House Plants

What Makes Orchid Leaves Split ?

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What makes Orchid leaves split? It could be due to several reasons such as lapses in watering, insufficient humidity, excessive direct sunlight etc. Once the orchids go through these conditions, they would get traumatized and will end up splitting their leaves. Further irrespective of how well you take care of them, you may still come across situations like this.

In those situations, you may neglect that as you are confident that you have well taken care of the plants. However, if you ever come across a situation like this, you need to identify the root cause for this. So, I am going to cover on the reasons which would result in this condition

What Makes Orchid Leaves Split

What makes Orchid leaves split?

So, I am going to cover the reasons which may contribute to this condition, the things you may do to overcome them and on the prevention methods as well. So, to briefly tell once again, if your orchid leaves split, it could not be due to the lapses in the care treatments and it could be due to several root causes. So, let us find out what those root causes would be.

Lapses in watering could be one reason which may contribute to this condition. You could commonly spot this condition among the Phalaenopsis orchids as they may go through this condition mainly due to erratic watering. Generally, the Phalaenopsis orchid leaves are firm, and they keep their shape in place due to the turgor pressure they have.

If your orchid has a scarcity of sufficient water, they will start to become wrinkled and wilt. On the other hand, if you provide sufficient water, their leaves will swell and stay in their normal shape. So, if there is a scarcity of water, it would make the weakest part of their leaf split. Further the vein which is running along the middle could also split.

In addition to that, lack of humidity may also result in this condition. This is commonly spotted among both Phalaenopsis orchids and moth orchids. Thus, if you are an orchid grower, you need to ensure that you provide sufficient moisture for the orchid plants. Unless, if they dry out, it will affect the wellbeing of the leaves and may result in leaves splitting.

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If you have placed them in a spot where there is low humidity level, you could consider placing a humidifier as it would enhance the humidity levels and it would help you to keep away your orchids suffering from leaves splitting due to low humidity levels.

Excessive direct sunlight is one more reason which could result in leaves splitting. Orchids prefer to grow in indirect sunlight. If you expose them for extended periods of hot and direct sunlight , your orchids may find it difficult to cope up and maintain their regular shapes. It would lead to sunburns, cracks in the leaves and ultimately it would result in the leaves splitting. 

One more reason which could affect this condition would be curious children or pets. Kids do not understand the delicacy of the orchids and their flowers. All they want would be to grab them and play with them. They tend to split them just for fun. On the other hand, your pets may also contribute to this condition as they have a tendency to place their paws on the orchids and make them split.

Further chances are that your orchid leaves may split due to transportation issues as well.

What Makes Orchid Leaves Split

How do you fix the split orchid leaves?

If we consider the leaves splitting and, on their regular diseases, leaves splitting is not a major concern. However, it would be so unpleasant to watch them split. Further it would not lead to any fatal outcome of the plants. However best would be to trim around the place where it split. Further when trimming make sure that you are using all sterile tools for this purpose.

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If you end up using infected tools, it will contribute to unnecessary issues such as bacterial infections and fungal infections. And chances are that they could even result in the death of the plants. Once you arrange all the sterile tools, you need to split the damaged leaf properly around the split area.

I recommend using a fungicide after you trim the plants. That will ensure that there is a less potential of any further spread of the infection if there is any.

Instead of fungicides, you may also use cinnamon for this purpose. If you are an organic lover, applying cinnamon would be a fine idea. Once you do all these steps, you need to look after the flowers and the plants will keep growing to their best potential while making their split look almost invisible. How less attractive it would be to spot your orchid carrying split leaves.

However, whenever you come across a situation like this, the first thing you need to do is to identify the root cause for this which resulted in it and then treat them accordingly. If there are one or two leaves on the plants, you could simply remove them from the stem and let the healthy leaves stay on the plants.

I suggest not to remove all the leaves of the plant as if you do so. It would make it harder for them to thrive after that. Apart from the aforesaid factors, pests and diseases may also result in leaves splitting. This could happen very rarely though. If you figure out that your orchid leaves have split due to a disease, you need to cut the damaged plant parts and leave the unaffected plant parts as it is.

What Makes Orchid Leaves Split

How do you keep orchid leaves from splitting?

How heartbreaking for you to spot your orchid carrying split leaves. So, to avoid it you could practice the following tips.

  • First of all, you need to place the plants in a spot where your pets or the kids cannot reach easily. 
  • Educate the kids to not to touch the plants and not to harm them. 
  • Water them regularly without leading to over watering. 
  • Check whether the leaves are dry and depending on that you need to figure out how much water they need. 
  • Never shake the orchids or treat them rough. 
  • If you wish to move the plants, you need to do it with care and gently.
  • Next you need to place the plants in a location where they can gain sufficient sunlight and moderate humidity levels as well. 
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Apply the fertilizers periodically which will help them to grow vigorulsy and healthily. 

New orchid leaf splitting

If you spot your new orchid leaves splitting it could be due to irregular watering, lack of humidity levels, extreme sunlight exposure etc. They would traumatize the plants and make their leaves split.

Should I cut off split orchid leaves?

I recommend cutting off the split leaves as they make the plants look unpleasant. You need to use all sterile tools when you trim them so that you can rely on the fact that there will be no infection taking place. Razor blades would be ideal to do this task as then you can do the task precisely. Further it will avoid any further damage for the plants as well.


Before wrapping this up, how heartbreaking to see your orchids splitting leaves. So, ensure that you practice the right care tips so that there will be less potential of having a condition like this. it will make the plants look aesthetically beautiful.

Credit to : MissOrchidGirl

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.