Bonsai Mary


Why Is My Philodendron Turning Yellow?

Philodendrons are one of the most popular indoor plants. Their lush, green foliage adds a touch of nature to any living space. They are easy to care for, which is why they are highly recommended for people who want to add some greenery but do not have a lot of time for maintenance.

However, one common issue that many philodendron owners face is yellowing leaves. It can be frustrating to see your plant slowly deteriorate before your eyes.

But fear not! In this article, we will explore the reasons why this happens and how you can fix it.

Before we dive into the causes and solutions, let’s talk about why philodendrons are so popular in the first place. They are versatile plants that can thrive in a variety of conditions: from low-light environments to bright, indirect light.

They come in different shapes and sizes – from small tabletop varieties to large floor plants that can take up an entire corner of a room. But despite their versatility and ease of care, philodendrons still require some level of attention.

From watering to trimming dead leaves, there are some basic care guidelines you need to follow if you want your plant to thrive. Now, let’s move on to the main concern: yellowing leaves.

This is an issue that no plant owner wants to deal with because it signals trouble with the health of the plant. If you notice yellowing leaves on your philodendron, chances are something is going wrong somewhere along the way in its care routine or environment.

In the following sections, we will discuss common causes such as overwatering or pests as well as environmental factors like drafts or temperature changes that could contribute towards yellowing leaves in philodendrons. Let’s dive in and get to the root of the problem!

The Basics: Watering And Light

The Importance Of Proper Watering

Philodendrons are not the type of plants you can just water once a week and forget about. If you want your philodendron to thrive, you must pay close attention to its watering needs. For starters, philodendrons prefer soil that is moist but not overly wet.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, which is a common killer of indoor plants, including philodendrons. On the other hand, if the plant isn’t watered enough or if it’s left in standing water for too long, it will become dehydrated and start to wilt.

So how do you know when to water your philodendron? The easiest way is to feel the soil with your finger.

Stick your finger an inch or two into the soil; if it feels dry at that depth, it’s time to water. Always make sure excess water can drain from the pot by using a well-draining soil mix and pot with drainage holes.

The Importance Of Proper Lighting

Proper lighting is crucial for philodendrons because they require bright indirect light to grow well and maintain their lovely green coloration. If they don’t get enough light, their leaves will turn yellow or brown and fall off.

On the other hand, too much direct sunlight can also harm your plant by scorching its leaves – particularly in higher elevations or more southern latitudes where sunlight intensity may be stronger than what philodendrons are used to in their native tropical habitats. If possible place your philodendron within 5 feet of an east-facing window where it will receive indirect morning sun early in the day before things heat up outdoors but will be shaded from direct mid-day sun which could dry out leaves excessively on hot summer days.

Neglecting Watering And Lighting

If you neglect either watering or lighting, it will lead to a chain reaction of problems that ultimately result in yellow leaves. If your philodendron isn’t getting enough light, it won’t be able to photosynthesize properly, which means it won’t produce as much energy for growth.

This can lead to stunted growth or leggy stems. Additionally, if the plant is dehydrated from lack of water or too much sun exposure without proper moisture levels then it will transpire more water out of its leaves which can cause them to yellow and wilt.

In short: if you want your philodendron to stay healthy and green, make sure you’re giving it adequate watering and lighting. Neglecting these essential factors won’t just lead to yellow leaves – it could also ultimately kill your beloved plant!

Pests And Diseases

These Pesky Bugs Are Ruining My Precious Philodendron!

Your philodendron may be turning yellow due to a pest infestation. These little creepy crawlies can wreak havoc on your plant, causing irreversible damage if left untreated.

The most common pests that affect philodendrons are spider mites and mealybugs. Spider mites are tiny arachnids that suck the sap from your plant, leading to discoloration and yellowing of the leaves.

These little devils can quickly spread from one leaf to another, causing widespread damage in a short amount of time. Mealybugs are another common pest that can cause yellowing leaves in your philodendron.

These fluffy white bugs love to feed on the soft tissues of your plants, leaving behind sticky honeydew and causing a buildup of damaging mold. If you suspect an infestation, inspect your plant closely for signs of pests.

Look for tiny webs (indicating spider mites), cottony masses (mealybugs), or sticky residue (honeydew). If you find evidence of an infestation, take action immediately before it’s too late!

A Diseased Plant Is A Sad Plant

Yellowing leaves could also be a sign of disease in your philodendron. Common diseases that cause yellowing leaves include root rot and bacterial leaf spot.

Root rot is caused by overwatering and poor drainage, leading to fungal growth in the roots and ultimately destroying the root system. As roots become damaged or die off, they cannot provide enough nutrients to the rest of the plant resulting in discolored or yellowed leaves.

Bacterial leaf spot is caused by bacteria entering through wounds or natural openings on your plant’s foliage. This infection causes unsightly brown spots on the leaves which will eventually turn yellow and fall off.

It’s important to spot these diseases early on to prevent widespread damage and potential death of your beloved philodendron. Keep an eye out for brown spots, mushy roots, and other signs of disease in your plant.

