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Orchid leaf

Hi all,

So I've got this orchid which I bought for my gran about 4 years ago, and when she passed 3 years ago it began life in our kitchen window sill. It seems to love it there and was the first orchid we didn't kill after 1 flower and flowers all year round every year. 

Unfortunately my wife did accidentally break a branch recently, which can be seen by the tape, but hopefully it will carry on with other paths but the last couple of days I've noticed this funny leaf. I'm not sure if there is anything wrong with it and if so if there is anything I can do.


  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,537
    They look like they are in desperate need of repotting. The leaves do naturally die off at the base and generate new ones on the top so you can go ahead and remove the yellow one, it shouldn't be too long before it would fall one anyway. Get hold of some orchid growing medium and get them carefully out of the pot on a piece of newspaper or similar and remove all the bark and cut any dead roots, which it looks like you have a few there. It's easy to tell the difference between healthy and dead roots, healthy ones are green and plump anything that looks remotely brown or desiccated can be removed. Once you clear all the old compost then you can put the newly cleaned out roots into the pot with the new compost. It would do the plant a world of good. Any old flowering stems that have dried out should be removed to the base. Plenty of orchid repotting videos on youtube to guide you if need be. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,064
    Yes, don't worry about the single leaf. You can just cut it off carefully at the base.

    I would trim back all the old flower stems (with no flowers on them any more) , either right back to the base of to a node. Details here. You can cut the broken stem off in the same way - below the break.

    Perhaps think of re-potting, although having lots of reaching ariel roots are normal - they want to be above the pot. You could get a slightly larger clear pot (so light can get to the roots). Unpot the plant and examine the buried roots. Trim off any that look brown or rotten. Healthy roots should look plump shiny grey or green. Put into the new pots in an orchid bark medium (not moss or earth etc). They are best watered by plunging the pot into a pan of water for five mins and then allowed to drain completely. How often you do that will depend on the season. Get to know the weight of your pots, wet and dry, and learn when they need water. Many more orchids die off from over watering than under watering.

    I have my orchids by the sink too. Do be super-careful that no cleaning sprays / soap / fat etc gets on the orchid leaves. In my over-enthusiasm with spraying the sink, I have, before now, hit a leaf by mistake - and it looked like your yellow leaf. Perhaps put the plants to the side of the sink, rather than right over it. Orchids have zero tolerance for even a bit of cleaner.

    Good luck with it.
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