The Leaves Of My Plant Are Turning Yellow: What Can I Do?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:50 pm

When you love your houseplants or outdoor plants, you are very sensitive to the changes that can occur over time. In addition to seasonal changes, there may be signs of declining plant health. In many plants, the appearance of unsightly yellow leaves is particularly telling. When this yellowing is localized, it is not very alarming and often reflects the process of leaf renewal. On houseplants or shrubs with evergreen foliage, the old leaves will then give way to young green leaves. However, if yellow leaves are gaining ground, this should indeed alert the gardener. Here is how to react when your plant’s leaves turn yellow.

Indeed, yellowing is generally linked to the maintenance of the plant. Adopt the right gestures quickly, and everything will return to normal! This will give a second life to your tired plants.

1) Identify possible diseases

The Leaves Of My Plant Are Turning Yellow: What Can I Do?

When the foliage is tired, the hypothesis of a possible cryptogamic disease (or fungal disease) must be studied. The leaves should also be studied more closely to identify a possible infestation of harmful insects or pests. Once the presence of insects, mites or fungi has been confirmed or denied on the affected leaves, we advise! If you do notice small bugs or molds, you should start treating. Be aware that a parasite is often accompanied by spots, but also by a deformation of the leaves. These are other signs that can also help you.

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If you don’t notice anything that might suggest disease, read the referrals below instead!

plante feuilles jaunes flétries jaunissement du feuillage

2) Bad exposures also turn leaves yellow

Many gardeners tend to underestimate the importance of getting the right sun exposure for a plant. And yet, it is of paramount importance. While some plants love direct sunlight, most will need good light without direct light. Still others will thrive best in partial shade. Always find out the light requirements of a plant before you put it in the garden or home. Too much or too little sun could otherwise burn the leaves…and quickly turn them yellow! So if this is true, you may need to move it and give it time to recover. Be patient.

3) Leaves also turn yellow because of watering

Water stagnation and a soggy substrate tend to make the plant suffocate. It can no longer feed itself through its roots, which can then rot. Eventually, its leaves turn yellow and death ensues. To avoid asphyxiation, it is often recommended to wait for the soil to dry out between two waterings, except in the case of plants that need to keep the soil a little moist. In any case, do not hesitate to eliminate stagnant water in the saucers. If your plant suffocates, consider repotting it. Choose a pot that offers better drainage during watering and add clay balls to prevent water stagnation.

plante feuilles jaunes flétries jaunissement du feuillage

4) A thought for the plants that suffer from their environment

Too much wind and temperature differences can also cause your green plants to turn yellow. Even indoors, there are drafts, such as from an open window or front door. As a result, many plants will start to turn yellow, as if to express their displeasure. So remember to protect your fragile plants from repeated winds and drafts!

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5) Nutrient deficiency, often the cause of yellowing leaves

Nitrogen, iron (chlorosis), magnesium, potassium or phosphorus deficiency… Like us, plants are sensitive to deficiencies. Indeed, they often have specific needs in nutrients. Also, if the humus or the soil in the garden does not contain the nutrients they need, the plants can die. Remember also that some soils are more acidic, while others are mostly calcareous. And here again, plants can pay the consequences. Before planting, analyze your soil to choose the right plants to thrive in it. Good information can also give you indications on the fertilizer to use according to each plantation. With the right green manure amendment, your plant will be well nourished and its leaves will regain a beautiful green hue.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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