However, one of the phenomena that many people wonder about is the change in color of orchid leaves. Why are my orchid leaves turning purple? That’s a question we often get from readers around the world.
To explain the phenomenon of orchid leaves turning purple, let’s learn the detailed information in this article to find out the causes and ways to prevent it.
Why Are My Orchid Leaves Turning Purple? Top 8 Basic Reasons
The color of orchid leaves is an early warning sign of orchid health. Normally, the leaves of an orchid plant will be green and lush when the orchid is healthy and growing well.
There are many causes of orchid leaves turning purple. Some of the underlying causes are too much light, too high or low temperature, lack of light, lack of nutrition, drought, or pest attack. You can find out the reasons in detail below.
Too Much Direct Sunlight
Sunlight is an indispensable element for plant growth. Sunlight helps promote photosynthesis and venting in plants. If plants lack light, they will not be able to grow and develop as normal.
The phenomenon of the leaves of orchids turning purple is caused by overexposure to sunlight. When the leaves of the orchid plant are exposed to continuous sunlight, antioxidant anthocyanins are produced. From there, the orchid’s leaves will begin to change color.
At first, the orchid’s leaves may turn a light red, and gradually turn purple. The cause of this phenomenon is that you do not regularly rotate the pot so that all sides of the orchid leaves are exposed to the sun.
Many people often have the habit of hanging orchids on trellises or other plants, so that light will contact one side of the orchid and cause the color of the leaves to change.
The fix is to place the orchid in a location where the entire leaf can be exposed to the sun. Or you have to regularly change directions to avoid the leaves turning purple due to too much sun exposure each day.
Temperature Is Too Hot Or Too Cold
Excessive heat is also the cause of orchid leaves turning purple. If the temperature is too high, the natural water transport system of the leaves will be destroyed. Structures are damaged by excessive heat for many hours. From there, the leaves of the orchid will turn purple.
Orchids need sunlight every day, but it’s warm and gentle. If you place the orchid in an area with strong sunlight, the entire leaves will be damaged by extreme heat.
Besides, too cold temperatures also cause the leaves of the orchid to turn purple. Each type of orchid prefers its temperature, but the temperature is too cold for them to tolerate.
So, if you put your orchids outdoors when the temperature is too low and strong winds will cause their leaves to change color. If your orchid is subjected to cold temperatures for long periods, you will face leaf blight and flower blight.
Plant Hibernation Time
As you know, chlorophyll is the element that allows plants to absorb light and produce energy. If your orchid’s leaves turn purple during pine season, it’s because the orchid has cut down on chlorophyll production during dormancy.
This is because your orchid is conserving energy to survive the cold winter. It will change color from purple to blue when spring is warm again.
However, if your orchid’s leaves are still green in winter, the plant is still trying to make excess chlorophyll during the dormant period. So these orchids are focusing on growing leaves rather than storing energy to flower next spring.
So if your maple’s leaves turn purple in winter, you don’t need to worry too much, just wait for them to respawn in the spring when temperatures are warm again.
Damaged Root System
An orchid’s leaves can also turn purple if its root system is damaged. Waterlogging is caused by over-watering. Water cannot escape and thereby causes root rot.
When the root system is rotten, it will not be able to transport water and nutrients to the leaves. From there, the orchid’s leaves will secrete less chlorophyll and turn red, yellow, brown, or purple.
Therefore, you need to check the moisture in the soil regularly before watering. Make sure the steam vents are not clogged and are working properly. You should only water during the day when there is light and avoid watering the leaves. Humidity creates favorable conditions for fungi and bacteria to grow.
Lack Of Light
Lack of light is also the cause of orchid leaves turning purple. It means that the orchid is always in the shade, in the dark, and without light, even indirect light.
Normally, phalaenopsis orchids are very susceptible to purple leaves because this species loves the sun. Some places that make the leaves of orchids susceptible to color change are beggar areas such as bookshelves, hanging corners, or corners of the house.
When there is a lack of light, purple spots will begin to appear on the leaves. These purple spots will gradually grow and drain all the cells on the leaves. From there, you’ll see the orchid’s leaves turn purple.
To remedy this situation, you should observe the leaves of the orchid regularly. If they show signs of purple spots, you need to place the orchid pot in an area that gets a few hours of sunlight each day. Or you can also use lights to illuminate and provide light for orchids indoors.
Lack Of Fertilizer
Nutrition is an indispensable factor for plant growth. It provides necessary micronutrients to promote photosynthesis, respiration, and metabolism in plants.
So, lack of nutrients is also the cause of orchid leaves turning purple or red. The reason is that the plant does not absorb enough nutrients, causing the leaves to lack nutrients and difficult to photosynthesize. From there, purple or red spots will appear.
If the orchid is not provided with timely nutrients, the leaves will wilt, dry out and fall. Therefore, to limit this situation, you need to periodically fertilize with the right amount for each type of orchid.
However, you should keep in mind that if you fertilize too much, the orchid’s leaves can burn and die. A standard dosage according to the manufacturer with the right frequency will provide better results.
If you change the location of your orchid suddenly, sudden stress can also cause its leaves to change color. The reason is that sudden changes in the living environment such as light, water, nutrition, or temperature make the leaves not yet adapted.
A common cause of unexpected stress on an orchid is when you change the pot. Damages such as broken roots or other types of soil cause the root system to not be able to adapt in a short time. From there, they will not be able to carry out the task of transporting water and nutrients to the plant parts as usual.
Leaves will be deprived of water and nutrients, from which they will turn yellow, red, or purple. Therefore, you should be careful and gentle when repotting to avoid damaging the orchid’s root system.
Also, if you want to change the habitat of your orchid, you should give them time to get used to it. Make these changes a few hours a day until they have fully adapted.
Diseases And Pests
Diseases and pests are indispensable factors that cause orchid leaves to turn purple. Insects will attack the leaves and inject poison into them.
Toxins in insects will destroy the structures of the cells and spread the bacteria to other cells. From there, the leaves cannot absorb nutrients as well as the normal process of photosynthesis. So they start to change color like yellow, brown, red or purple. These are all early warning signs of an insect infestation.
To prevent insect attacks, you must regularly clean the leaves on both sides. Remove white or brown patches because they may be fungal spores or insect eggs. Use neem oil to avoid pests or specialized products if the severity is more severe.
The Last Word
The leaves of orchids are easy to change color when encountering negative effects from the weather. Some of the common causes of an orchid’s leaves turning purple include too much light, extreme temperatures, dormancy time, lack of light, root rot, nutritional deficiencies, or disease.
To find the best prevention and remedy, you need to determine what is causing the leaves to turn purple. If the leaves turn purple in winter, it’s completely normal. However, if you detect signs such as lack or excess of light, insects, waterlogging, or nutritional problems, you need to find a quick fix before your orchid dies.