Yellow Leaves on Plants and Other Foliage Issues

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We are going to talk about a lot of different plant foliage issues but the number one thing that we want to make sure to talk about today is yellowing leaves. Why do plants get yellow leaves? Why do your plants get brown leaves or crispy tips, and why do your plants do all of these weird things? Is it something to be concerned about?

The first thing to note is whenever your plant’s foliage changes it is telling you something. It is either an older leaf that it’s shedding,  not getting enough humidity, missing specific nutrients, being overwatered or it is being underwatered. There are a lot of reasons why a plant’s foliage will do something. It is a plant’s way of communicating and basically the only way that we can actually read a plant to figure out what is going on.

Crispy Tips

Crispy Tips

 Let’s take care of the easy one right out of the gate. If your plant’s tips are brown and crispy it is usually a humidity issue. That’s it. The humidity is just a little bit too low. So you can either up the humidity or chop those tips off. Most plants are going to be fine as long as there is not a whole bunch of other issues going on and that is the only one. You don’t  even have to worry about it  just clip it off so that way pests do not want to move in

Brown Spots

Brown Spots

If you are finding Brown spots on your foliage it is either sunburn or if it has a yellow ring around it then it is going to be some type of fungal or bacterial issue. So you would have to get some fungicide and then you can spray that on the foliage. Definitely keep the plant out of the sunlight for a little bit so that way it does not get burned and have negative effects.

 Also, clip off those leaves that have fungus issues right away and throw them away. Immediately wash your hands afterward because that fungus can spread from one plant to another plant just like a pest can. It is not a big “oh my gosh my plant is gonna die thing” but it is something we do not want to spread and take out a bunch of leaves so we are just going to clip that off and get rid of it right now.

One or Two Yellow Leaves

One or Two Yellow Leaves

If you have a whole leaf on a plant that is going yellow. It is going from green to yellow and then it starts to brown. After that, it just continues to dry up and crisp. That is usually a normal sign especially if it is an older leaf.

 It is just the normal passing of a plant’s foliage. Every piece of foliage will only live for so long and then the plant will take the energy from that foliage and use it to grow new foliage or to sustain itself if it’s not getting enough light. That is why you will see plants that don’t get enough light will have some leaf loss. It is because they are getting rid of the older foliage and taking that energy and using it to sustain themselves.

Many Leaves Yellowing

Many Leaves Yellowing

If you get a plant with a whole bunch of yellowing leaves, I’m talking four or more all on the same vine.  Generally, this is a sign of some sort of problem. It could be an overwatering issue. Check and see if the soil is wet or not.

It could be an underwatering issue. With watering issues, plants’ leaves will generally droop down before they need more water but to find out if it’s an overwatering or an underwatering issue you can always just check the soil and feel what’s going on there.

If it is not overwatering or underwatering but the plant is still looking sad, you can un-pot it and see how the roots are looking. Check if there is any rot. If there is no rot then it could be a pest issue.

If you have a whole bunch of leaves that are looking sad on a plant or a whole bunch of yellow leaves (despite all your efforts) it is still looking yellow and gross then it might be a pest. Check and see if you have maybe some spider mites or some melee bugs under there. Something is leaching from that plant somehow and it is either not soaking up the nutrients that it needs or there is a pest on there taking nutrients and the moisture from that plant. So one of those two things is most likely going on if you have a whole bunch of yellow sad-looking leaves.

Deformed New Leaves and New Yellowing Leaves

Deformed New Leaves and New Yellowing Leaves

If you have new leaves that are coming out deformed and they might have some yellowing on them or some of the middle leaves are starting to get yellowing around the edges these are signs that there is some nutrient efficiency going on there. It could be potassium or magnesium as they are the most common deficiencies in the majority of houseplants. To find out exactly what the deficiency is you want to go and look up your plant’s nutrient needs to see exactly what your plant may be short on.

 For example, peperomia is calcium and magnesium usually. You will notice that the leaves start yellow and become deformed on peperomia. It is because they need more calcium and magnesium than what is found in a lot of standard everyday fertilizers. Increasing that a little bit can possibly take care of the issue depending on the deficiency unless it’s like the peperomia with the cal-mag issue. Treating with a specific supplement will give better results.

Brown Edges with Yellow Line

Brown  Edges with Yellow Line

If your plant has brown tips and crispy edges with a yellow line in between the brown and healthy green that is a sign of overwatering. That means that your plant is killing off the edges of the foliage in order to sustain itself and fight off potential disease. It will always be there but should not continue to spread after you let it dry out.

Edema

Edema

 Just getting too much water(especially with monstera) can also show signs of overwatering by turning yellow and you will see their leaves almost go translucent this is called a edema. Leaves can also get water blisters if they are overwatered and have parts of them turn yellow or really soft and squishy. Some leaves will almost seem like they are melting. It is not a pretty sight but that is another sign of overwatering. This usually happens after a period of chronic dryness so if you left your plant dry way too long and then gave it a whole bunch of water and let it sit there for a few days this could possibly happen.

Hopefully, this puts your mind at ease a little bit and you can now start to look at older yellowing leaves as signs of hope and as signs of new growth. Alocasia especially is very prone to this. They will drop one leaf in order to produce another one as soon as you see a new leaf coming up. This happens especially if they’re not getting enough feed you will see that they’re dropping the older leaves as well. So hopefully this brings a little bit of hope instead of concern to you and even if there is an issue you now have some tools to identify and treat the cause

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