Plants with vibrant green leaves in the house, restaurant, or any indoor place brighten your day and enhance your surroundings. It is very important to care for houseplants well. Most gardeners face some common problems when growing houseplants especially yellowing the leaves. By reading this guide, you will be able to know, Why Plant Leaves Turn Yellow and How to Fix Them?

Having yellowing leaves is one of the first signs of trouble for a plant, if you’ve ever been one of those worried plant owners.

Yellow leaves are a good sign because they indicate a problem. Yellow leaves can be remedied and prevented from returning if you pay attention to the warning signs and take the appropriate actions.

Even if you fix the problem, the yellow leaves will eventually fall off. Don’t be alarmed. If the plant recovers, new leaves may appear during the growing season. Growing plants requires a lot of perseverance. Eliminate as many of the common causes of yellowing leaves as possible, and then watch to see what happens.

Why Are Yellowing Leaves on Houseplants & How to Fix It

Let’s start,

Why Plant Leaves Turn Yellow and How to Fix Them?

Reasons for Yellowing of the Leaves Plant growth is influenced by a wide range of factors. Varying lighting requirements, inadequate drainage or watering, heat, chemicals, lack of or excess nutrients, specific soil composition and pH levels, vulnerability to pests and diseases, and numerous other factors all have an impact on plant health.

Plants with yellowing leaves could be suffering from any of these imbalances, as well as certain nutritional or chemical influences. They can’t express their discomfort or displeasure because plants don’t have facial expressions. They can use their leaves to express their displeasure with a situation.

The following is a description of the causes of yellowing of the leaves and how to solve it.

1. Improper lightning

When plants’ leaves turn yellow, it’s usually because the plant isn’t getting enough light. As the light level rises, so does the rate of photosynthesis, and this is how the phenomenon occurs.

Finding the ideal amount of light for a houseplant can be challenging. The amount of natural light available varies widely from house to house. You’ll be able to find the ideal amount of sunlight for your leafy greens with a little investigation and perhaps some trial and error.

How to solve it?

When purchasing a new houseplant, be sure to read the label carefully and place it in a location where it will receive the amount of light it needs. Most types of houseplants prefer bright, indirect light to dim, direct light.

Try relocating it to a location that receives more direct sunlight and see how it does. If you have trouble getting enough natural light through your windows, especially in the winter, you may want to consider installing a few artificial plant lights.

Grow lights are an excellent option if you don’t have many windows or if the windows you do have are in an awkward location. During the short winter days, they can also serve as an additional source of light. When you go plant shopping in the future, look for low-light-loving plants.

When a plant is in a shaded area, try moving it to a sunny location or letting it sit near a window for a few hours to soak up some sun. Check on the plant after the relocation to see how it adjusts. Some delicate plants can be difficult to adjust to a new environment.

Keep in mind that if your houseplant is placed near a window with blackout curtains that you frequently forget to open, your plant will still benefit from the sunshine even if you aren’t there to take advantage of it.

2. Improper  watering

For plants, water is a necessity for survival. They make use of it for photosynthesis which increases their plant mass and enables them to grow.

Yellowing of plants’ leaves is most often caused by excessive or insufficient watering, which can cause moisture stress.

Underwatering is most likely the cause of your plant’s yellow leaves. Roots become unable to breathe in soggy soil. If you don’t deliver water and nutrients to plants, they die. Drought has the same effect as underwatering. Plants can’t absorb vital nutrients if they’re getting too little water. As a result, there are yellow leaves.

The opposite is also true because excessive watering causes the leaves to turn yellow. Putting too much water on the plant means the soil is too wet, so check to see if that is the case.

How to solve it?

Check the soil in the pot if you have a plant with yellow leaves to see if it is dry. Try pressing your finger about an inch into the soil around the plant to see how much moisture it is receiving. Don’t just test the soil’s uppermost layer, which dries out the fastest.

When an inch of soil is parched beneath the surface, your plant most likely needs water. Get a glass of water for that plant right away and make a commitment to water it more frequently.

It’s possible your plant is getting enough water if the soil feels damp an inch below the surface, but it’s also possible your plant is getting too much water. Root rot symptoms include a mildew odor.

To avoid letting the roots sit in water, move your plant to a container with better drainage or reduce your watering schedule if you suspect it’s been overwatered.

Well-draining soil is the best solution in resolving or preventing water problems.

Avoid planting in areas of your indoor yard where water collects due to rain or irrigation. Increase soil structure and drainage by adding organic matter such as compost. The solution here is as simple as not adding as much water or adding it as frequently.

3. Temperature changes

The temperature may have an effect on houseplants if it is from a different region. When it’s too hot or too cold, the weather affects the color of the leaves. Sudden temperature changes stress houseplants. The yellowing of the leaves can be attributed to this as well.

Cold drafts on most tropical plants cause the leaves to yellow in cold temperatures.

An overactive air conditioner may be the cause of your plant’s symptoms, especially if it has a cold. Also, keep in mind that drafts aren’t just an issue in the winter.

How to solve it?

Check for drafts coming in through any nearby windows or doors that may be affecting your plant. Keep in mind that as the temperature drops, so will the frequency with which you should water your plant.

4. Deficiency in essential nutrients

The fact that your plants are turning yellow could be an indication that they need more nutrition.

Top leaves may be first to turn yellow if this is the issue. Sometimes the yellowing will take on an unusual pattern. If the veins are dark and the tissue in between them is yellow, the treatment may not work as well.

Many people use excessive fertilizer on their plants in an attempt to speed up growth, but this actually creates a toxic environment that burns the leaves, resulting in yellowing.

