Why Is My House Plant Turning Yellow

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.

How can yellow plant leaves be fixed?

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.

Can a plant that is fading be saved?

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.

Should I trim my house plant’s yellow leaves?

Do I need to remove the yellow leaves? It varies. It’s acceptable to remove any yellow leaves that you find unsightly or bothersome. However, it is not required. Finding the issue and repairing it is preferable if you have a lot of yellow leaves, which could be caused by overwatering or inadequate sunshine.

Can leaves heal on their own? No, leaves from broken or split houseplants never heal. If you remove the damaged leaves or wait until they fall off, your plant will produce new ones to replace the ones that were harmed. After receiving enough water or fertilizer (or whatever it is they are lacking that is causing them to droop), drooping leaves may recover.

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. Within two hours of watering the plant, the indicator’s color should shift from red to blue.

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.

How can I tell if I’ve overwatered my plant?

These are the symptoms of an overwatered plant:

  • Yellow lower leaves are present.
  • The plant appears withered.
  • Roots will be stunted or decaying.
  • no fresh growth
  • Browning of young leaves will occur.
  • The soil will seem green (which is algae)

How can yellow plants be made to turn green?

Some plants are extremely sensitive to the minerals and poisons in the soil, and tap water from the city that contains chlorine or chloramine can have an impact on them. Additionally, the soil may get mineralized and acquire salts from old fertilizer. Yellow or charred leaves may appear as a result of the stress.


Yellow leaves might be the result of either too much or too little light. Examine the leaves if the surroundings don’t make it obvious.

  • The foliage is dried out or scorched by excessive direct light;
  • When given insufficient light, leaves will continue to moisten. Low light inhibits moisture transfer but increases photosynthesis and decreases the amount of chlorophyll in the leaf.

Nutrient Issues

Nutrient deficits can result in leaf yellowing and malformations, although they are not the most frequent cause. Just be cautious to look at alternative causes before using fertilizer.

After correcting a nutritional shortage, there is a potential that yellow leaves will become green, but don’t bank on it. Instead, anticipate the arrival of fresh, green leaves once the issue has been resolved.

Following are some common deficits and associated signs:


Because nitrogen is a mobile element that leaches out of the soil with watering, low nitrogen levels are more common than other deficits. General leaf yellowing brought on by a lack of nitrogen first appears in older leaves.


The middle of the leaf may develop yellow areas as a result of this shortage. Veins typically remain green. Older leaves are initially impacted.


The upper leaf turns yellow with green veins as this ailment first manifests itself on younger leaves.

Low sulfur causes young leaves to turn yellow. It will contaminate the remaining foliage.

Inadequate fertilization can also result in yellowing because some substances can prevent the body from absorbing some nutrients. For instance, too much calcium, copper, phosphorus, or zinc might prevent the body from absorbing iron. Read my article on fertilizing indoor plants to learn how to maintain your plants healthy and attractive year after year.

pH Issues

pH problems have an impact on how nutrients are absorbed and may indirectly cause leaf yellowing. You can determine if you’re inside the proper bounds by checking the pH range that the plant prefers and by testing the soil. It can also provide you with a reading of your nutritional levels.

But it’s simple to overcorrect. Low pH levels can be achieved with horticultural lime or by applying small amounts of soil sulfur. To avoid a buildup of fertilizer salts that could lead to pH problems, flush the soil frequently.


Low humidity can stress leaves, resulting in yellowing and brown, dried-out edges. Not all plants will have an issue with this because some require higher humidity than others.

A room humidifier provides a more effective option than simply arranging plants together or placing water trays nearby. However, misting is not advised because it may result in fungal problems, particularly if your plant is already weak.

Drafts And Temperature Extremes

If the plant is exposed to freezing weather or a draft, the leaves frequently turn pale yellow and drop off. You should avoid placing yourself in an air conditioner’s path at all costs.

When leaf damage occurs, there isn’t much you can do to prevent it, but you can fix the issue by protecting the plant from drafts and maintaining its optimal temperature range.

Transplant Shock

It’s ironic that repotting a plant with yellow leaves might make things worse.

The best technique to handle transplant shock is to provide the plant with the necessary attention while it recovers in silence. Avoid overfertilizing, excessive watering, and moving the plant.

Pests And Disease

Although a pest or disease infestation might result in leaf deformation, discoloration, and destruction, it typically lacks the uniform yellowing that results from other sources. Localized yellowing, spotting, or holes in the leaves are the typical symptoms.

Regularly inspecting your plant for pests is crucial because a minor infection that is identified early can be properly treated. Remember that stressed plants tend to attract intruders, thus the yellowing could potentially be the result of underlying problems.

  • Remove diseased leaves right away.
  • Set the plant apart.
  • To prevent future contamination, make sure your tools are sterile.

Symptomatic yellowing can be seen on leaves affected by leaf spot disease and other illnesses. Yellow, blotchy areas that are spreading can be an infection from a virus. Unfortunately, viral illnesses are frequently fatal, necessitating the careful destruction of diseased plants.