Typically, philodendron leaves turn yellow as a result of overwatering, underwatering, pest infestation, nutrient deficiencies, incorrect light conditions, aging, temperature stress, or lack of humidity.
There are reasons why Philodendron’s leaves turn yellow:
Table of Contents
1. Root Rot From Overwatering
Yellow leaves on philodendrons are most likely caused by root rot. If the root rot is severe enough, your plant may eventually die as the yellow leaves from root rot turn to brown ones.
Overwatering causes your philodendron’s roots to become waterlogged and unable to take in the oxygen they require to survive. This results in root rot, which in turn brings on the yellowing and eventual death of the leaves.
Causes Of Overwatering
Watering your plant too frequently won’t always result in overwatering. The potting soil or pot you’re using may occasionally be the source of the issue.
Let’s go into greater detail about each of these.
Potting Soil Too Compact
Like many tropical plants, philodendron prefers light, draining soil.
Even though you aren’t watering your plant too frequently, compacted potting soil prevents water from draining properly, which can result in overwatering.
For anaerobic bacteria and fungi to flourish and eventually cause root rot, the waterlogged soil is the perfect environment.
Use a potting mix made for philodendrons or other tropical plants to avoid this problem. To improve drainage, you can also include some pumice or perlite in your potting mix.
The roots of your plants won’t be able to reach all sides of the too-large pots that you keep them in.
The portion of the pot that the roots cannot reach will remain wet for a longer time as you water it. The environment here becomes perfect for the development of bacteria and fungi, which can result in root rot.
Make sure the pot you’re using isn’t too big for your plant to avoid this.
If you need to repot your philodendron, choose a pot that’s only one or two inches wider than the diameter of your plant’s root mass
Pot With No Drainage
Your plant may also experience overwatering if you are using a pot without drainage holes.
The water will not properly drain when you water your plant in a pot without drainage holes; it will instead collect at the bottom of the pot. The roots will become wet, which will cause root rot.
Make sure the pot you’re using has drainage holes if you want to avoid this problem. In that case, you can drill some holes on your own.
Overwatering in Winter
The cold temperatures and shorter days of winter cause the majority of plants to go into a state of dormancy. A decrease in the philodendron’s need for water coincides with a slowdown in photosynthesis during this period.
The potting soil stays wetter for longer in the cooler months than it would in the summer because water doesn’t evaporate from the soil as quickly in the cold weather.
It’s best to water your philodendron deeply and make sure the water drains out during the winter. Then, wait until the soil has completely dried out before watering it once more. This should take about two weeks.
At the start and end of the winter, you’ll need to water more. You will still need to modify the watering schedule as the seasons change to account for the shifts in temperature and lighting.
How To Treat Root Rot From Overwatering
If you believe that the yellowing leaves on your philodendron are the result of root rot, you should act right away because root rot is difficult for a plant to recover from.
First, remove the philodendron from the pot it came in and shake off all the soil. The potting soil is too wet to be reused, so there is no point in keeping it.
Cleaning the roots will make them visible.
Normally, white, off-white, or cream-colored roots are healthy. In light of this, be on the lookout for brown or black roots as they are afflicted by root rot.
Cut the browning or black roots away by moving a little above the affected area with a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors.
Make precise cuts without cutting the roots, and use rubbing alcohol to clean the blades in between uses to prevent introducing pathogens to the cuts.
To the greatest extent possible, keep your wounds tidy and small so that your plant won’t have to expend too much energy on healing them.
Once the pot has been thoroughly cleaned and treated with a fungicide like a neem oil to prevent infections, you must repot your philodendron in a fresh, well-draining potting mix.
2. Under Watering
Your plant may also perish if you underwater it. In addition to being yellowed, these leaves will also appear sad, droopy, or shriveled. See if it helps to water a little more frequently.
I’ll admit that these plants are more prone to overwatering than underwatering.
Your leaves might benefit from more humidity if they are yellowing and have brown, crispy tips. Consider using a pebble tray or weekly misting of the plants!
How Long Does A Philodendron Need To Be Watered?
Philodendrons require frequent and thorough watering.
Since philodendrons typically need to be watered once every 1-2 weeks during the summer, they can go up to three weeks without receiving any. When the potting soil completely dries out, the philodendron will start wilting and die out pretty soon after.