How to solve it?

Purchasing a small soil test kit for use at home can be an excellent investment. Being able to pinpoint your plant’s specific requirements is extremely beneficial. This will help to keep your plants happy and well-cared for in the long run.

Fertilize your plant once a month or repot it to give it access to new potting soil each time. New potting soil is full of nutrients because it has just been mixed.

Use soft water instead of hard water because the calcium in hard water can interfere with the soil’s existing nutrients.

However, your plants will exhaust the food they were given after a while and will require a supplement of plant food from time to time to keep their leaves healthy. Every time you water your plants, give them a little bit of diluted liquid fertilizer. Make sure to follow the label and apply fertilizer according to the recommended rate.

5. Pests

Yellow leaves on your houseplants can be caused by pests.

Sucking insects feed on indoor plants. These are a few examples such as Mites Aphids, Mealybugs, Thrips Scale, Whiteflies because they are so small, many of these insects cannot be seen with the naked eye and must be identified by observing how the plant reacts when they are feeding.

How to solve it?

Use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil if bugs are bothering your houseplant. Your local garden center may have these products, or you can order them online if you prefer.

Spraying should be done about once every week until the pests have been eradicated.

6. Maturity of the plant

Older leaves on houseplants will naturally turn yellow and fall off over time. When a plant sheds its old leaves, it makes room for new ones to grow. In the event that a large number of leaves suddenly turn yellow, that’s definitely a warning sign.

How to solve it?

Pay attention to the specific location on your plant where the issue appears to be occurring.

7. Infection with a Virus

If your plant is infected with a virus, yellow patches on the leaves may appear all over the plant.

It’s possible that viral infections in plants can’t be cured and can spread to any nearby plants that aren’t immune.

How to solve it?

Remove any sick plants from the indoor garden and place them alone.

You can do something to save the plant, but first, you need to figure out what the virus is. Some treatments call for the use of fungicides, while others call for the removal of healthy tissue and the propagation of the diseased portion.

Before using on other plants, wash and sterilize any tools or pots.

8. Damaging the roots

Root damage can be caused by a variety of factors, including careless shoveling, root rot, and other reasons. If the roots are damaged, your plant may have difficulty getting the nutrients it requires.

When roots are unable to function properly, yellow leaves are the result.

How to solve it?

Carefully remove your plant from its container to inspect for damaged or compacted roots. The roots of a healthy plant have a whitish-yellow coloration. Roots that are dark and rotting give off a bad odor.

The time has come to replace a plant whose roots have become rotten and diseased. Repot the plant in a larger container with well-draining soil if compaction is the problem.

Soil should be amended with organic matter, such as compost or organic mulch and it also helps to keep plants healthy by preventing leaf senescence.

9. pH level of the soil

The inadequate pH level of the soil is affected by yellowing leaves. The pH of the soil affects the ability of plants to take up nutrients.

How to solve it?

The pH of your soil can be determined with a simple soil test, and you’ll also learn other useful things about it. The majority of laboratories also provide recommendations for pH-balancing soil amendments. Nutrient availability is restored, and the growth of green leaves is resumed.

Until pH problems are resolved, leaves turn yellow.

10. Moving the plant

When you first bring your houseplant home from the garden center, it may not have yellow leaves. Most likely, your plant is just shedding leaves as it adjusts to the lower light levels in your house.

As an example, when ficus trees are moved to a new location, they may drop their yellow leaves. Most plants will produce new foliage after a brief adjustment period.

How to solve it?

Wait at least a week or two after bringing houseplants home before repotting to give them time to adjust before undergoing transplant stress.

11. Repotting

When repotting your houseplants, it can be caused to damage the roots as well as it may be stressed to the plant. So your plant becomes yellowing leaves. When a plant doesn’t have enough of this element, the lower leaves will begin to yellow first.

How to solve it?

Repotting with fresh soil can also help with the problem of your plants using up all the nitrogen in your potting mix over time. You can also use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer as a backup plan.

If moving your plant to a brighter spot doesn’t help, try moving it somewhere else.

Watch how to use neem oil for houseplants to prevent from pests & diseases | Video

Top 5 FAQs & answers related to why are yellowing leaves on houseplants & how to fix it?

How to know overwatering and underwatering?

The best way to tell if you’ve overwatered or underwatered your plants is to feel the leaves and soil. If the plant’s leaves are dry, you’ve underwatered it. You’ve overwatered it if it’s soft and droopy. When overwatered, the soil is too wet, and underwatered soil is too dry.

What are the common nutrient deficiencies?

Nitrogen deficiency- The oldest, inner leaves are the first to go yellow. The yellowing spreads outward as time goes on, eventually reaching the young leaves as well.
Iron deficiency – Yellowing between leaf veins of a houseplant.
Potassium deficiency – Leaf edges turn bright yellow but the inner leaf remains green.
Magnesium deficiency – Yellow patches between the veins of older leaves of a houseplant.

How often should water to houseplants?

It depends on the plant you have grown. Generally, every 1-4 weeks should water but don’t go with a schedule. Water well your plants depending on the nature of the plant.

Do the leaves turn yellow if the plant is damaged?

Yes, it is. If your plant is damaged, it may not be able to live a healthy life and the leaves may turn yellow and die. With proper caring, you can fix it.

How to provide light to houseplants as needed?

It is possible to place your houseplants on a windowsill. You can also use grow lights to provide light to the plants. Be sure to know the amount of light the plant needs. The way it provides light also varies as it may vary on each plant.  


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