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My Dendrobium Orchid Has Yellow Leaves

Updated July 19, 2017

There are many reasons a dendrobium orchid develops yellow leaves, and not all reasons are cause for concern. Knowing the type of dendrobium you have is essential to diagnosing the reason for the yellow leaves.

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Yellow Leaves as a Natural Occurrence

Some types of dendrobium orchids are deciduous. The leaves will yellow as the plant pulls the nutrients out of them and then all the leaves on the cane fall off. While this seems traumatic, it is a natural process for these types of orchids in their cycle to rebloom.

Oldest Leaves Turn Yellow

If just one or two of the dendrobium leaves turns yellow and drops, it may just be the plant jettisoning the oldest leaves. This is a natural occurrence and is no reason for alarm.

Yellow Leaves as a Cry for Help

Yellow leaves can also be a sign of great stress. If your roots have rotted from being too wet or dessicated from being too dry, the leaves will turn yellow. Fungal, bacterial, or viral attacks can turn leaves yellow. Sunburn will turn the leaves yellow in blotches.

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About the Author

Molly Dugger Brennan has written professionally since 1982 as a technical author in Washington, D.C., producing proprietary analysis for her clients. She has also written on horticulture and orchid care and has lectured on orchid culture at garden shows since 2001. She won two American Horticultural Society gold medals for her orchids.

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