My Dendrobium Orchid Has Yellow Leaves

Dendrobium orchid
Dendrobium orchid (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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.

Video of the Day

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.

Dendrobium orchid
Dendrobium orchid (Image: white purple orchid image by Heng kong Chen from

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.

A den-phal orchid, which is a dendrobium crossed with a phalaenopsis.
A den-phal orchid, which is a dendrobium crossed with a phalaenopsis. (Image: cooktown orchids (dendrobium phalaenopsis) image by leprechaun from

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.

A dendrobium orchid
A dendrobium orchid (Image: orchid image by Vita Vanaga from


  • "Orchid Biology"; Joseph Arditti; 1977
Promoted By Zergnet

You May Also Like

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.