Why Is My Prayer Plant Turning Yellow

Even with the best growing media and the correct drainage holes in the container, well-meaning plant parents occasionally overwater their indoor plants.

Overwatering can cause the soil to become flooded and the roots to begin to decay in Marantaceae plants. As a result, prayer plant leaves may appear sickly and yellow.

It can be challenging to water these species properly.

While they do need more water than the typical houseplant, you don’t want to drown them.

It’s a good idea to check on them twice a week, but if their pots still feel heavy and the potting medium’s surface still feels rather moist, don’t water them.

Environmental Stress

The wrong care of Maranta prayer plants is the primary cause of issues. Leaf tips and margins may burn under bright illumination or from too much phosphate or fluoride, leaving a strip of yellow tissue between the living and dead tissues. Yellow prayer plant foliage is a symptom of chlorosis, especially on young leaves.

Place your plant somewhere with indirect light, then start watering it with distilled water. If your medium’s pH is around 6.0, a dose of liquid iron fertilizer combined according to the instructions on the package can help treat chlorosis. It could be necessary to repot or conduct a soil test.

Fungal Disease

A fungus called Helminthosporium leaf spot makes tiny, wet spots on the foliage of prayer plants. These dots quickly turned yellow, spread, and ultimately transformed into tan regions with yellow haloes. When plants are routinely over-irrigated and have their leaves repeatedly submerged in standing water, this fungus establishes itself.

To reduce the danger of disease in the future, fix the irrigation issue and water plants just at the base in the morning so that water will quickly evaporate from splashed surfaces. Neem oil or the fungicide chlorothalonil can be used to treat an existing illness, but it’s crucial to prevent further outbreaks.

Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Maranta’s yellowing leaves may be caused by the cucumber mosaic virus, particularly if the yellowing alternates with apparently healthy green tissue. Older leaves have yellow line patterns on their surfaces, while new leaves may emerge tiny and deformed. Plant viruses are unavoidable, but there is little you can do about them. To avoid spreading the virus to other houseplants, it is best to destroy your plant.

Should I remove the prayer plant’s yellow leaves?

Can I Keep My Prayer Plant’s Yellow Leaves? There is no turning back once the leaves turn yellow. Sharpen a pair of scissors and trim off the yellow leaves so that the plant can concentrate its energy on new growth rather than spending it on dead leaves. Saving the entire plant is more crucial than just a few leaves.

How frequently should I water my plant of prayer?

Water once every 12 weeks, letting the soil half-dry in between applications. In brighter light, water more frequently, and in less-bright light, less frequently.

Marantas are susceptible to the effects of hard water. Use filtered water if possible, or let water sit out overnight before using.

Why are the leaves on my prayer plant turning brown and yellow?

The leaves of your prayer plant may be turning yellow because of sunburn, too much water, or too much fertilizer. Sometimes, exposure to frost or inadequate drainage may also be to blame.

In this species, yellowing prayer plant leaves are a regular issue. When the plant’s cultural needs are not met or when it is being attacked by pests or diseases, its broad, vibrant, dark-green leaves become yellow or get yellow stains on them.

Too Much Light

Sunburn is the most prevalent issue with prayer plants. Your plant is most obviously being burned by the sun if its leaves have gone yellow, crisp, and slightly brown around the margins.


Even though prayer plants require more water than typical houseplants, it is still incredibly simple and frequent to overwater them. One of your first thoughts should be to determine whether a prayer plant is being overwatered whenever you see one with yellow leaves.

A further risk of overwatering is fungal root rot, which can kill the entire plant.

Signs You Are Overwatering the Prayer Plant

The extra water will be retained by the leaves, giving them a bloated and mushy appearance. The soil in the pot will seem sloppy and overly damp when you touch it. Lifting the pot could make it feel weighty as well.

Cold Temperatures

The prayer plant’s leaves begin to turn yellow when exposed to temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant’s tips occasionally appear brown. The entire plant will then eventually die after this. Even at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, some varieties of the prayer plant will begin to deteriorate.


If your prayer plant starts to yellow, you may have used too much fertilizer. Only throughout the spring through fall growing and blooming season does this plant require fertilization. In the absence of this, your leaves will all turn yellow due to salt buildup in the soil.

Purchase some high-quality liquid fertilizer, and then weaken it by half. Every two weeks, fertilize the plant’s base. Don’t forget to deeply water the soil once a month to remove all the salts and poisons that have accumulated.

Not Enough Drainage

When your soil’s drainage isn’t good enough, the yellow leaves on your prayer plant will frequently occur. Even a typical amount of water might cause waterlogging situations and smother the leaves and roots.

Low Humidity Levels

As a tropical plant, prayer plants need constant humidity levels of between 40 and 60 percent to grow and thrive. You could start to see the fading of leaves in extended low humidity circumstances. Winters, when the air is drier than usual, will make this more obvious.

