Orchid Plant Problems


Orchids are more exacting in the requirements than most houseplants. Correcting cultural practices and growing conditions solves most orchid problems.


  • Orchid species differ in their light requirements. Most do well in filtered light from a south-facing window. When an orchid doesn’t get enough light, new growth may be weak and spindly. Too much light causes leaves to turn yellowish or red.


  • Most orchids grow well at regular room temperatures but optimum temperatures vary with the species. Night temperatures should be 10 to 15 degrees below day temperatures. Orchids may not flower when temperatures are off, and new growth is soft and spindly.


  • Over- and under-watering are the most common most common cause of orchid death. Water thoroughly and allow the media to dry slightly between watering. The symptoms of over- and under-watering are similar. The plant grows slowly, shrivels and eventually fails.


  • Orchids are susceptible to the same insect pests as other houseplants including mealybugs, scales, thrips and spider mites. Use insecticidal soaps and horticultural oil sprays as necessary to control insects.

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