orchids can be grown quite easily in an indoor environment even if they have a few serious problems. Actually, any sign of disease is often shown on orchid’s leaves and roots.

Moreover, if a healthy Phalaenopsis orchid is in bloom or is preparing to bloom, its leaves should be the color of healthy grass, a bright medium green with yellow undertones. As Phalaenopsis orchids finish blooming and enter their dormant stage, the plant’s leaves will lose their luster, turning dull and taking on a somewhat grayish cast. But when the leaf color deviates from these norms, it is definitely something to be concerned of. As a matter of fact, knowing the problems associated with different leaf colors can help you pinpoint and correct orchid problems before they affect the health of your plant.

White Means Too Much Light

  • It indicates that your orchid is getting too much light. Overexposure to sunlight bleaches the color out of plant leaves, initially turning them white, then black as they die.
  • Move the plant out of direct sunlight and away from west-facing windows. Hanging sheer curtains at bright windows can help diffuse sunlight and protect orchid leaves from sunburn.

Black Means Fungus

  • Black leaves can indicate a bacterial or fungal growth or even too much fertilizing or mineral deposits from hard water. You can combat this by cutting away at the blackened portions with a sterile, sharp knife and incorporating antifungal and antibacterial remedies in your plant’s care.

Dark Green Means Too Little Light

  • It may indicate that your orchid is not getting enough light. Move the plant to a brighter room or closer to a window, but avoid direct light. Phalaenopsis orchids grow best in south and east-facing windows.

Brown Means Sickness

  • Brown streaks on your orchid’s leaves may indicate your orchid has come down with a bacterial or fungal disease.
  • If you notice brown streaks on your orchid’s leaves, the best course of action is to quarantine your plant until you know the exact problem.

Yellow Leaves Don’t Necessarily Indicate A Problem

  • If only the bottom leaf is turning yellow, your orchid is probably sloughing off a mature leaf to make room for new growth. You can leave the leaf in place until it withers and falls off the stalk or you can remove it using a sterile knife.

Limp Means Dehydration

  • If you notice your orchid’s leaves are withered and droopy, this could mean your plant is not getting enough water or humidity. Remember, an orchid’s natural habitat is a humid climate, so your plant needs moisture.
  • Depending on where you live, you may need to increase the amount of water or humidity around your orchid during the winter.
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