Iron Deficiency

Yes, an iron deficit will cause your prayer plant’s young leaves to turn yellow and may even cause it to die. This is so that plants can produce food, which is done by using iron to create chlorophyll in leaves.

What Causes Iron Deficiency?

Utilizing alkaline soil is the primary cause of an iron shortage. High pH soil makes it difficult for plant roots to absorb the necessary levels of iron.

Signs of a Spider-mite Infestation

Observe the warning indicators listed below:

  • the development of yellow dots on the leaves’ top side
  • a powder-gray material that appeared on the underside of the leaves
  • In more severe cases, the leaves develop proper webbing.
  • Red-brown spider mite colonies will also be visible under the leaves.

Disease: Cucumber Mosaic Virus

This viral illness frequently damages prayer plants. The damaged plants’ leaves develop a yellow mottled pattern, get crisp, and begin to exfoliate at an alarming rate. In the end, the entire plant withers and perishes.

Do prayer plants require sunlight?

The prayer plant houseplant may tolerate low light levels to some extent, but it thrives in direct, bright sunlight. For optimum growth, the prayer plant demands well-drained soil and high humidity. Houseplants of the prayer plant should be kept damp but not drenched. From spring to fall, hydrate prayer plant houseplants with warm water and treat them with an all-purpose fertilizer every two weeks.

The soil has to remain drier throughout winter hibernation. However, keep in mind that dry air can also be an issue in the winter. As a result, grouping the prayer plant with other indoor plants and sprinkling it every day with warm water will help to increase the humidity in the air. It also helps to lay the plant’s container on top of a shallow dish of pebbles and water or a bowl of water close by. However, avoid letting the prayer plant submerge itself in water. The prayer plant prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 °F (16-27 C.).

How much sun is required by a prayer plant?

For the nooks of your house that seldom receive direct sunshine, prayer plants make fantastic indoor plants. They flourish in full shade or in moderate indirect light. In fact, prayer plant leaves can get big brown blotches and finally fall off if they are exposed to a lot of natural light.

A prayer plant’s leaves will frequently totally wither during their dormant season, which typically occurs throughout the winter, but this does not imply that the plant is dead. The leaves will most likely regenerate in the spring if intense light is provided.

How can an overwatered prayer plant be fixed?

All sorts of indoor plants experience issues most frequently from overwatering. Because of this, whenever we search for an issue, we always start there. Prayer Plants don’t enjoy spending a lot of time in watery areas. Your plant will lose leaves, droop, and become soft as a result of this harm to the root system.

Check the soil’s moisture content very away to see if overwatering is the cause of your Prayer Plant’s demise. Replace the soil with new dry mix if it is heavily wet and clumpy to help the plant begin to recover. Trim the decaying roots and reduce your previous watering frequency.

Your Prayer Plant may require some time to fully recover and develop new, healthy leaves because the root system was hurt. But if you’re patient, your Prayer Plant should start to seem more vibrant in a few weeks.

How can I tell if my prayer plant is in trouble?

Prayer plants adore sunlight because they are native to Brazilian jungles.

But excessive sunshine will scorch the plant’s leaves, causing it to start drying up, wilting, and eventually dying.

Curling and browning of the leaf edges are further indications to watch for.

Bright indirect light is best for growing prayer plants. The primary reason to keep it away from sunny windows is because of this. New leaves will appear solid green in low light, and the plant will lose its variegation.

Low light directly impacts the photosynthetic ability and antioxidant enzyme activities of the plant, according to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

The ability of these plants to thrive in low light circumstances belies their tropical origins. But too much sunlight is this plant’s biggest enemy.

Immediate Steps of Revival

  • Remove the plant from the harsh lighting and place it where it will receive bright indirect sunshine.
  • To keep the plant from dying, give it some shade.
  • Remove the leaves if poor light has damaged them; otherwise, the plant will become overgrown and lose its variegation.

Preventive Measures

  • Keep your plant indoors if it will be exposed to excessive sunlight.
  • Use a transparent curtain to shade your plant if it is placed in a window that faces south.
  • Keep your plant away from the window if possible.
  • You can position the plant under a tree that is close to your window or balcony if it provides shade.
  • You might choose artificial grow lights if the local lighting is poor.

Infestation of Pests

On the list of “things that can destroy a Prayer plant,” pests come in first. On this plant, you can discover common pests including aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.

These pests can have a serious impact on the plant since they can cause wilting, which eventually results in plant death.

These pests primarily target the plant’s leaves, consuming all of its nutrients. The plant consequently starts to wilt and eventually perishes.

  • The diseased leaves and stems should be pruned and burned to stop the infection from spreading.

