Why Houseplant Leaves Turning Yellow

How to Save a Plant whose Leaves are Turning in the Houseplants

  • First, look for “Moisture Stress”
  • Step 2: Search for Unwanted Creatures.
  • Step 3: Allow them to enjoy the sunshine.
  • Step 4: Keep Cold Drafts Away from Them.
  • Step 5: Verify Their Nutrition.

Why are indoor plants’ leaves yellowing?

To figure out why your favorite houseplant has suddenly started to produce yellow leaves, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes, but you will need to perform some investigation. This is due to the fact that yellow leaves might indicate a variety of conditions. Here are seven typical causes of yellow leaves in houseplants.

1. Water

Yellow leaves can be caused by either too much or too little water. Your plant may eventually sacrifice some of its foliage in an effort to conserve moisture if it is not given enough water. Conversely, too much water will frequently cause the death of your plant’s roots because they are unable to breathe in saturated soil. Yellow leaves will also grow on your plant as a result of this.

Start by making sure your plant is in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom if you want to avoid any of these issues. Between waterings, the extra water will be able to drain via these holes. When the top inch of soil seems dry to the touch, water your plants only then. From pot to pot, frequency may vary depending on factors like size (larger pots with more soil generally need less frequent watering), season (most plants don’t use much moisture during the dark days of winter), and plant type (succulents, for example, don’t need as much water as heavy drinkers like peace lilies).

2. Light

If houseplants receive too much or too little light, their leaves may also become yellow. If plants that prefer shade, such as tropical ferns, nerve plants, and calathea, are forced to dwell in a bright location, their leaves will gradually start to turn yellow.

Conversely, if cultivated in gloomy settings, sun-loving indoor plants like succulents, crotons, and jade plants may begin to yellow. When purchasing a new houseplant, always read the label and put it in a location that meets its light needs. Most types of houseplants will thrive in direct, bright light.

3. Delivery

It might not be a problem if your houseplant begins to drop yellow leaves as soon as you get it home from the garden center. Most likely, your plant is simply shedding leaves it can no longer support as it adjusts to the lower light levels in your home. Some species, like the ficus, for instance, will occasionally drop their yellow leaves when they are relocated. But don’t worry; usually, after a little period of adjusting, your plant will produce a new crop of foliage.

Repotting houseplants shouldn’t be done for at least a week or two after you get them home, to give them time to become used to their new surroundings and reduce transplant stress.

4. Resilience

Lower leaves on older plants frequently turn yellow and drop off. Your plant is not sick as a result of this. It simply means that the plant no longer requires those lower leaves because they are now shadowed by higher foliage. Additionally, keep in mind that many typical houseplants are actually trees in their original habitats, and that when they grow larger, they attempt to develop a trunk by shedding their leaves. For instance, Norfolk Island pines sometimes sacrifice their lower boughs as they get taller and taller.

Five. Hunger

If a houseplant lacks some essential nutrients in the soil, they will also grow yellow or splotchy leaves. Since plants are typically cultivated and marketed in nutrient-rich potting mix, this is typically not an issue when you initially purchase a plant (and most of our plants come with a time-release fertilizer added). To retain healthy leaves, however, your plants will eventually exhaust the food that they were given and require a little boost of plant food. Every time you water your plants, give them a small amount of diluted liquid fertilizer to keep them healthy.

6. Pests

Yellow leaves on your houseplants can also be caused by indoor plant pests like aphids and spider mites. Both suck plant juices, which makes the leaves appear aerated and fading. Aphids have tiny rice-grain-like attachments at the ends of their stems. Spider mites produce fine-hair-like webs on the undersides of the leaves of your plants, but they are nearly impossible to notice with the naked eye. An organic insecticide for houseplants can be used to control both pests. Maintain a high degree of humidity around your plants because these pests also thrive in dry air.

7. Thermometer

Because they are tropical plants, indoor plants don’t like harsh weather. Your plants may drop yellow leaves if they are forced to dwell too close to a heat vent, fireplace, air conditioner, or drafty window or door. Most houseplants grow in a range of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should you prune plants with yellow leaves?

In most cases, it’s okay to pluck a few of your plant’s yellowed leaves. Yellow leaves should be removed to keep your plant and yard looking healthy. The danger of disease can be decreased by removing yellow leaves because disease tends to spread more quickly on sickly leaves than on healthy ones.

