Please Inform Me Why My Houseplant’s Leaves Are Turning Yellow

One of the requested questions I get is, “Why are my houseplant’s leaves turning yellow?”. There are numerous the explanation why this might occur. We have to slim it all the way down to the kind of plant and the setting it’s rising in. 

yellow leaf

Yellow leaf on a Scindapsus pictus ‘Silvery Anne’

Yellow Crops

Many crops are naturally yellow crops or their new leaves could emerge a vibrant yellow and fade to a light-weight inexperienced. This philodendron under is an efficient instance of that. 

Older Leaves

As I inform folks in my displays, every little thing is growing older. We’re growing older and so are our crops. If the yellow leaf is an older leaf, that means it’s close to the bottom of the plant, it’s pure for it to show yellow and fall off. The primulina under has an older leaf that now not contributes to the photosynthesis of the plant. Take away the yellow leaf. Whereas in nature, it will  fall off and decompose, we don’t need that to occur in our properties. Decomposing leaves could cause issues in our potting medium and for our crops. So take away them and discard or compost the lifeless leaves. Many gesneriads kind lengthy necks as they age and the underside leaves fall off.  Examine one other gesneriad that will get an extended neck right here and tips on how to remedy that downside.


yellow leaf on the primulina

Inconsistent Watering Practices

The commonest motive crops have yellow leaves is inconsistent watering. I do know that’s the downside right here at my home. I enable my crops to get too dry as a result of some days I don’t have time to water. They dry out, get watered and perk again up. The implications of that inconsistency is yellowing leaves, as within the ‘Cebu Blue’ pothos under. As a result of it has been in a basket for awhile, it wants some nurtrients so I might be fertilizing. In the event you plant is a bit off shade, it might be that it’s in want vitamins. Fertilize consitently to stop that.

"Cebu Blue' Pothos

‘Cebu Blue’ Pothos with yellowing leaves from inconsistent watering

The identical might be stated for the oxalis, ficus, and scindapsus under. 

Silver satin pothos

Silver satin pothos (Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’)

Too Moist or Too Dry?

Inconsistent watering means your plant dries out an excessive amount of. Attempt to NEVER let any plant COMPLETELY dry out. The one plant that doesn’t thoughts that may be a cacti or different succulent. But, even these crops would do higher not allowed to develop into “bone dry.” Leaves develop into yellow if the plant is simply too moist, however that may contain many leaves. This will even occur if the plant is simply too dry.

How are you going to inform the distinction?

Really feel the potting medium-is it moist or dry? Or raise the plant-is it heavy or gentle? You possibly can inform by the dying leaves. Is it turning crispy just like the underwatered spider plant under or turning mushy? Whether it is crispy, it was too dry. If the leaf turns mushy, it was too moist for an extended time period. This isn’t all the time true, however are good indicators of whether or not your plant is simply too dry or too moist.

spider plant

Dry, crispy spider plant leaf

I’m undecided if that is an older spray of needles or if I’ve allowed my asparagus fern to dry down an excessive amount of. It appears it drops its needles typically.

asparagus fern

Asparagus fern

Root Issues

Typically it’s a guessing recreation and you need to do what you possibly can. If it continues, all the time verify the soil as it might be root sure or have soil mealybugs. That may have an effect on the plant as effectively, and it isn’t all the time clear. The plant under is certainly rootbound, the yellow leaves being the indicator. Plus it drank the water so quick, that I couldn’t hold it moist. 

rootbound plant

Root sure plant


Temperature impacts your crops, as effectively. That is very true of cyclamen. They need to be cool when they’re flowering and the leaves will yellow and collapse if they’re too heat. The plant will go into dormancy. There are different crops that heat and funky temperatures will have an effect on their leaves, as effectively.  

Bugs and Mites

Then there’s the dreaded insect or mite downside that may flip your plant’s leaves yellow. Under left is an aralia affected by spider mites. I’ve sprayed and tried to maintain it persistently moist, so I’m slowly getting them below management, however the consequence is lifeless, crispy leaves (bear in mind, spider mites love dry crops!). The plant on the correct is a Dracaena ‘Kiwi’ battling mealybugs. After taking this image, I see they aren’t below management like I believed they have been. (I HATE mealybugs.) Are you able to see them the place the leaves meet the stem? An enormous cottony mess! 

This leaf under has main spider mite harm. The inexperienced is gone as a result of they’ve sucked all of the juice out of the leaf cells. These leaves will yellow and fall off. 

spider mite damage

This leaf is exhibiting spider mite harm


Examine your crops if they’ve yellowing leaves. Resolve whether or not it’s a traditional growing older course of. Is it too moist or dry, or some type of pest has moved in? The hot button is to concentrate to your crops and provides them the care they want. Then the one leaves that might be turning yellow is outdated leaves. “Do as I say, not as I do” because the outdated saying goes!

Have a terrific week, plant pals!


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