Causes of Orchid Sticky Leaves and Treatment (Expert Care)

Having found sticky leaves on an orchid, clean, like a tear of a florist breaking his head, conceal the danger is this a norm or a pathology?  you should not immediately panic this can be a natural process or because the orchid is sick.

It is necessary to examine the flower and only after that proceed with treatment.

Below we will describe why orchid sticky leaves appear and what to do to help the plant.

orchid sticky leaves

What do orchid sticky leaves look like?

Having discovered a deviation from the norm, the florist begins to worry about the condition of his ward. 

What do orchid sticky leaves look like:

  • translucent spots on orchid leaves
  • tears in orchid leaves
  • clear sticky stuff on orchid leaves
  • Hanging drops;
  • In the form of a white coating over the entire leaf plate.

All these discharges can be for various reasons.

orchid sticky leaves drops and spots that look like liquid resin

These spots can be located around the entire perimeter of the leaf and have clear boundaries, you can also say that they look like dew drops.

White Sticky On Orchids

A white, sticky coating covers most of the leaf and looks like the color has changed from inside the plant.

When is stickiness a natural process?

This natural process has its own name transpiration. Evaporating from the cells of the plant, moisture settles on the leaf plates. Also, sometimes nectar appears on the leaves, which is formed from the sugars of the plant.

It attracts insects to pollinate flowers. Also, some harmful insects, whose homeland is the tropics, do not tolerate the smell of orchid nectar and this scares them away from the plant.

cause of sticky orchid leaves

There are main causes of sticky orchid leaves appearing on the leaves of a plant.

cause of sticky orchid leaves

Formation of flower nectar

Nectar is formed as a product of the processing of sugars inside the flower. It is indispensable for attracting various insects to pollinate the orchid at the time of flowering. Sometimes pests also fly to the nectar, but they immediately stick to the plant and die without causing any damage to the orchid.

To be completely sure that this is nectar and not a consequence of the vital activity of pests, you need to carefully examine the flower for their presence. If harmful insects are not found, and the orchid is in the flowering stage, then these droplets are a natural secretion – nectar. here if you facing problem Orchid Leaves Wrinkled And Limp.

sap on orchid

Sticky drops and spots can be from excessive watering when the room is already quite humid and the sun is shining brightly.

If we add to this a lower content temperature, then these factors will affect the appearance of dew on the leaves of the plant.

The liquid inside the container oversaturates the flower too much, and it releases excess moisture through the leaf plates.

And the humidity in the room does not allow it to evaporate from the sheet. In this case, it is necessary to reduce watering so that this does not lead to the rotting of the leaves.

Overfeeding Orchid with phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen fertilizers

White bloom may be a response to too frequent feeding of the plant with phosphorus and other fertilizer components. Excess sugars are released and form a white sticky coating. In this case, it is necessary to replace the substrate and do not feed it for six months.

Pests and diseases

But you should be careful, as pests can also release sticky spots. These include:

  • Mealybug;
  • Shchitovka;
  • False shield.

When various pests are found, the orchid is removed from the quarantine zone and treated with appropriate chemical insecticides. They can be purchased at garden centers.

IMPORTANT! Give your plants time at least once a week to inspect them for pests and determine if the plant is sick. Because a couple of pieces are easier to eliminate than when they multiply into a whole colony, completely infecting the entire flower.

why are my orchid leaves sticky underneath?

why are my orchid leaves sticky underneath

Sticky leaf plates on the underside are a manifestation of the waste product of harmful insects. It is necessary to immediately remove the plant from the main group and carefully examine the plants for the presence of a pest.

It is they who, located in secluded places, suck the sap of the plant and secrete a sticky substance, which can subsequently attract soot fungus. Therefore, it is necessary to treat the plant for the pest found and leave it in quarantine for another couple of weeks to make sure that it is free from harmful insects. What to do if Orchid Stopped Growing Leaves?

identify clear sticky stuff on orchid leaves

Orchid hydrators are located along with the very edge of the underside of the leaf, so the appearance of a sticky substance on its entire surface alarms many orchomaniacs. This may indicate the release of nectar not by a plant, but by sucking parasites: spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs, thrips, and aphids.

In many cases, it is possible to detect indirect symptoms indicating certain pathologies in development.

Checklist for identifying the cause of sticky drops:

  1. Quick-drying droplets form dry, raised, or sunken spots. A signal that the roots are in distress and need to reduce watering.
  2. Watery, soft spots. Development of dangerous bacterial rot.
  3. Sticky white coating on orchid leaves. An indicator of infection of flowers by powdery mildew, a dangerous fungal disease.
  4. Drops that have a yellowish and even amber hue, appearing not only on green parts but also on dry leaves and stumps of roots. A sign of plant damage by rhizome rot, which is very difficult to recognize.
  5. The appearance of sticky drops from the bottom of the leaf, along the stem and peduncle. Evidence of the presence of a mealybug, scale insect or aphid. The females of the mealybug secrete a sticky pad, which falls into the field of view. Around the droplets slightly smeared on the surface, traces of insect excrement can be seen.

Ants love sugary secretions. Sometimes they bring in worms. Sweet drops become a breeding ground for a sapotrophic fungus from the genus Capnodium (“black”).