How can my prayer plant be fixed?

Prayer plants are typically grown as ornamental indoor plants. Some individuals can and do grow them outside, though.

To ensure their success in your garden, tropical plants require a little more attention. Make sure you live in zones 11 or 12 before planting the prayer plant outside.

This will guarantee that the plant is kept at the proper temperature, degree of light, and humidity to mimic its natural habitat.

Even then, your prayer plant may exhibit symptoms of stress and appear unhealthy. Now is the time to consider the 12 factors listed below to figure out how to attempt to save your plant.


The fertile and wet soil of the tropics of Latin America is where the Amazonian prayer plant flourishes.

Although the soil is kept moist by the heavy rain, the water doesn’t stay for very long because of how quickly the soil drains.

You need to create these precise circumstances in order to produce moist soil that drains efficiently. The plant may wilt, droop, and develop yellow leaves as a result of wet soil.


Stop watering the soil and let it to dry. For a few days, move the plant out of direct sunlight and place it in a shaded area. After that, explore the roots and look them over.

Repot the plant and add new soil if you discover root rot. After that, give the plant a regular, light watering with water that is at room temperature.

Not Enough Water

In contrast to wet soil, the prayer plant is more sensitive to dryness and dry soil. This implies that the harm a drought can do is frequently irreparable.

The likelihood is that you won’t be able to save the plant if it begins to wilt from a lack of water. Because of this, the soil is the first item to be examined if the prayer plant appears to be sick. Ensure that it is not too dry.

Throughout the growing season, give the prayer plant regular waterings. The key to preserving the health of the plant and avoiding the dangers of overwatering is shallow watering.

Early in the morning or late at night, when the weather has cooled, are the ideal times to water it. To avoid shocking the roots, avoid using water that is either too hot or too cold.

Root Rot

For most plants with delicate roots, including the prayer plant, which enjoys damp soil, root rot is a common issue. If the soil is left too long moist, it will also battle with root rot.

This frequently occurs when clay soil that doesn’t drain well is present. If you don’t save the prayer plant from root rot in time, you’ll have to uproot it and start a new plant because root rot is fatal.

Gently excavate all the way around the plant’s root ball to look for root rot. Pull the plant up and check the root ball after loosening the soil.

It is too late to rescue the root ball if more than half of it is injured. Trim off the damaged roots and repot the plant in new soil if the root rot is contained.

Incorrect Light

The prayer plant loves dappled light rather than direct sunlight because it naturally grows in the shade of big trees and shrubs.

The plant will struggle to live in such tough conditions since direct sunlight might sear the leaves.

Create the same lighting conditions the plant is accustomed to in the Amazonian rainforest by drawing a lace curtain across the window to filter the light.

When the plant becomes dormant or dies back in the winter, only set it in bright light.

Incorrect Temperatures

When grown in a pot at home, the prayer plant may experience insufficient temperatures. After all, this is a tropical plant accustomed to year-round high temps.

The plant’s growth can be slowed by cold weather, and it may even risk going extinct.

The prayer plant is generally hardy in Zones 11 and 12. Even then, you must ensure that the temperature is maintained year-round between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep the temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain this temperature range, place a heat mat under the pot (this one is the ideal size and is reasonably priced).

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrition is another element that affects a plant’s growth. The prayer plant has to grow in rich, fertile soil because it is a heavy feeder. Additionally, it requires a lot of fertilizer all year round.

Apply a houseplant fertilizer (I suggest this one) once every two weeks from the spring until the fall to ensure the prayer plant is getting enough nutrition.

Reduce fertilizer to once a month in the winter. In order to prevent stunning the plant during growth spurts, use the fertilizer at half strength.


Mealybugs and spider mites can also attack the plant. A white material or brown patches on the leaves are signs of the condition.

If the foliage isn’t treated, it will turn brown and expose the plant to other illnesses.

Neem oil should be applied as soon as an infection first appears. Natural insecticide neem oil doesn’t harm the environment and doesn’t have any negative side effects.

I use this cold-pressed organic neem on my plants with no adverse consequences.


The prayer plant wilts and droops as a result of numerous illnesses. Yellow leaves, brown leaves and stems, leaf spots, and dry leaves are typical signs.

You should speak with an expert to determine the best course of action for each condition because the reasons of the symptoms differ based on the infection that is causing them.

Humidity Issues

Some of the most frequent causes of the prayer plant’s failure to thrive in homes include low humidity levels.

Typically, heating and cooling systems leave the air in our houses dry. As a result, the plant sags and its leaves curl or drop.

Make sure the humidity levels are consistently over 80% surrounding the prayer plant.

Use a humidifier to control the humidity in the air (this ultra-quiet humidifier works great for my plants), or spritz the plant 2 to 3 times per week throughout the summer.