What to do - do orchids drop leaves?
Home orchids require an attentive, sensitive attitude and comfortable conditions. Neglect of these rules is fraught with discoloration and loss of plant leaves. In the article, we consider the reasons why orchids lose their leaves, and measures to combat this problem.
Basic Orchid Care
An orchid will preserve health and decorativeness for a long time, if you create conditions in the house close to the natural, natural for its growing environment.
Did you know? The Orchid family appeared on Earth about 145 million years ago.
The plant needs to ensure compliance with such requirements:
- Lighting Moderately bright, diffused (one of the options is a light-diffusing curtain), without direct sunlight.
- Daylight hours - 13-15 hours.
- Temperature Day temperature range - + 18 ... + 27 ° С, night - + 13 ... + 24 ° С. When flowering ceases, it will be necessary to reduce the daytime temperature to + 12 ° C, and the night temperature to + 10 ° C. This will provoke a little stress in the flower, and it will begin to lay buds. Then you should gradually return to normal temperature conditions.
- Humidity Optimal - 60–70%.
- Location - east or west windows.
- Watering . Once a week, in winter - less often. Watering is carried out by two methods - either by immersion in a container with a plant in water or by shower. Water for irrigation should be at room temperature, soft, possibly boiled.
- Soil . The best option is a prepared substrate from shop soil for orchids and small amounts of expanded clay (or polystyrene), sphagnum moss, oak or pine bark, husks from seeds, charcoal and perlite added to it. Additives loosen the soil and improve the flow of air to the root system of the flower.
- Top dressing . It is made during the active growth and flowering of orchids twice a month. The use of off-the-shelf fertilizer is recommended.
Why do orchids fall leaves and flowers
Falling leaves is a fairly common problem when growing orchids. If such a phenomenon occurs, the first thing to do is to find out the cause of the fall - more on that later.
Orchids in certain periods of time, some physiological processes occur due to the life cycle of the plant. In different types of flower, the duration of this cycle is also different, for example, in the most common type of home orchid - phalaenopsis, it is 2-3 years.
This means that by the age of 2-3 years, the leaf life is over, and the plant needs revitalization.
Accordingly, if, with proper care, the orchid still leaves fall, then this is not a cause for concern - this is a natural change in physiological periods. After some time, the plant forms new leaves, and it will recover. Orchid care in this case is assumed to be ordinary.
Did you know? Cut orchid sprouts preserve their freshness in a vase for about 3-4 weeks.
Loss of leaves, as a rule, is caused by errors in the care of the plant. Consider in detail the main mistakes in the cultivation of orchids, leading to such consequences.
Temperature and lighting
Orchid, like any living organism, has the ability to self-regulation. However, this ability is limited, and at a certain moment the flower can no longer protect itself from the abundance of light or uncomfortable temperature, and the orchid discards the foliage.
The signaling of the excess lighting burning the leaves is their darkening or yellowing.
Fallen flowers and drooping leaves are a sign of a lack of light.
In the cold season, in order to raise the air temperature near the plant, a container with a flower is often placed near heating appliances. And this leads to the fact that the heating devices, drying the air, reduce the percentage of moisture in it, which, in turn, affects the plant in the most negative way.
Moisture evaporates both from the substrate and from the surface of the leaves, as a result of which the plant rapidly loses moisture. To survive such stress, the flower is forced to defend itself by dropping leaves.
It will also be useful for you to find out why the leaves of the orchid wilt and turn yellow.
Leaning of leaves by a plant can result in either scanty or overly plentiful watering.
With excessive soil moisture, a deficiency of oxygen forms at the root system of the flower, which leads to the multiplication of putrefactive bacteria, and in the future, to the loss of leaves by the flower.
Over watering is signaled by such signs:
- The color change is not only the leaves, but the whole plant.
- Softness and humidity of leaves, the presence of black spots on them.
- Darkening and blackening of the roots.
- The plant is easy to extract from the pot.
Important! The absence of drainage holes in the flower container leads to stagnation of moisture and, as a result, to root decay.
One of the reasons for falling can be improper feeding: as a result, there is a shortage or, conversely, an excess of fertilizers. Too high a concentration of fertilizers leads to the deposition of mineral salts on the ground, which does not allow the roots to absorb moisture.
This will be evidenced by the softening and yellowing of the leaves and, if appropriate measures are not taken, their decay.
In addition to the above, to the loss of orchid leaves will also help lead:
- Unsuitable capacity. Too small a pot will compress the root system, and the incoming moisture will not have time to leave.
- Loss of soil drainage ability and the proper level of aeration.
- Mechanical damage to the root system.
The consequence of such problems is waterlogging of the soil, rotting of the roots and falling of leaves.
Important! Orchid does not tolerate drafts - this leads to hypothermia and wilting of the flower.
Wrong choice of neighbors
The proximity to plants from the families of the Agave, Araukariyev, and Pepper can also provoke falling.
Diseases or pests
Deteriorating orchids may be due to diseases or pests.
Pests that appear on the flower infect the orchid with infectious diseases, and the weakened flower is not able to fight in full force, respectively, the leaves fall off.
The appearance of a thin cobweb on the inner surface of the leaf indicates an attack of the plant with a spider mite.
Yellowing of leaves, the appearance of yellow spots on their green surface may indicate attacks of aphids, nematodes, or scale insects.
It will also be useful for you to find out what to do if the buds of an orchid fall.
- Gray rot - this is evidenced by the coating of aerial roots, flowers and leaves with a gray fluffy coating.
- Anthracnose and powdery mildew - the symptoms are black spots with yellow or fluffy plaque.
What to do depending on the reason?
Having dealt with the reasons why all the leaves have fallen off the orchid, now consider what needs to be done in such cases.
- If there is a shortage of light, you need to use additional lighting in the form of a fluorescent (phyto-) lamp or move the container with a flower to another place.
- Watering is regular, depending on the time of year and the condition of the flower. In the heating season and during the peak of summer heat, more frequent soil moisture will be required, in spring and autumn - as the soil dries.
- When waterlogging the soil, an urgent flower transplantation into a new substrate is necessary, while it is necessary to remove the rotted parts of the root system with the processing of the cut sites.
- With a decrease in air humidity - regular spraying of a flower from a spray bottle with room temperature water, in addition - placement of wet expanded clay or moss in a pot with a plant (usually a pallet under a container).
- If the air temperature changes above or below the permissible limit, the flower should be moved to a comfortable place.
- Top dressing exclusively before flowering with strict observance of the necessary concentration. Before proceeding with the normalization of fertilizers, the pot with the plant must be thoroughly washed under a stream of warm water. Fertilize should begin with nitrogen fertilizing, stimulating the development of new leaves.
- Placing a container with a flower next to only valid neighbors.
When affected by pests or diseases, the following measures are necessary:
- Spider mite - rinse the affected parts of the flower with standing water with a temperature of + 39 ... 50 ° C, then cover the plant with polyethylene and incubate for 3 days; if it doesn’t help, treat it with Neoron or Typhos.
- Aphids - also wash the affected parts with warm water, treat the leaves with a soap solution, and spray the plant with Fitoverm.
- Gray rot - the use of the drug "Immunocytophyte."
- Powdery Mildew - Cumulus Treatment
- Anthracnose - the use of the drug "Mikosan."
The basis of prevention is its timeliness.
Preventive measures include:
- The 14-day quarantine of a flower from the moment it appears in the house.
- Water treatments for the plant.
- Permanent orchid care, attention.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the falling of leaves in an orchid in most cases is the result of insufficient attention paid to the plant. Proper care and tireless care will ensure a long and healthy life of this beautiful flower.