Wash Away Those Pests And Diseases!

If you notice any signs of pests or disease on your philodendron, don’t panic! There are steps you can take to save your plant. First, isolate the affected plant from your other plants to prevent the spread of infection.

Then, treat the infestation with an organic pesticide or insecticidal soap. To treat root rot, repot your plant in fresh soil with proper drainage and withhold watering for a short period of time while it recovers.

For bacterial leaf spot, remove all infected leaves immediately and apply a copper-based fungicide. Prevention is key when it comes to fighting pests and diseases in your philodendron.

Keep a close eye on your plant’s health with regular inspections and proper care techniques such as avoiding overwatering or planting them too close together. Protecting against problems before they arise is the best way to ensure a healthy, happy philodendron!

Nutrient Deficiencies

The Root Of The Problem: Improper Fertilization And Poor Soil Quality

Listen up all you philodendron owners out there, because this is important: not all plant food is created equal. That’s right, you can’t just grab any old fertilizer off the shelf and expect your plant to thrive.

Philodendrons are particularly sensitive to nutrient deficiencies, especially when it comes to nitrogen and iron. Let’s start with nitrogen.

This essential nutrient helps plants grow healthy leaves and stems by aiding in chlorophyll production. Without enough nitrogen, your philodendron will start to yellow from the bottom up as it cannibalizes its own leaves to get the nutrients it needs.

But here’s the kicker: too much nitrogen can be just as bad, leading to burnt tips and a weak stem. So what’s a philodendron owner to do?

First off, avoid fertilizers with high levels of ammonium or urea nitrogen, as these forms are more likely to burn your plant. Instead, aim for fertilizers labeled with slow-release or water-soluble nitrogen sources like calcium nitrate or potassium nitrate.

And don’t overdo it – stick to a feeding schedule of once every 4-6 weeks during growing season. Now let’s talk about iron deficiency.

Iron is crucial for chlorophyll production in new leaves, so when your philodendron starts losing its vibrant green color and turning a sickly yellow instead… well, you know what that means. But here’s where things get tricky: while some soils contain plenty of available iron for plants to absorb (like acidic soils), others have very little (like alkaline soils).

So even if you’re properly fertilizing your plant with an iron-rich product, if the soil pH isn’t right, your plant still won’t be able to access it. To fix this, you may need to adjust the pH of your soil with amendments like sulfur or aluminum sulfate.

Alternatively, you could try adding an iron chelate supplement directly to the soil. But again, be careful not to overdo it – too much iron can cause toxicity in your plant and lead to other issues like root burn.

Soil Quality Matters

Now that we’ve established how important proper fertilization is for philodendrons, let’s talk about something else that’s just as crucial: soil quality. Listen up, folks – you can’t just stick your philodendron in any old pot filled with dirt and expect it to thrive. No sirree.

Philodendrons need well-draining soil that won’t hold onto water for too long (otherwise you risk root rot). They also prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, as this allows them to absorb nutrients more easily.

And finally, they benefit from a slightly sandy texture that allows for air circulation around the roots. So what does this mean for you?

First off, make sure your pot has drainage holes so excess water can escape easily. Second, consider using a higher-quality potting mix specifically designed for tropical plants like philodendrons (look for ingredients like peat moss or coconut coir).

And lastly… don’t skimp on the perlite! This light-weight additive helps improve drainage and aerates the soil around the roots.

It’s Not Just About Nitrogen And Iron

While nitrogen and iron deficiencies are arguably the most common causes of yellowing leaves in philodendrons… they’re not the only ones. Other essential nutrients like potassium (which helps regulate water balance) or magnesium (which aids in photosynthesis) can also become deficient if not properly supplied through fertilization and soil quality. So what’s a philodendron owner to do?

Well, for starters, make sure you’re using a balanced fertilizer that provides all the necessary nutrients. And don’t forget to test your soil periodically to make sure pH and nutrient levels are on point.

If you notice any deficiencies, adjust your feeding schedule or amend your soil as necessary. But here’s the thing… sometimes it’s not about the nutrients at all.

Sometimes it’s just about stress. Philodendrons are notoriously sensitive to changes in environment or watering routines, and this stress can manifest itself in yellowing leaves too.

So before you go blaming yourself for improper fertilization or poor soil quality, take a step back and assess if there have been any recent changes that could be causing stress for your plant (like a move to a new home or office). Sometimes all your philodendron needs is a little TLC – not some fancy plant food or soil amendment.

Environmental Factors

Temperature Changes: The Silent Killer

It’s a beautiful summer day, and you decide to open all the windows in your house. You’re enjoying the gentle breeze, but your beloved philodendron is not.

The temperature has plummeted suddenly, and your plant is now experiencing temperature stress. This sudden drop in temperature can cause its leaves to turn yellow and eventually fall off.

Temperature changes can occur due to various reasons such as open windows, air conditioning, or heating systems. If you want your philodendron to thrive, you need to ensure that the temperature in its environment remains consistent throughout the day.