Spider mites can cause a plant to secrete sticky nectar from its leaves.

You can check for parasites by tapping the leaves on a sheet of white paper.

orchid sticky leaves Treatment

Depending on the cause, it is necessary to begin to eliminate it. Only nectar is considered a natural cause, and such a sticky is not removed from the orchid leaves blades.

orchid sticky leaves treatment

orchid sticky leaves treatment parameters

Orchids come from the tropics, so their care must be special. The exact parameters of the microclimate depend on the type of orchid and its growing season. However, there are general content standards.

Primary requirements:

  1. Provide optimal lighting conditions. The lighting is diffused, but not overly bright. Light day is increased with the help of additional illumination.
  2. Maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity for orchids. Summer – 20 ° -25 ° С, winter – 15 ° -22 ° С (deviations are permissible for certain species), humidity – not higher than 70%.
  3. Watering orchids must be unmistakable. It depends on the size of the root system and periods of activity. If the roots are huge, the orchid is watered more often and more abundantly. The substrate should dry out, and not be continuously wet.
  4. The daily temperature difference should not exceed 5°-8°C.
  5. It is advisable to use a chelated form of fertilizer.

Pest Control

It is better to prevent the plant and treat it once a year from fungal infections and pests. Also, the correct content will help the grower and protect the plant from the appearance of harmful insects. It must be remembered that a newly purchased plant must be quarantined to make sure that it is not infected.

proper care

Improper care weakens the plant, and it becomes vulnerable to various pests. Also, excessive watering leads not only to the appearance of dew on the leaves but also with systematic frequent watering, the root system of the orchid begins to rot.

IMPORTANT! Proper care of the plant is the key to the success of its cultivation.

quarantine orchid

If the flower is affected by a fungal infection, it must be quarantined, watering and spraying should be stopped, and treated with an appropriate fungicide. If, in addition to wet weeping spots, black ones appear, they must be cut out with a sharp blade, and then treated with an antiseptic.

Read out Home Remedy For Mealybugs On Orchids.

Prevent Orchid From Sticky Leaves Problem

For a plant to grow well, it needs proper care. To do this, you need to pay attention to the following points:

prevent orchid from sticky leaves problem

Substrate selection

First, we determine the type of plant according to the classification of orchid plants. This is necessary in order to know which substrate to use when planting a plant. Since there are epiphytic species landing in the bark and sphagnum moss, and there are terrestrial ones, where in addition to these components there are peat, coal, and various additives, such as coconut fiber.

IMPORTANT! By the appearance of the plant, you can determine which species it belongs to. Epiphytic ones grow in one bush and their leaf plates are located opposite each other, while terrestrial ones creep underground like raspberries.


starts watering the plant when its roots have become gray, and condensation inside the pot no longer appears. In summer – this is a period of 7-10 days. But again, it all depends on the ambient temperature. In winter, watering is about once a month. The exception is if the apartment is very hot and orchids are cultivated with illumination by special lamps for plants. Watering itself is best done by immersion. A container is selected so that the flower pot placed in it sinks to a depth to such an extent that the entire bark gets wet. Watering lasts 30 minutes.

IMPORTANT! Water used for irrigation should be warm and soft.

Orchid Placement

The place should be well lit with diffused sunlight. Too thick a shadow will not give the flower the opportunity to grow a peduncle. And too bright rays will provoke a sunburn.


 It should be between 18-25 degrees Celsius. A lower one leads to frostbite, and a higher one leads to overheating of the plant, which is also detrimental to it.


 About 50% is needed, if the humidity in the room is lower, it must be raised by various methods.


It is better to carry it out immediately after acquisition, since the root system is not so clearly visible through the transparent walls of the pot, and there may be peat under the root collar. It dries out slowly and with frequent watering can cause rotting of the orchid trunk.


It is carried out only at the time of vegetative growth with specialized fertilizers for orchids.

Adhering to these simple rules, we get a beautiful tropical beauty bush.

Here is a detailed answer to Do You Cut Off Dead Orchid Stems?

Orchid care during treatment from sticky leaves

In order for the orchid treatment to be effective, it is necessary to properly care for the flower, observing the following recommendations:

  1. Change watering to soaking the flower in a container. Carry out such procedures 2 times a month. For these purposes, prepare a container with clean and warm water, add 2 tablets from a fungal infection to it, and then lower the orchid together with the pot into the solution to the level of the trunk. Leave the flower in water for 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce the number of waterings of the plant in winter, especially if the plant began to appear sticky spots on the leaf plate. With high humidity, plant infections and parasites that appear as sticky spots will quickly develop and multiply.
  3. Spray the orchid with warm and clean water. Be sure to add 2-3 drops of a special antifungal drug to it.
  4. Manually collect insect pests if their mass settlement on the plant is observed.

If sticky droplets appear on the plant in the summer, this indicates a high or too low humidity in the room. Therefore, you need to regularly arrange a hot shower for the plant, removing all stickiness and plaque at this time.


Having found the orchid sticky leave problem, it is necessary to carefully examine the plant for the presence of harmful insects. If they are not found, then there is nothing to worry about – most likely, this is nectar, which is so necessary for the plant to attract pollinating insects.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