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In the summer, orchids are afforded more light than at any other time of the year. The increased level of
sunlight coupled with the high daytime temperatures
puts orchids at risk for sunburn. It doesn't take much to burn a leaf, especially when plants are brought
Here are a few things to keep in mind about orchids and sunburned leaves:
As with any orchid ailment, it can be difficult to identify the true
cause of leaf damage. The leaf pictured above shows a sunburned spot on a Phalaenopsis after the damage occurred and had time to dry.
A thin white patch with a dark ring is common with sunburn. This patch is dry and the damage
is contained to this area and will not spread any further.
If the sunburn is contained to a spot such as in the photo above or several dry spots like in the photo below,
there is no need to do anything. The sunburned leaf is still providing sustenance to the plant and so we
will choose to leave it alone as long as the damage is dry and contained. The plant will look better once a new
leaf grows to cover the damaged one.
Once leaves have become sunburned, the leaf should be watched for signs of rot. Usually the leaves will dry out,
but in some cases they may begin to turn mushy and rot. Rot on an orchid needs to be stopped quickly because it can
The following tips can help reduce the incidence of sunburn:
Abundant light is a wonderful thing for orchids but too much is not good. We like to grow ours on the bright end
of the light range. The above tips are not meant to encourage growing orchids in conditions that are too
“This fall I religiously followed your advice, creating an environment of shortened
days and lower temps in order to encourage blooming...I was successful. FINALLY!! Thank you, thank you!!
Both of my plants decided to bloom and they look beautiful. I wanted to share the good news and
my gratitude with you. Thanks again!”Laurie J.
“The potting medium you sent is gorgeous!! It's superior to the bark I've been
buying at Lowe's. I can't imagine what (my orchids) will do when I put them in your potting mix. It even
smells fresh!! Many, many thanks. I'll be ordering from you again.”
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