Three Common Orchid Diseases

Author: Celeste Booth1 Comment

Care and Culture, Diseases

It’s never fun when your orchid gets sick, but if you catch the disease early on there’s a good chance you can save your plant! Below are three of the most common diseases that can attack your plants and how to identify and treat them so they stay healthy.


Black RotBlack rot is one of the most common ailments in orchid plants caused by a fungus. You may notice diseased areas develop in the leaves or roots, but the entire plant is susceptible to black rot. The disease spreads rapidly and is highly contagious to other nearby orchid plants.

Treatment: Cleanly remove any diseased areas and use a fungicide on the remaining healthy parts. Cinnamon can be used as a fungicide by being applied directly to the areas where you have removed the diseased pieces. If the disease is fairly progressed, your best solution might be to simply discard the entire plant. Isolate any diseased plants so as not to contaminate your other orchids.



Brown SpotBrown spot is caused by bacteria and can be very deadly. The disease will appear on the leaves and resemble a soft, watery blister. As it grows bigger, the infected area slowly turns brown and dried. If the infection gets all the way to the crown, your orchid plant will not survive.

Treatment: Remove diseased areas with sterile tools as quickly as possible. Treat the area (and nearby leaves) with a bactericide that contains copper compounds.



Petal BlightPetal blight is another common disease which affects the flowers of your orchid plant. You will recognize that your plant has become infected by the small brown spots that appear on the petals. If left untreated, grey mold may begin to appear and eventually the flowers will die or fall off prematurely.

Treatment: Remove diseased flowers, decrease humidity (if possible), and treat with fungicide.


References and photographs:
St Augustine Orchid Society
Raven Vision
Orchid Flowers Blog

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One response on “Three Common Orchid Diseases”

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