This is why an orchid gets brown leaves - the 2 most common causes

This is why an orchid gets brown leaves - the 2 most common causes

Cause # 1: sunburn

The south window is forbidden terrain for orchids. Here the exotic rainforest flowers come under direct sunlight in summer at lunchtime. The consequences are fatal, because the leaves turn brown and die. Therefore, choose a location by the west or east window where the sensitive plants can enjoy mild sunshine in the morning or evening.

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Cause No. 2: waterlogging

The desire for high humidity does not imply that orchids should be watered frequently and abundantly. The epiphytes actually prefer a slightly moist substrate that dries up well in the meantime. The leaves turn brown when an orchid suffers from wet feet. How to prevent the damage:

  • If the aerial roots feel dry, submerge the entire root area in water
  • Let the water drain well and only then put it in the planter

In addition, spray an orchid regularly with a gentle mist of room-warm, lime-free water. Include the aerial roots, because in the wild the epiphytic plants absorb moisture from the air in this way.


Don't just cut off brown leaves. As long as it is still green in some areas, a leaf makes at least a rudimentary contribution to the supply of bulbs, shoots, buds and flowers. Only when an orchid leaf has completely died is it ideally plucked, twisted out or cut off with a disinfected scalpel.