Avoid placing it near doors or windows that are frequently opened. Also, keep an eye on the weather forecasts so that you can predict sudden changes and take necessary precautions.

Drafts: A Plant’s Worst Nightmare

Drafts are often overlooked when it comes to caring for indoor plants such as philodendrons. A draft is a moving current of air caused by an opening window or door that can cause rapid temperature fluctuations around a plant. These fluctuations often lead to yellowing leaves as well as stunted growth.

To prevent drafts from affecting your precious plant, choose a location away from doors or windows that are frequently opened and closed. You can also use fans or other devices to regulate the air circulation in the room.

Location: Your Philodendron Also Needs Personal Space

The location of your philodendron plays a significant role in its health and well-being. Do not place it near other plants because this will reduce airflow around the plant leading to stagnant air – which invites pests and diseases. Also, avoid placing it near electronics or radiators since these objects emit heat which can dry out the soil quickly leading to yellowing leaves.

Humidity: The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle

Humidity is essential for philodendrons to thrive. High humidity levels ensure that your plant’s leaves remain moist and healthy, while low humidity levels can cause the leaves to dry out, turn yellow, and eventually fall off. If you live in a dry area, use a humidifier to maintain adequate humidity levels.

Alternatively, you can place your philodendron on a pebble tray filled with water. This will create a mini-microclimate where your plant can thrive.

Environmental factors such as temperature changes, drafts, location, and humidity are often overlooked when it comes to caring for indoor plants like the philodendron. By taking these factors into consideration and making necessary adjustments in your care routine, you can ensure that your philodendron remains healthy and vibrant – free from yellowing leaves!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Be Done To Address Yellow Leaves On A Philodendron Plant?

Yellow leaves on a philodendron plant can be a sign of various issues. Firstly, check if the plant is receiving adequate light. Adjust the lighting conditions to provide the appropriate amount of bright, indirect light. Secondly, assess the watering routine. Overwatering or underwatering can lead to yellowing leaves. Ensure that the plant is receiving proper moisture by checking the soil’s moisture level and adjusting the watering frequency accordingly. Additionally, inspect the plant for any signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate measures to address them. Lastly, consider the temperature and humidity levels as extreme conditions can also cause leaf yellowing. By addressing these factors, you can help improve the health of the philodendron plant and prevent further yellowing of leaves.

Is It Advisable To Remove Yellow Leaves From A Philodendron?

Yes, it is advisable to remove yellow leaves from a philodendron plant. Yellow leaves often indicate that the leaf is no longer healthy and may not recover. Removing them can help redirect the plant’s energy towards healthier foliage and overall growth. Use clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors to make clean cuts close to the base of the plant. Ensure proper sanitation by disinfecting the tools before and after use to minimize the risk of spreading diseases.

Will Yellow Leaves On A Philodendron Eventually Return To Their Green Color?

No, once philodendron leaves turn yellow, they typically do not revert back to their green color. Yellowing leaves usually indicate a problem with the plant’s health, such as inadequate light, overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or other stress factors. It is important to address the underlying issue to prevent further yellowing and promote the growth of healthy, green foliage.

What Is The Recommended Watering Frequency For Philodendron Plants?

The recommended watering frequency for philodendron plants depends on various factors, such as the size of the plant, environmental conditions, and the type of potting mix used. As a general guideline, allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering. Insert your finger into the soil, and if it feels slightly dry at that depth, it’s typically time to water. However, it’s important to note that overwatering can be detrimental to philodendrons, leading to root rot. Therefore, always ensure proper drainage and avoid letting the plant sit in standing water. Adjust the watering frequency as needed based on the specific requirements of your philodendron and the conditions in your home or garden.

After reading this, check out our other articles on:


After delving into the various reasons why a philodendron may be turning yellow, it is clear that there are numerous factors to consider. From basic care like watering and lighting, to more complex issues like pests and nutrient deficiencies, these plants require consistent attention and care. It can be frustrating when a plant you’ve invested time and energy into starts showing signs of distress, but don’t give up!

Assess your own plant’s needs by taking a close look at the leaves and overall health of the plant. Is it getting enough light?

Is there proper drainage in its soil? Are there any signs of pests?

Once you’ve identified any potential issues, take steps towards addressing them. Water your philodendron properly by allowing the top inch or two of soil to dry out before watering again.

Ensure that it is getting enough light by placing it near a sunny window or providing artificial lighting if necessary. Consider investing in high-quality potting soil that offers proper drainage.

If pests are present, try using natural remedies like neem oil or wiping down foliage with soapy water before resorting to harsh chemicals. If nutrient deficiencies are suspected, consider fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer designed for indoor plants.

Caring for philodendrons requires diligence and patience. By assessing their needs regularly and taking steps towards addressing any potential issues, you can help ensure their longevity and health.

Remember: even the most experienced plant enthusiasts face challenges from time to time – don’t get discouraged! With proper care and attention, your philodendron can thrive for years to come.

Scroll to Top