Why Are My Plants Turning Yellow?

June, 2017

We've seen our fair share of gardening gone wrong, but one of the most common ailments found in houseplants and outdoor gardens alike is the dreaded yellowing of leaves (autumn trees not included). Yellow leaves are frustrating because their cause can be linked to any number of issues. Luckily, most of these issues are easily solvable once you've diagnosed the problem. Here are a few of the most common reasons your plants are turning yellow, with advice on how to get things looking green again.

Your plant might have a drinking problem. One of the most common culprits behind yellowing leaves is moisture stress, which can occur from both under-watering and over-watering. Check the soil of your plant to see if it's bone dry or slightly damp and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. If you're struggling to find the right balance, consider a self-watering planter to take out some of the guesswork.

Here comes the sun (which is good or bad, depending). A plant that receives too much light can get scorched, which causes yellow leaves. Alternatively, too little light can decrease a plant's ability to photosynthesize, which also causes the leaves to fade and turn yellow. Research your plant's light needs and either move it to a shadier spot or transplant it somewhere sunnier.

Is it hot in here or is it just me? A lot of plants are picky when it comes to their temperature needs. A plant that's in too hot of a climate will inevitably wilt and turn yellow. Likewise with a plant that's too chilly. Something as minor as being placed near an air conditioner or vent can cause temperature fluctuations that result in yellow plants.

Getting older ain't easy. Sometimes, yellow leaves aren't necessarily cause for alarm and can simply be pruned. As new leaves are produced, old leaves naturally turn yellow and fall off. Keep a close eye on your plants to determine whether any yellowing is simply part of the natural process or something more.

Once you've diagnosed the issue, you can nurse your plant children back to health and get them happy and green in no time!