Sunburn on orchid leaves: Causes, Syptoms, Treatment, prevention (Guide)

Have you noticed changes in the leaves of an orchid and suspected that it could be a sunburn, but do not know what to do with sunburn on orchid leaves? A slight yellowness on the stem and leaves can be the first signal of an excess of ultraviolet radiation.

sunburn on orchid leaves

Do not panic timely measures will help restore the beauty and health of your favorite orchid.

In the presented material, we consider the causes of solar and thermal burns, signs of occurrence, and their distinctive characteristics. Let’s evaluate the consequences of burns and the first measures to save the orchid.

We will learn how to speed up the process of flower restoration and how to protect the epiphyte from burning in the future.

Causes of Heat and Sunburn On Orchid Leaves

Orchids are light-loving epiphytes that prefer diffused sunlight. A sufficient amount of ultraviolet allows you to bring flowers closer to the natural environment and ensure the process of photosynthesis.

However, everything is good in moderation. Excess heat, and constant exposure to scorching sunlight can lead to burns of the leaves, roots, and trunk of phalaenopsis.

Conditionally, burns can be divided into two types:

  • solar;
  • thermal.

Sunburn of an orchid on the leaves appears when the rays directly hit the delicate parts of the flower. Heatstroke when the plant is in a stuffy, hot room with insufficient ventilation. If you Orchids Turning Yellow.

Sunburns appear more often in the summer-spring period when the intensity of ultraviolet radiation is maximum.

The main causes of Sunburn On Orchid Leaves:

  1. A sharp change in growth conditions. It is observed when moving phalaenopsis from the store home or changing the window sill within the same apartment to a more sunny one. An orchid not accustomed to the sun can quickly get burned.
  2. Long intervals between waterings. Plants with dry soil are more exposed to the sun. Therefore, the substrate between waterings should always remain slightly moist. This rule is especially true for warm regions and in the summer.
  3. Temporary change in the intensity of the sun. During the year, the brightness of the light may vary. Even in autumn and winter, it is necessary to control the period of phalaenopsis being in the bright sun. A few hours of intense light is enough and the bush can get serious burns.
  4. Moisture on the leaves after watering. Water droplets can act as a lens and multiply the strength of the solar flux.
  5. Insufficient air exchange in the room. The influx of cooling air during ventilation can slightly cool orchid leaves. If the windows in the house are tightly closed and there is no air exchange, then the orchid risks getting both thermal and sunburn at the same time.

However, you should be careful with winter ventilation. It must be remembered that frosty air can cause frostbite of the flower. In addition, cold air currents are dangerous for orchids after watering – there is a risk of flower disease.

Signs of Sunburn On Orchid Leaves

You can recognize burns on leaves by distinctive external signs:

  • the appearance of dry discolored spots with a brownish edging;
  • the formation of soft watery areas;
  • brightening of the leaf plate or trunk of the epiphyte;
  • yellowing of the phalaenopsis neck;
  • the appearance of depressed dark dots and stripes.

Dry burned areas look rough and wrinkled.

With the advent of the first bright rays of the sun, it is necessary to control the condition of the leaves – periodically check the level of heating of the leaf plates. This is especially true for beginner flower growers who are just choosing a suitable place in the house for phalaenopsis.

In addition, you should pay attention to the color of the leaves. A change in color to a lighter one with a yellowish-red pigment is a clear sign of an excess of ultraviolet radiation.

Such changes may be noticeable already in early spring on the southeastern and southern window sills.

The risk of burning the leaves of an orchid is very high when the parts of the flower are very hot and become hot to the touch. Here solution if

The risk of burning the leaves of an orchid is very high when the parts of the flower are very hot and become hot to the touch. Here solution if Orchid Growing New Leaves But Not Flowers.

Difference between sunburn vs chemical burn on orchid

Chemical burns, unlike solar burns, appear due to:

  • the use of fungicides and pesticides overdosed on the type of Fitoverma;
  • feed abuse;
  • excess concentration of mineral additives;
  • use of preparations unsuitable for orchids;
  • violation of the rules for fertilization.

As a result, the leaves and roots of the orchid can become stained and lose their healthy appearance.

Expert Advice: To prevent the appearance of a chemical burn, it is necessary to make root dressings only on a well-moistened substrate. This will protect the roots from the negative effects of the chemical components of the fertilizer.

When foliar fertilization, it is necessary to use the appropriate preparations according to the proposed instructions.

If a chemical burn is detected, you must:

  1. Rinse the flower thoroughly with clean water.
  2. If necessary, remove damaged areas of leaves or roots.
  3. Treat cuts with disinfectants.
  4. Transplant the bush into a container with a clean substrate.

Such actions can only slightly improve the situation, but unfortunately, it is not always possible to save an epiphyte after a chemical burn.

Which orchids are more prone to overheating

Certain plant species are more susceptible to sunlight. Such orchids are very delicate, so the risks of getting leaf burns remain even in winter.

These epiphytes include:

  • shoes;
  • phalaenopsis;
  • miltonia;
  • paphipedilums;
  • cumbria.

