If your bottom orchid leaf has turned yellow it does not necessarily mean your orchid is sick or dying. You can not prevent your bottom orchid leaves from turning yellow because this is the natural cycle of an orchid.
You see orchids work in balance between new leaves, new roots and blooms. In order for blooms to appear in the winter and spring, new leaves and new roots need to grow in the summer and fall. Older leaves, over time, will die back naturally… as will new leaves appear (shown below). From this new growth will come the next bloom!
So when your bottom orchid leaves turn yellow and fall off… This is a good sign! It means your orchid is following natures cues and preparing for new growth!
Okay so what to do with the yellow orchid leafs?
1. Do nothing and wait. The orchid will eventually shed the leaf itself and seal off the area that it fell from.
2. Cut it off. Use a clean tool to avoid the possible spread of disease. Apply cinnamon (yes, the common household spice) to the area you just cut as a preventative measure against any possible infection that may try to set in.
When to actually worry –
- If your orchid drops many leaves very suddenly or if you see dark slimy spots…. Click on this post. I have found that best defense against this is Physan 20 applied to the affected leaves at a rate of 1 Tablespoon / gallon of water.
- If your leaves are turning really dark. Click here.
If you want to know how to clean orchid leaves. Click here.
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Hope that Helps,
Please feel free to leave comments or questions.