Not So Mellow Yellow (Leaves)

If you’ve ever seen yellow leaves on your what-was-once-green-plant, read on to find out the causes, symptoms and solutions. It’s going to be fine!

Not So Mellow Yellow (Leaves)

Words by The Sill

Common Care Questions Next Article
If you’ve ever seen yellow leaves on your what-was-once-green-plant, read on to find out the causes, symptoms and solutions. It’s going to be fine!
It Was All Yellow...But Why?

The truth is, yellow leaves mean different things depending on (1) the plant they’re on and (2) what other symptoms the plant is showing. Overwatering, underwatering, mineral deficiency, temperature stress, and so on can all be causes. Below, we’ve broken it down to some simple symptomatic math with a solution to get rid of yellowing leaves.

Yellow Leaves + Curling Inward + Drooping or Crisping =

Usually accompanied by dry soil. Your plant is under watered. You’ll likely see older, lower leaves dropping as well.

The solution = water your plant.

Yellow Leaves + Fading to Green + or Bright Yellow =

Usually accompanied by wet soil, or even fungus gnats if the problem has persisted for a while. Bases of stems may be blackened. This altogether means that your plant is overwatered. Usually lower leaves drop first, although the whole plant may be affected.

The solution = repot and water less, or let it dry out and water less.

Irregular Yellowing + Sometimes Leaf Deformities =

This is usually caused either by a pest or a mineral deficiency. If no pests are seen, then this is likely caused by a mineral deficiency, usually calcium or boron.

The solution = choose a fertilizer that contains both calcium and boron and fertilize once a month.

Whole Plant Yellowing + May or May Not Drop Leaves = 

Likely a temperature thing. It’s either too cold or too hot. This will usually be a more pale yellow or whitish yellow. Temperature will flux around the plant too much or will be obvious, like a radiator or a draft. It could also be a fertilizer issue.

The solution = if no obvious temperature causes are present and the soil seems normal, try fertilizing.

Whole Plant Semi-Yellowing + Not Dropping Leaves =

A “general malaise” of a plant turning chartreuse means that it’s either pot-bound—the roots have no room to expand—or your plant is in the early stages of a fertilizer deficiency.

The solution = Repot to a bigger pot or try fertilizing.

If you are unable to diagnosis your yellow leaves, email us a photo to help@thesill.com.

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