Teenagers and small children of orchids are also afraid of the sun. Even moderate sunlight can cause young leaves to turn yellow.

Orchids are more vulnerable to sun exposure after transplants or a disease. Do not add stress to them and experiment during this period with a change of permanent place

Pampered orchid specimens should be gradually accustomed to ultraviolet light to avoid negative solar exposure.

More resistant varieties include:

  • renanter;
  • cattleyas;
  • tolumnia;
  • oncidtums;
  • dendrobium nobile;
  • psychopsis;
  • vanda;
  • brassavol.

Such species more easily withstand hot sunny days. Bright lighting is necessary for them to form flower-bearing shoots.

What happens when an orchid gets too much sun?

If the orchid received a minor burn, do not panic, because in most cases it is not fatal to the plant. Almost every orchidophile has a couple of plants that have turned yellow from active sunlight.

Timely detection of burn spots, and elimination of their causes will save the orchid from adverse consequences.

If the grower is attentive to the flower, then it will be possible to identify the burn in the first stages. The only thing that threatens the orchid in this case is the loss of 1-2 leaves.

Of course, the resulting burnt areas look unaesthetic and unsightly. The plant will take some time to fully recover. After that, the epiphyte will continue to develop and bloom.

The situation is more complicated if the root system has suffered from the sun. Such a plant needs to be transplanted and given time for a long rehabilitation.

How to save Orchid leaves from Sunburn?

There are essentially no ways to treat burns on orchid leaves. The whole process of salvation consists in the first steps taken.

Burnt areas of the leaves are not subject to treatment and restoration

Damaged spots should be observed at first. Initially, at the site of injury, the tissues soften and become watery. The burn is fully manifested only on the 2nd day.

In the event of growing weeping spots or blackness, urgent pruning of infected areas is required. A bacterial infection can spread to the entire bush and lead to the death of the flower. Want to know about Cut Off Dead Orchid Stems.

Expert Advice: If signs of a burn are found, the first thing to do is remove the flower from the sun. It is good if the room is ventilated. The next step is to keep an eye on changes. If nothing happens and the leaf is slowly restored, turgor returns, which means that the orchid has recovered.

If the spots began to get wet, then there is a risk of infection. Sheet to be trimmed and processed

To reanimate the affected bush, you must:

  1. With sterile sharp nail scissors, cut off the burnt fragments to living tissue.
  2. Treat the edge with hydrogen peroxide.

Sometimes the burnt area can be located along the trunk of an orchid. In this case, the process should be controlled so that the damage site does not begin to rot.

Upon detection of the first signs of decay, the plant is subject to resuscitation with the removal of all affected fragments.

What not to do with Sunburn On Orchid Leaves and roots?

Sometimes you can get the wrong advice on caring for a burnt plant from inexperienced orchemans. Such recommendations can only aggravate the situation and lead to the death of the flower.

What should not be done when the leaves of an orchid are burned:

  • hastily cut off the burnt leaf areas;
  • treat burn sites with fungicidal preparations, brilliant green or activated charcoal;
  • wash the leaf plates with vodka or alcohol;
  • transplant epiphyte;
  • rinse phalaenopsis under the shower;
  • apply fertilizer.

The epiphyte should be stimulated only with the beginning of new growth.

Treatment for Sunburn On Orchid Leaves

For the speedy recovery of the orchid after thermal trauma, it is necessary to shade the bush and try not to disturb it in vain.

If the damaged area begins to dry out, then you can not disturb the plant and leave it as it is. Over time, the leaf will dry out on its own and fall off.

For an aesthetically healthy plant appearance, dry areas can be cut to living tissue and treated with an antiseptic.

To speed up the restoration of the flower, the leaves should be wiped with a weak raster of amber or Epin Extra. Such preparations will not cure the orchid of sunburn, but only minimize stress and increase the plant’s immunity.

Dilute drugs should be according to the instructions. Processing is best done in the evening when stomata open on the underside of the leaves.

Prevention of heat and Sunburn On Orchid

To avoid the appearance of solar and thermal burns on an orchid, you must:

  • protect the flower from the influence of direct sunlight;
  • in the summer-spring period, do not allow the substrate to dry out;
  • control humidity indicators;
  • irrigate the leaves early in the morning or after sunset;
  • in winter, keep away from heating appliances.

It must be remembered that the evening summer sun can burn an orchid even on the eastern, northern and western windows.

You can shade the bushes on the windowsill with blinds, tulle curtains, parchment, roller blinds or tracing paper.

There are plenty of options for shading phalaenopsis. One of them is the use of foil sunscreen. It is important to ensure that orchid leaves do not touch the window.

The plant can be placed on a stand or shelf in the back of the room. Or move to another window sill with less intense lighting.

Despite the whimsical disposition, epiphytes are quite viable and hardy plants. In the future, the orchid will return to a healthy and attractive appearance. To do this, you just need to give her time for a full recovery.

Have you already had to deal with burns on your favorite orchid? Share with our readers how you helped the flower recover. Leave comments and ask questions in the form below.

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. 🌿🪴