Yellowing Leaves

There are several reasons why a plant might have yellow leaves. Below I will review a few of those reasons and how to remedy them. 

Photo by Fieldnotes at Studioplants


Let’s do the old finger test, stick your finger into the soil. Is it dry or wet? If it is dry, your plant may be underwatered. Go ahead and add some water, and get it on a regular watering schedule. 

If the soil is wet, too wet… then it is overwatered. Don’t add anymore water and move it. Sometimes a change in environment can help it recover. Too much water can waterlog your plant’s roots, which means they cannot breathe. This can lead to root rot. If you don’t see your plant recovering from the overwatering, you can try to transplant it to some dryer soil. Remove all the soggy soil and with sterilized shears cut off any brown or mushy roots. 


If your plant is not getting enough light, the leaves can yellow. An easy fix is to move your plant to a window or area that receives more light. Don’t forget to rotate your plant every week so that one side of the plant doesn’t end up with more light than the other. 


A cold draft can be the culprit of the yellow leaves on your plant. Make sure that your plant isn’t right in front of an air conditioner vent, a window, or door that often opens and lets a cold draft it. If so, move it to a calmer place, where it won’t be affected by the cold air. 


Plants lose their leaves as a natural process of aging. The leaves will turn yellow before they fall off. You can always prune back the main stem to help encourage new growth if too many leaves have fallen from one area. 

Since the yellowing of the leaves can be from various factors, you need to change one thing at a time and observe whether or not it remedies the issue. Remember that they need time to adapt to new environments, just as you would. You cannot rush the process, a patient approach is always best.