This article was last updated by on

Why Are My Orchid Leaves Drooping?

As an Orchid lover, it’s heartbreaking to see their leaves drooping. Your Orchid is probably facing several underlying issues.

Generally,  improper watering, direct sun exposure, improper temperatures, drainage issues, pests, and diseases are all common causes of orchid leaves drooping.

Listen to this article here.

So, follow this article till the end for quick and straightforward tips to save your Orchid Leaves from drooping.

Are Orchid Leaves Drooping Normal?

Drooping Orchids are easy to notice but do not necessarily mean the plant is dying.

As a plant grows older and produces new leaves, it’s typical for a few leaves to turn yellow, droop, or even fall off.

So, if your plant appears to be in good health overall, some yellow and droopy leaves aren’t a cause for alarm.

Orchid plant with drooping leaves
The normal leaves of Orchids are firm and bright green.

However, it’s a matter of concern if the younger leaves start to droop frequently.

Usually, drooping leaves in Orchids hint that your plant is going through improper watering, nutrients, light, or growing medium.

Why are my Orchid Leaves Drooping?

Orchid leaves droop to signify that the plant isn’t doing well, and improper watering, light, inadequate nutrients, etc., are the culprits.

1. Inadequate Lighting

When Orchids don’t get enough light to perform photosynthesis, their leaves may change to dark green with gradual drooping.

However, their leaves can also droop and turn yellow if you provide excessive light.

Orchid needs 12-14 hours of indirect light with 40-70% humidity daily to bloom and maintain their healthy, bright green leaves.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Place your orchid in an east or north-facing window with plenty of indirect sunlight.
  • Fluorescent tubes are among the most significant artificial light sources if your room has low light.
  • Use sheer curtains to keep them near windows with direct sunlight.

2. Improper Watering

Overwatering or underwatering are the common causes of your Orchid leaves drooping.

When the potting soil is dry, the plant doesn’t get enough nutrients and moisture to stay firm.

Moreover, excessive watering destroys the air pockets from where roots get oxygen, hence losing their ability to absorb water and nutrients.

Drooping leaves of Orchid
Pot with no drainage hole will result in root rot and drooping leaves.

As a result, leaves start to droop with many other symptoms, such as wilting, turning yellow, and many more.

Underwatered Orchid leaves have crispy, dry, and brown leaf margins, whereas root rot occurs with droopy leaves if it is overwatered.

However, underwatered orchid leaves will recover after you provide plenty of water.

Your Orchid may face droopy leaves even if you water properly due to improper drainage.

This often happens if the pot where your Orchid is thriving lacks drainage holes resulting in root rot.

Treatment and Preventive measures

  • Water your orchid only when the soil is 2 inches dry from the top down, allowing the excess water to flow through drainage holes.
  • Your Orchid needs water twice a week during summer and once a week during winter.
  • If the soil is too dry, use the bottom watering method.
  • Use appropriate-sized Terracotta pots with enough drainage holes.

3. Varying Temperatures

One of the most common reasons behind droopy Orchid leaves is extreme or too low temperatures.

Orchids thrive in temperatures ranging from 65-80°F during the day and 60-70°F at night.

Besides drooping, excessive heat causes limp and burnt leaves, no flowering, and dry root tips.

Moreover, the chilled temperature may cause gradual drooping with limp and brown leaves.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Replace your Orchids in a shaded place with proper air circulation.
  • Keep orchids away from the air coolers, window’s cold airflow, heaters, and vents.
  • Misting your Orchids once daily is a good option during summer.

4. Transplant Stress

Drooping of Orchid leaves for a short time occurs due to transplant shock when you repot them in a new container.

However, if you damage its roots during transplanting, the drooping may result in death too.

Transplant shock causes low soil hydration, Making your Orchid root difficult to function for some days.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Repot your Orchids only during spring and fall.
  • Water the orchid and leave it until the soil dries before watering again.
  • Don’t fertilize your Orchid for a week until it adjusts.

5. Pest and Disease

Aphids, mealybugs, scales, spider mites, and thrips are insect and mite pests that attack orchids.

These insects feed on the sap from the leaves, making them appear droopy with black spots.

Moreover, pathogens obstruct them from consuming enough water and nutrients, resulting in severe nutrient deficiency.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Isolate the affected plant and discard the leaves with severe invasion to prevent spreading.
  • Rinse and wash these bugs away using insecticidal soap or neem oil regularly.
  • Use Fungicides and pesticides if the problems persist.
  • Never water the leaves with pathogenic invasion as it helps to increase pathogens.

Tips to Take Care of Orchids

If you grow your Orchids with proper soil, water, temperature, and light, it isn’t too difficult to see them blooming with healthy leaves.

  • Keep your orchid plants moisturized, but not to the point of drowning, to prevent root rot.
  • Changing the habitat of your orchid regularly is not a good idea, as they hardly adapt to new environments.
  • Fertilize your baby Orchids weekly during growing seasons and monthly when they are mature.
Blooming Orchid plant
The exposed roots of Orchids help to absorb moisture from the air.
  • Repot orchids every couple of years or when the roots start to emerge.
  • Grow your orchids in coarse soil mixed with perlite, fir-bark, and sphagnum moss with a pH between 5.5-6. 
  • Use only filtered, rain, or distilled water for your Orchids.

From Editorial Team

Water your Orchids with Ice Cubes!

One of the best ways to water your Orchids is with ice cubes.

Put some ice cubes on the potting mix’s surface and let them melt slowly.

This helps to cool the roots and decrease the chances of root rot.

Moreover, the slow melting helps the potting mix to absorb the water evenly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *