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Too Much Heat Can Damage Your Phalaenopsis Orchid

January 5, 2021

You spend all winter trying to stay warm—but did you know your Phalaenopsis orchid could actually be getting too much heat right now?

It seems counterintuitive, but it's true. Here's what you need to know about orchid winter care to protect your orchid from excessive heat. 

Heat Stress In Orchids

Although Phalaenopsis orchids are tropical plants that thrive in warm climates, they can become severely damaged when left in hot environments for long periods of time. When moisture evaporates from the orchid's tissues faster than it's being replaced, the plant becomes dehydrated, according to the American Orchid Society

Signs of heat stress in orchids include:

  • Yellow or withered leaves
  • Leathery leaves, which indicate cellular damage
  • Shriveled pseudobulbs, a sign the orchid has used up its moisture reserves

While heat stress in orchids is most often associated with the summer sun (which can burn their leaves and dry them out), it can also happen during the winter. One of the biggest culprits is keeping your orchid too close to heat sources, such as vents or fireplaces.

How To Protect Your Orchid From Heat Damage 

Caring for your Phalaenopsis orchid in the winter is easy. Just follow these quick tips:

  • Avoid leaving your orchid in a place that has limited air circulation, very dry heat, or in a sunny window for a long period of time. Heat vents and fireplaces are especially harmful.
  • Avoid placing your orchid between the curtain and the window. The curtain can trap heat and make the area around the window very hot — so hot that damage may happen quickly.
  • Keep temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Avoid placing your orchids near drafts. A constant blast of cold air can also be damaging. 

In general, what's comfortable for you is good for your orchid. Just think about where you place your orchid during the winter and continue to water it once a week. 


For more tips to help your orchid thrive, download our orchid winter care guide.