Yes, even plants can burn in the sun. Nothing is worse than bringing a lovely flower inside to brighten the room only to discover that your new orchid is getting sunburned. Orchids don’t do well in direct sunlight because they are native to tropical areas and are usually shielded from it by trees and shrubs. The leaves may become brown and dry if they receive too much sun damage.
Continue reading to find out more about orchid sunburn, how to recognize it, and how to treat it so your lovely flower can survive in your house.
Sunburn on an orchid symptoms
There are several ways that orchid sunburn can appear, but they are all typically characterized by some degree of leaf damage or discoloration. Both the roots and the flower can get sunburned. These signs of each type of sunburn are to be on the lookout for.
The leaves of your orchid may begin to curl up or turn yellow if it receives too much sun. Eventually, sunburned leaves will turn brown and expire. The most typical and straightforward type of sunburn on orchid plants is this one.
The most typical sign of sunburn on orchid leaves is the appearance of freckle-like red or brown spots, which can later develop into brown or black patches on the leaves and feel dry and crispy to the touch. In more serious cases, the leaves may start to yellow or wilt before eventually falling off completely.
The leaves of orchids are not the only parts of the plant that can become sunburned when they are overexposed to sunlight. Flowers that have been scorched may show signs of discoloration and even premature flower shedding.
In addition to producing fewer flowers than usual, sunburned orchids may also produce flowers that are smaller or have faded colors.
Make sure to give your orchid filtered light or indirect sunlight to prevent scorched flowers. If you see any signs, move the plant right away to a more shaded location and give it a good watering. To promote new growth, you might need to trim back severely damaged leaves.
Orchid Roots Exposed to the Sun
When grown in pots, orchids are frequently positioned in an east or north-facing window. While this offers the ideal amount of indirect sunlight, if the pot is not adequately shielded, it could also result in sunburn on the roots.
Yellowing, wilting, and brown spots on the leaves are signs of sunburn on orchid roots. Move your orchid to a more shaded area and raise the humidity there if you think it may have sunburn. Another option to help the leaves cool off is to mist them with water. You might need to repot the plant in a pot with a lighter color if the sunburn is severe.
How to Treat Orchid Sunburn
If you suspect your orchid has been sunburned, you must act quickly to promote healing and prevent further damage. Begin by relocating the plant to a more shady location, away from direct sunlight. Place it in an east-facing window if possible, where it will get some light but will be protected from the harsher afternoon sun.
Trim off the affected leaves as long as they account for less than one-third of the total number of leaves on the plant. Use sharp scissors to cut at a 45-degree angle just above the point where the leaf meets the stem. If the majority of the leaves have been damaged, try to wait it out without removing any leaves. You don’t want to shock your plant by removing too many leaves. You can start trimming the sunburned leaves once new leaves appear.
Increase the humidity in the area where your orchid is kept, and keep a close eye on your orchid’s watering schedule. It may require more watering than usual over the next few weeks to rehydrate. Avoid fertilizing during this critical recovery period because the plant will not be able to use all of the nutrients in the fertilizer effectively, which may further impede recovery.
Keep a close eye out for potential pests. An unhealthy plant is easier for a pest infestation to exploit, resulting in a longer recovery period for your plant. If you notice a pest problem, try natural pest control remedies first before resorting to drastic measures. Chemical pest control may aggravate the fragile state of your plant.
Finally, give it some time; with proper care, your orchid should recover from sunburn damage.
Can an Orchid Heal from Sunburn?
An orchid can recover from sunburn, though it will require special care and time to fully recover. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help your orchid recover from sunburn, whether it’s on the leaves, the flower, or the roots.
- Move the plant to a location with more shade or only indirect light.
- Pruning affected leaves should be done if less than one-third of the leaves are affected. If it is more than a third, do not cut them off and instead closely monitor them.
- Water your plant thoroughly but do not fertilize it.
- Boost the humidity.
- Keep an eye out for potential pest infestations.
Taking Damaged Leaves Out
If the leaves on your orchid are seriously harmed, you might need to carefully cut them off with sterile scissors. After they have been taken out, monitor the remaining leaves for any indications of fresh damage and take precautions to shield them from additional sun exposure.
It’s not advised to remove leaves that only have a few spots of red or brown because they are still healthy enough to provide the plant with energy. Only the severely damaged leaves should be removed. Avoid removing more than one-third of the plant’s leaves because doing so could put it into shock, which could slow down its ability to recover.
How To Prevent Orchid Sunburn
It is best for your plant to try to avoid sunburn altogether rather than attempting to treat it after the fact because orchids are extremely sensitive to sunlight and can easily get sunburned if they are not protected from the sun. Here are some steps you can take to prevent sunburn on orchids:
-Avoid placing your orchid in direct sunlight. If you must place it in the sun, make sure it is in a shaded area so that it won’t be directly exposed to the sun’s rays, or install some sort of cover that will block most of the direct sunlight.
Make sure your orchid is growing in filtered sunlight if you are growing it outside. For the majority of outdoor orchids, direct sunlight is too intense and will quickly result in sunburn. Generally speaking, if it is not directly exposed to sunlight, being under a large tree is a good location.
-Take into account shifting your plant during the hottest part of the day or in the summer, when the sun is even more intense. Locate the areas of your home that receive the most indirect sunlight on a map, and think about keeping your orchid there rather than in a room with a lot of windows where the sun shines through all day.
You can avoid burning your orchid by adhering to these straightforward guidelines.