Can you keep a leaf from yellowing?

Yellow leaves are beautiful in the autumn on trees like gingko and quaking aspens. However, if you notice a large number of them on your fern, green-leafed pothos, or other indoor plants, it can be a concerning sight. However, it’s not always a terrible thing.

All year long, tropical plants maintain their leaves. But the life cycle of houseplant leaves exists (like all living things). Each leaf ages, gets yellow, and eventually dies. It’s not a problem if one or two leaves are yellow. However, if several leaves start to turn yellow, it’s time to intervene.

The most frequent causes of yellowing leaves are inconsistent watering (either too much or too little) or improper illumination (too much, too little). You must determine the cause of the issue in order to prevent other leaves from becoming yellow. Learn more about additional reasons why leaves could yellow.

Usually, when a leaf on a houseplant turns yellow, it is about to die. A leaf’s green tint is caused by chlorophyll. The plant abandons the leaf after it stops producing chlorophyll and starts utilizing any remaining nutrients in the leaf. Because of this, you usually can’t convert a leaf back to green once it turns yellow. (However, in instances of nutrient deficits, yellow leaf color occasionally becomes green again with therapy.)

There are numerous types of plants that naturally produce leaves with splashes and streaks of yellow. Variegation is what we refer to as when this occurs in healthy plants. When plants are exposed to more light, variegation may appear brighter.

Conclusion: It’s not necessary to panic if a few leaves turn yellow. The yellow leaf is like a warning light, therefore you should pay attention to it. It might be a normal shedding process or it might be an indication that something is wrong.

How frequently ought indoor plants to be watered?

Although watering houseplants may seem like a straightforward operation, many people either overwater them or neglect them until they get parched. Generally speaking, the potting soil for indoor plants should be kept damp but not soggy. In the spring and summer, they typically need watering once or twice a week; in the fall and winter, they require less watering. However, this isn’t always the case, depending on the kind of houseplant.

  • Only give orchids a small bit of water once a week to water them.
  • Succulents and cacti need relatively little water. When the potting mix has dried out, only water.
  • Water citrus plants more frequently and consistently than you would other houseplants.

The Westland Watering Indicator makes it easier to know when to water. This watering stick is very simple to use and may be used all year round. Just insert the stick into the pot of compost. The indicator will then turn red to let you know when the plant needs extra water. When no additional water is required, the indicator will turn blue. Once you have watered the plant the indication should change colour from red to blue within 2 hours.

Another crucial factor is the type of water used on indoor plants. This is due to the fact that many plants are sensitive to the salts and chemicals found in tap water. So it is advisable to use rainwater to water your plants.


To promote lush, robust growth, indoor plants must be fed while they are developing. Only while a houseplant is actively developing, not when it is dormant, should it be fed.

During the growing season (spring and summer), the majority of indoor plants need typically be fed every other watering, or around every 10 to 14 days. In the fall and winter, feed indoor plants after every fourth watering because they will need fewer nutrients.

Using a liquid concentrate feed is a good approach to feed houseplants. These are a fantastic way to feed and water your plant simultaneously. They work best, though, when the mixture isn’t created too powerful or too weak. Given that it is filled with the necessary nutrients, Westland Houseplant Feed is a fantastic plant food for indoor plants. Additionally, it contains a simple measure doser that requires only a squeeze of the bottle to fill the dosing chamber. Any extra plant food will be removed by the doser, leaving you with a 5ml dose to mix with 1 liter of water. This indicates that the combination you use to feed your plants is the proper strength.

The list of specialized feeds for various types of indoor plants that include the precise ratio of nutrients required for their growth is provided below.

  • Feed for succulents and cacti offers nutrients that improve flowering.
  • Citrus feed: provides nutrients that promote fruit development and set.

Do yellow leaves indicate an excess of water?

Just to spice things up, too little moisture can also cause yellowing of the leaves. If your plant’s leaves are yellowing and you haven’t watered it in a while, they probably need water. However, on general, plants are more able to cope with a lack of water than an oversupply.

Yellow leaves, dry soil, and a lack of growth are major warning signs. Additionally, leaves may appear droopy and feel dry and brittle to the touch.

