Proper Identification of Orchid Problems and Provide The Treatment

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Growing orchids is a fun and exciting past-time activity. As they bear flowers, you can place them indoors or outside your home and make them as attractive decorations. You can also add the flowers in bouquets or corsage for special events.

orchid problems

Orchids can really be used in various ways. But as you go along propagating them, there are inevitable circumstances that you can encounter and one of them is orchid problems.

There are a number of reasons why there are orchid problems. You have to identify the cause of the orchid problems so that you can immediately institute appropriate interventions.

This will help prevent in causing damage or leaving detrimental effects to your growing orchid plants. Thus, your plant can still grow healthy after undergoing a problem.

In propagating orchids, the orchid grower can encounter a lot of orchid problems. Beginners might be in doubt on what to do but the very first thing you should do is to identify what triggered the event because this will guide you in creating a plan for proper interventions.

Here are some orchid problems that an orchid propagator can encounter:

Pests are one of the most common problems in orchids. There are various pests that can cause harm to your plant, which includes slugs, mealybugs, weevils, common scale, Boisduval scale, thrips, greenfly, blackfly, and spider mite.

Viruses do not only attack humans but as well as orchids. Odontoglossum ringspot virus (ORSV)  and Cymbidium mosaic virus (CymMV) are two of the most common viruses that cause problems in orchids.

Root problems can also occur if they are placed in an area that is unsuitable for growth and development. And, if the orchid grower has not provided all the needs of the plant. This can lead to yellowing of leaves and your orchids will not bear flowers.

Here’s what you can do to solve orchid problems:

Maintain a garden that is free from pests and insects. If you have noticed any presence of insects or pests, you can eradicate them by making use of pesticides. You just have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If your orchid has been infected with a virus, isolate it. You have to throw gloves that have been exposed to the infected orchids and sterilize all the tools you have used in the infected orchid.

To prevent yellowing of the orchid’s leaves, you have to provide all their needs to promote proper growth and development.

More on Orchid Problems

Orchids like all other plants need to have the same basic needs in order to avoid problems and pests. However, due to the nature of orchids and, in particular, their diverse geographic origins and types – epiphytes or terrestrial, how problems are addressed can differ from considerably mainstream plants.

caring for orchids

Orchids also make it difficult to determine when there are problems and can deteriorate and die very quickly if problems are not caught and resolved.

Healthy orchids are obvious to the naked eye. Really sick orchids may not be as obvious at first glance. Often, the fungal disease can be well progressed and close to killing a plant before signs become obvious. The best way to avoid these kinds of problems is to learn the early-stage signals that indicate disease.

Fungal Heartache

Fungal infections can kill an orchid in no time at all. If you have a plant with leaves containing yellow streaked areas turning to black streaks or circles, it is likely that you are dealing with some kind of fungus. Antifungal treatments can be found at your local nursery or online. If your orchids do not respond to this treatment, you may have a fungal disease that is incurable.

Of course, things are never that simple. Yellowing leaves may not always be a sign of fungal trouble and can be a sign that your orchid is receiving too much sunlight. One way to determine which is to check the bottom leaves.

If the yellowing and drooping are limited to just the top leaves of the plant and the bottom leaves are appear healthy, then it is likely that you need to change the lighting conditions to resolve your orchid problems.

Toxic Plight

Orchids are susceptible to mineral toxicity as well. While the plant needs a certain number of minerals to be healthy, too many can cause poisoning that, in some cases, can kill the plant. You can identify this problem when younger leaves turn yellow (those yellow leaves again) as soon as they begin to mature.

In particular orchids have a sensitivity to phosphorous which, as with all mineral issues, can be remedied by changing the potting media and ensure that the correct fertilizer is being employed.

Don’t Go into the Light

As briefly mentioned above, some problems can occur from too much sunlight. Leaves that are yellow with brown or black spots can be an indication of ‘sunburn’. To determine if this is the case, move plants out of the sun and remove any affected leaves (or part of a leaf).

If the yellowing and spots return in this reduced lighting, then you can eliminate the sun being the cause and start looking at other potential causes such as a fungus or bug infestation.

The Root of All Evil

When repotting your orchids, it’s important to check the roots for signs of rot from too much water. If they are soft to the touch, then you need to place them into drier soil and refrain from overwatering.

It is often possible to recover an orchid with soaked roots if the potting media is changed immediately for a drier alternative and the roots allowed to dry out completely.

Bacterial Infection

If you found your orchid seems to have really weird looking patches on its leaves, and it starts out as a sort of a wet spot the color changes a little bit and then as days go by it progresses pretty fast and takes over more and more of the leaf in the original place where the wet spots started to appear a brown thing going on.

Your orchids are actually going yellow, then you know the disease is actually spreading. You may found some sort of bacterial brown rot and you need to take some action to solve the issue.

You will need a sterilized pair of scissors or a sterilized blade. To sterilize it, you can use alcohol and clean the blades of your scissors as much as you can. You can also flame them a bit as this will take care of all the pathogens that might be present on your scissors.

When dealing with a bacterial infection orchid, you need to remove the affected portion. If you still have a piece of leaf that is not affected, you can cut into healthy tissue so you will see where the edge of the infection is.

You should use a sort of bacteriacide or fungicide if you have any but some substances are forbidden. Also, you might be the type of person who doesn’t like to use pretty toxic substances, so if you are acquainted with
bacteriacide or fungicides, then you can use them regularly.

If you are not the type of person who wishes to use pre toxic substances, you can use hydrogen peroxide where you can actually find this at your local pharmacy. it is used to disinfect wounds so it is not toxic but do get the 3 percent concentration.

You can pour hydrogen peroxide in a little bottle and spray the entire orchids or just the part of the orchid that was affected. Hydrogen peroxide has the benefit to actually eliminate fungi.

You may also try to use cinnamon on cut wounds. You may wonder how cinnamon works well practically cinnamon dehydrates this means that a layer of tissue will get very dry. A dry layer of tissue cannot get infected so this is why you can use cinnamon as prevention for reinfection of the leaf.

You can just apply cinnamon only on the portion that you just cut. Remember to try not to spread cinnamon on the surface of the media and the roots. This is due to dehydrates and roots really don’t like to be dehydrated.

Dry off the Orchid

Water can get trapped and promote rotting infections bacterial, fungal infections, and other diseases. This can be the reason your orchid got sick. To prevent this, try to not water your orchids from above particularly for new growth orchids. If you are forced to water your orchid, make sure that you dry off the new growth as best as possible.

When come to dry off the orchid, you can use a tissue paper to remove as much water as possible and if you cannot get in all the crevices, try placing your orchid in front of a fan for a couple of hours and this will prevent infection.

You can also place the orchid in front of a fan as close as possible. Make sure that the orchid will not tip over because of the blow of the fan. Also, make sure that the leaves don’t brush against each other which can destroy each other.

Also, try to maintain your growing area very well ventilated. Fresh air is very important so make sure that you open the windows. If it’s too cold outside, at least keep them open for five to ten minutes just to refresh the air.

Let the orchid benefit of the draft and in about an hour it’s going to be completely dry.


Orchids provide some of the most gorgeous and delicate flowers available in the whole plant kingdom. Part of taking good care of your orchids is spotting and rectifying problems as quickly and effectively.

In addition to the points provided in this article, you should become familiar with the specific needs of your orchid. Doing so will guarantee your orchids remain beautiful, provide enormous satisfaction, and admired for years to come.


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