I was given this phalaenopsis or moth orchid a few years ago but lately have perhaps unwillingly mistreated it. I've never fertilised it except by watering it with aquarium water, never removed the stems after flowering, and never removed dead roots. Worse after I left it outside for some rain, I brought it back inside and didn't notice the butterfly egg which hatched leading to the two fenestrations on the newest leaf. I also left it on the window sill in full sun resulting in leaf burn ( the white patches).

Should I remove any of the yellowed, burnt and eaten leaves?

frazzled orchid

1 Answer 1


You should certainly clip off anything that looks yellow or brown, even if it's just the tip of a leaf or root or the whole thing just above the core. The bite holes can be left, that's purely aesthetic.

I also wouldn't recommend watering it with aquarium water as there could be microbes in it which may have contributed to some of that yellow growth on the roots, and the nutrient mix mightn't be ideal for something as fussy as orchids. A specialised orchid fertiliser, either home made or store bought, is best.

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