For many people, the thought of owning and growing a Phalaenopsis orchid can be intimidating. In reality though, Phalaenopsis orchids are hardy plants that are forgiving of many of the mistakes that people can make during their care. This is why the Phalaenopsis orchid is the most popular orchid for beginner orchid owners.
One of the concerns that orchid owners often have is when the leaves of the orchid plant begin to turn yellow and fall off. This can happen for several reasons…both good and bad.
Like other types of house plants, you may experience a leaf that turns yellow on the Phalaenopsis orchid plant sometimes. This yellowing does not always mean that the orchid plant is sick or dying. The yellowing of the orchid leaf or leaves is part of the natural cycle of the orchid’s life. Over time older leaves will die off so that newer leaves will have the opportunity to grow on the plant.
Sometimes Phalaenopsis orchids will drop a leaf or two when they are brought into a new environment. Phalaenopsis orchids require a certain amount of humidity for good health. If their living environment has changed into a dryer climate, it’s not uncommon for some leaves to turn yellow and then drop off. In a dry environment, using a humidity tray under the orchid will help give the orchid the moisture that it needs.
The worst case of yellowing leaves on a Phalaenopsis orchid is when you find that the orchid has been hit with a bacteria, fungus or rot. It is important to isolate the orchid if you suspect bacteria or fungus and treat the affected areas as soon as possible. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information about sick orchids.