Why Are My Houseplant’s Leaves Turning Yellow?

leaves turning yellow

You've probably been there. You went to your local gardening centre and found a lovely plant you admire. It's bright, vibrant and green. But a few weeks later, it begins to yellow. There are many reasons for this. To address the issue, it's important to identify the underlying causes.

Over and Underwatering

A lot of people believe that plants need a lot of water, but how much exactly depends on the plant. In general, if the soil stays wet or gets waterlogged, the roots may start to rot, which can make the leaves turn yellow. If the plant doesn't get enough water, on the other hand, the leaves may start to turn yellow and dry out. To water properly, make sure to only water your houseplants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

An Aging Plant

As plants age, the bottom leaves will turn yellow and fall off. When gardening, this is just how they grow, so you shouldn't worry about it. But if the plant gets too tall, you may want to cut back the stalks to make the plant bushier and encourage new growth. This is because as a plant gets older, it's metabolism slows down, which can make it less able to take in nutrients. To take care of an old plant, make sure to give it the right amount of light, water, and the nutrients it needs.

Not Getting Enough Nutrients 

Further to nutrients, most of the time, if a plant has enough water and light, it can make it's own food. But often, there are some things that can prevent them from doing this properly. Fortunately, there are different ways to help. Here are a few ways to give plants more nutrients:

  • Make sure to use a good potting mix..
  • Use liquid fertilisers to feed your houseplants.
  • You can help improve the structure of the soil in your pots by adding compost.
  • You should water your plants with water that has phosphorus and nitrogen added to it.
  • Use organic fertilisers to make the soil more fertile and to help roots grow healthy.

By using these tips when taking care of houseplants and gardening, you can help make sure your plants get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

Common Plant Pests

Pests are just as common in indoor plants as they are in plants that live outside. This can often cause your houseplant leaves to turn yellow. Spider mites, for instance, can drink the sap from the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and die. Here is an article which goes into more depth on how to stop pests naturally.

A Poor Repotting Job

Moving a plant that needs a new pot can be stressful for it, and can make it's leaves turn yellow. It is a normal sign that the plant is trying to get used to it's new home. It can also happen if you bring a healthy plant from the nursery back to your house and repot it, only to find that it starts dropping yellow leaves. You need to give the roots enough time to get used to the new soil and figure out where the nutrients are. Generally, you should wait about a week before repotting a new houseplant.

Plant Viruses and Disease

If your houseplant has a virus, the leaves might get yellow spots that spread. Some plants that have been infected by viruses might not be able to get better, and the virus can spread to all vulnerable plants nearby. If you see that one of your plants is sick when gardening, you should move it from the others and check the nearby plants to see if it has spread.

An Inadequate Environment

It's possible that your houseplant is just in the wrong spot. Leaves can turn yellow if they are in cold draughts, don't get enough light, or are in places with high or low temperatures. To keep your houseplants' leaves from turning yellow because of the environment, it's important to give them what they need to grow and thrive. This means giving them the right amount of light and keeping the temperature and humidity level steady so they can make their own nutrients.


Gardening outside is one thing, but houseplants are another. Being inside, you would think they are safe, but not always! The leaves can turn yellow from a variety of issues, from watering, to pests and a poor environment!