Simple H2O will take care of the issue. Water your plants regularly, and in dry places, apply a layer of mulch around your outside plants to prevent it in the future.

Lack of Nutrients

When a plant’s food cannot be delivered through its roots due to damage or compaction, problems with nutritional deficiency may arise. A pH imbalance is one of the potential causes for a plant’s inability to obtain nutrients. The pH of the soil can affect nutrient absorption, making it difficult for plants to acquire the nutrients that are available in the soil. Sometimes the soil may be completely devoid of nutrients.

Key indicators: Distinct symptoms result from various deficits. For instance, a nitrogen deficit could result in entirely yellow leaves. However, a potassium deficit results in yellowing of the leaf margins.

Solution: If the issue is pH-related, applying fertilizer may not be effective. Fertilizer is the solution if the soil lacks one or more particular nutrients. The only way to determine the source of the issue and if you need fertilizer is through a soil test.

How can overwatered plants be fixed?

  • Even if your plant need full sun, move it to a dark spot. Dead or dying leaves should be removed. These ought should be simple to identify.
  • Make sure your pot has adequate drainage, and if you can, add more space around the roots. The root zone will be able to receive oxygen as a result. Keep just the healthy roots and cut off any dead or dying ones.
  • Do not let the soil become overly dry; just water when the soil seems dry to the touch. At this point, you should also stop fertilizing the plant altogether until it is healthy again.
  • Use a fungicide to treat.

The ability of your plant to recover from overwatering is never guaranteed. Within a week or so, you should start to notice results if your plant survives. You can now return your plant to its original spot and continue watering it as usual.

It’s critical to provide your plants with adequate drainage and regular watering from the beginning. Choosing plants that are less susceptible to difficulties from excessive watering may be the best course of action if, despite your best efforts, you tend to overwater plants.

Can yellow leaves be caused by too much light?

When exposed to excessive light, plants show numerous important indicators. Leaf burning is the most blatant sign. At the top of the plant, immediately beneath the grow lights, this usually results in yellow leaves. The outside veins continue to be green, but the leaves start to look scorched and yellow. Although this impact could be confused for a nitrogen deficiency, light-burned yellow leaves won’t fall off or be amenable to easy harvesting, unlike nitrogen-deficient leaves.

Fortunately, you can tell whether greenhouse illumination is too intense before any symptoms show up. A simple test requires the grower to place a hand at the top of the plant with the palm facing down. You’ll be able to feel how hot the plant is in 10 to 15 seconds. The plant can probably withstand less light and residual heat if it feels uncomfortable on the back of your hand.

A grower can check lighting levels with the aid of digital monitoring instruments. The temperature and humidity of a greenhouse may be accurately determined by sensors. An informed grower will be able to see if things are getting too hot and dry, which may indicate that the lights are being turned up too high, by keeping an eye on the environment using a smartphone app.

Doing things correctly Although too much light can hinder plant growth, it is also a rather simple issue to resolve. A too-bright greenhouse can be fixed using a few common techniques.

With regard to lighting, distance is important. When plants are growing too close to the main source of light and heat, plant burn frequently occurs. Depending on how your greenhouse is set up, it can be simple to elevate light fixtures or otherwise keep them away from plants.

A grower can bend taller plants to slant them away from the direct impact of over-lighting when there is no simple method to shift lights away from the plants. The result is the same as if the lights had been moved themselves. Distance-building is the key.

Growers can also change the illumination intensity. For a 2 by 2 foot grow space, experts advise using 100 watts of light, and up to 1,000 watts for an 8 by 8 foot space. The majority of growers will experiment to find the lighting conditions that encourage the best and quickest growth while maintaining the health of the plants.

Crops love light, so they will grow strong, tall, healthy plants with robust buds in a well-lit greenhouse. However, it is easy to go overboard and give plants too much light, which will make them struggle rather than thrive.

Growers can control excessive illumination and react quickly whenever it appears that plants are receiving more light than is healthy for them by combining close observation with technologies for distant monitoring. Most growers may easily adjust greenhouse lighting for high yields over time by being proactive and persistent.

Don’t be frightened to try new things. Some growers are successful by operating several plots at various wattages, varying the distance between lights and plants throughout time and during various phases of growth. It is feasible to find a formula that produces the greatest results for a specific greenhouse by methodically adjusting the parameters.