Leaves and Stems

spikes & leaves

taking the pulse of your orchid

An orchid’s leaves can be an excellent indicator of your plant’s health. To help you become an orchid leaf expert we’ve compiled answers to the most common questions.

what to do with phalaenopsis orchid spikes

Clock Icon

Continue your care

Your orchid may produce new blooms on an old flower spike. Continue to care for it as usual
Trim Icon

Trim the spike

No new buds? Cut the spike back to a node, which might encourage the spike to produce new flower spikes
Remove Icon

Remove entire spike

Cutting it off one inch from the base of the plant can help it grow stronger to produce a new spike

frequently asked questions about leaves

What should healthy orchid leaves look like?

Your orchid’s leaves should be firm and green.

Why are my orchid’s leaves dull?

Dull leaves are often a warning sign of a thirsty orchid. To be sure, check its roots. A well-watered orchid will have plump, green roots. But if your orchid’s roots are whitish or gray, it needs better hydration.

Why is there a sticky substance on my orchid?
If you encounter a sticky residue on your plant, it’s most likely the result of cooler fall temperatures. You can easily remove the stickiness by just wiping the leaves with a warm, wet towel. Also, see our page on banishing pests.
My orchid’s leaves are sunburned. Can I do anything about it?

Just like you may become a little dehydrated after a day of sunbathing, so can your orchid. To prevent burning your orchid, keep an eye on your orchid’s roots for symptoms of dehydration and make sure it’s getting enough water. Healthy roots will be green. Gray or white roots mean your plant needs more water.

The bottom leaf has turned yellow. What’s wrong?

Nothing! This is just the natural process of the plant discarding a mature leaf so it can produce a new one. It’s the circle of life.

All of the leaves have fallen off my orchid. What can I do?

Usually, when a Phalaenopsis orchid loses all of its leaves, it’s a sign that it’s dealing with severe disease or pests. If this is the case, it will likely not recover. 

Orchid Leaf Guide
Free Download

Orchid HealthWhat Your Leaves Are Telling You

Orchid leaves often take a backseat to the exotic beauty of orchid blooms. But leaves can do something blooms can’t: Orchid leaves can help predict your plant’s future.