White Spots on Orchid Leaves? (What They Are & Solutions)

white spots on orchid leaves | Plant Gardener

White Spots on Orchid Leaves? (What They Are & Solutions)

Orchids are easy to grow and care for.

Sometimes, though, they’re prone to pest infestation and other related diseases.

White spots on orchid leaves can be caused by a mix of factors, including fungus, mealybugs, Phyllosticta, Pythium ultimum, and sunburn.

We’ll consider some helpful tips that will help you diagnose and treat your orchids.

When you notice some white spots appearing on Orchid leaves, it might be an infestation of mealybugs.

If you suspect that mealybugs are responsible for your orchid’s white spots, spraying the appropriate insecticide or pesticide might help you get rid of it.

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Here are the major causes of white spots on orchid leaves:


If you have white spots on your orchid’s leaves, they are probably caused by bacterial or fungal infections. If you find specks, separate the affected orchid from others and treat it as such.

You can use a fungicide for plants such as Phyton 27, Captan, or Thyomil to eliminate the problem. If you can’t find the culprit, try using cinnamon. You can then apply a fungicide after a week.

If you notice white spots on your orchid’s leaves, it is time to move it to a shady location. Make sure to remove the affected leaf and repot it in a new pot.

Wait a few days to ensure that the leaves have fully recovered. Then, you can return to your normal watering schedule.

During winter months, watering your orchids should be done about once every seven days, while increasing the frequency in the hotter months. Keep the orchid pot and substrate slightly moist at all times.

If you notice fuzzy white patches on your orchid’s foliage, the culprit is a mealybug infestation.

These tiny insects are almost invisible to the naked eye and are typically no bigger than a quarter of an inch.

Their whitish coloring and waxy secretions make them nearly impossible to spot. Mealybugs also have long tails, resembling antennae. Once they’ve invaded a plant, they will spread.

Pythium ultimum

In order to clean your orchid, you will need a few items. These are an old toothbrush, 70% rubbing alcohol, and surgical gloves. While it may seem like a lot, the orchid’s leaves are actually pretty easy to clean.

First, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into a small dish. Dip the toothbrush into the alcohol and gently scrub the affected areas. Repeat a few times a week until the leaves are clean and healthy.

To maintain your orchid, you should cut off any flowers that are shriveling up. You should also remove the white spots from the stem as much as possible.

These do nothing to benefit your orchid’s health and should be removed.

Make sure to avoid exposing the orchid to cold temperatures, as this can cause soggy, yellow spots on the leaves. If this happens, you can’t expect it to bounce back.

In addition to this fungal disease, other diseases can cause orchids to die. The most common are Glocosporium, Colletotrichum, Carcospora, and Phyllostictina. A fungicide, such as Bordeaux, can control a Botrytis infection.

Afterward, the plant will begin to drop its leaves and will begin to turn black. Infected plants should be removed and healthy ones should be sprayed with fungicide. It’s important to remember that this fungus is often present in the environment.

Therefore, increasing air circulation and reducing humidity can help reduce the chances of your orchid becoming infected.

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Phytophthora cactorum

If you find white spots on orchid leaves, they might be caused by a fungus called Phytophthora cactorum. If you notice them, you should contact your orchid’s breeder immediately to prevent further damage.

While there is no cure for this disease, you can prevent further spread by applying a fungicide.

Orchid fungus treatments can be purchased at a plant sanctuaries and local nurseries. Follow the directions on the packaging to avoid any complications. Orchid owners can also use coal dust to disinfect their plants.

The fungus that causes black rot is a very dangerous pest. It infects a wide variety of orchid species and can spread through entire plants.

The most obvious symptoms of this problem are black or brown spots on orchid leaves.

The fungus forms zoospores, which can be transferred to other plants by water. Once on the plant, these lesions look similar to mesophyll cell collapse.

If the disease spreads beyond the fungus, you can try spraying your orchids with a contact insecticide.

However, a systemic insecticide, such as Bug Clear Ultra, is more effective. This spray contains a combination of insecticides that kill both mealybugs and fungus. You must also keep a close eye on your orchid plants for symptoms.


A scorched spot on the orchid leaves is not a cause for concern if it happens only a few times.

Leaves can recover if replanted and kept in a sunny, well-ventilated room for several days.

However, if the scorched spot is widespread, it may require treatment to prevent further damage. In severe cases, it may even require removal of the orchid altogether. In either case, it is important to observe the condition carefully.

The leaves will turn brown or black. The affected parts of the leaf are usually the top leaves, while the others are below it.

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To cure orchids that have been damaged by excessive heat or cold, they may need to be pruned. Trimming the leaves may also be necessary when they are infected or wilting.

If a leaf is severely infected, it is essential to remove it as soon as possible, or else it will die. Make sure that you cut the leaves at the base where they meet the stem.

This ensures that the bacteria and other contaminants are not spread.

If the leaf is blackened, it may have black rot. This disease attacks the roots and rhizomes, so the most effective way to save the plant is to remove it.

If this is the case, you should cut away more leaves than blackened ones. In the end, you will have a plant with healthy leaves again.

The problem with black rot is more severe than it looks. And if you don’t want to prune your orchid, you can also use cinnamon.


Sometimes, a problem as simple as dehydration can actually lead to major issues. Your orchid may show signs of dehydration, including brown or dry leaf tips.

To solve this problem, increase watering to two or three times per week. In severe cases, dehydration may also indicate that the roots have ceased functioning, a symptom of disease or rot.

If this is the case, prune and remove dead roots and repotted the orchid.

A solution containing one part water and one part baking soda is a good idea for orchids that have dehydration problems.

This solution contains antifungals and kills the fungus. However, prevention is always better than cure.

A severely infected plant can be pruned to remove infected leaves, but these parts should be kept separate from the original plant. If the plant is not yet infected, the infection may spread to neighboring plants.

A similar problem can lead to brown or black leaf tips. When this problem develops, it is most likely a result of a fungal or mold infection.

There are several causes for this condition, including increased temperatures, improper lighting for a prolonged period of time, and too much moisture on the leaves.

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Fortunately, there are several treatments for orchid leaves with white spots. Fungicides can help reverse this issue.


Mealybugs can ruin your orchid if you’re not careful. While these pests don’t necessarily kill your orchid, they can certainly do a lot of damage.

Here are a few ways you can help keep your orchids pest-free.

  • Cut off damaged stems and leaves.
  • Use forceps or cotton swabs to remove the mealybugs.
  • Once you’ve done that, thoroughly rinse your plant with soapy water.

Diatomaceous Earth can also be used as a preventive treatment against mealybugs. Apply the solution to the leaves and stems of your orchids once a week until the mealybugs have been killed.

Make sure to spray in the morning when the temperature is below 85 degrees, as too much heat can harm your orchid.

White Spots on Orchid Leaves Can Be caused By Powdery Mildew

Another cause of white spots on orchid leaves is powdery mildew. You can get rid of mealybugs by eliminating the breeding grounds. While mealybugs prefer hiding places, they can be easily eliminated.

If you’re not sure how to get rid of mealybugs, you can try natural prevention methods, such as applying insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to your plants.


If all else fails, synthetic insecticides can be used. But be sure to use them as a last resort only if you’re sure your orchid is suffering from an infestation.

Mealybugs can also be killed with rubbing alcohol. Rub a teaspoon of soap and water into a liter of water and spray the leaves.

You should make sure to avoid rubbing the leaves with the solution, as mealybugs remain airborne.

Using the rubbing alcohol method on the leaves will not harm the orchid. You can try the soapy solution on other parts of your orchid as well, such as its roots.

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