How To Fix Under-watered Philodendron
You should water your plant thoroughly at the base until extra water drains out of the drainage hole if your philodendron is underwatered.
After that, put your plant in some shade while it heals, making sure it still gets 6 to 8 hours a day of dappled light.
After about a week, examine the soil. Your philodendron needs to be watered once more if the top few inches of soil are dry.
As long as you maintain a watering schedule that keeps the potting soil moist but not wet, your philodendron will recover and no more leaves will wilt and turn yellow.
3. Incorrect Light Conditions
Plants’ leaves can turn yellow due to improper lighting conditions, such as too much or too little light.
Here are some instances where the light quality results in yellowing leave on Philodendrons and what you can do to prevent it.
Direct Sunlight Damage
In tropical forests, you can find native plants like philodendrons. They require partial or dappled sunlight, which is the kind of light that filters through the trees because they are vines that grow beneath big trees.
Direct sunlight will burn and scorch the plants, turning their leaves yellow.
Bleaching, yellowing, or browning of the leaves are signs that the chlorophyll in them has broken down due to intense sunlight.
You cannot undo sun damage to your philodendron, but you can make sure that it doesn’t get worse.
Remove the leaves that have been sun-damaged and make sure the potting soil is moist but not wet.
Then, to avoid any further harm, relocate your philodendron to an area where it can get bright, indirect sunlight.
Outside, planting your philodendron under a tree is ideal, but you can also do so under an awning or other similar cover.
If your philodendron is indoors and there are no other windows where you can move it, you can diffuse the light by using a sheer curtain to lessen the intensity of light that reaches your plant.
Low Light Conditions
For philodendrons to photosynthesize the sugars they require for nutrition, they require bright indirect sunlight.
Your plant suffers from nutrient deficiency when it doesn’t get enough sunlight, which results in yellowing leaves.
While the yellow leaves are unable to turn green once more, moving your plant to an area with strong indirect light will stop the rest of your leaves from turning yellow.
If you keep philodendrons indoors and don’t have access to a bright window, you can buy a grow light, such as the Fernan Grow Light with Stand, which imitates sunlight and aids in photosynthetic activity in plants.
4. Nutrient Deficiency
Chlorosis, which is brought on by iron and magnesium deficiencies, can show symptoms such as yellow leaves. This typically occurs when your soil is old and depleted of nutrients. Every 12 to 18 months, give your plant a fresh soil repot, even if it’s not in a bigger pot, to replenish its nutrients.
How To Properly Feed Philodendron
Therefore, the potting soil needs to be rich in organic matter. Philodendrons prefer to receive only a little fertilizer.
Use a high-quality liquid fertilizer with a standard 20:20:20 ratio of the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium if you discover that your potting soil is deficient in these elements.
To avoid burning your philodendron, any fertilizer you use should be slow-releasing.
Looking for chelated iron in your fertilizer can help you treat an iron deficiency.
During the growing season, which runs from spring to summer, you can apply this fertilizer once per month.
The fertilizer should be used sparingly or not at all during the winter.
5. Low Temperatures
These tropical plants may become unhappy with sharp temperature changes. They will completely perish if they endure too much cold. Yellow leaves can result from shorter cold bursts. If it gets below 50 degrees outside, it’s best to keep them inside!
How To Avoid Temperature Stress
Find a location for your philodendron where the temperature remains more or less constant and any changes are gradual, like the changing of the seasons, to avoid temperature stress.
Bring your philodendrons inside for the winter if you reside in a region with extremely low temperatures. The best location is a room inside, close to a rarely opened window.
Additionally, it needs to be out of the way of any breezes and drafts that might harm the plant in the winter.
6. Pest Invasion
Yellowing leaves may be a sign of pests robbing your plant of nutrients and moisture. Philodendrons are susceptible to infestations from scale, mealybugs, and spider mites, which can result in their leaves turning yellow.
Search for webs, white fluff, or stickiness on the underside of leaves and in crevices and nooks, and clean them up. Separate your plant from your other plants if you suspect it may have pests to prevent the spread of the disease!
How To Treat and Prevent Pests Infestation
Philodendron infestations can lead to yellowing leaves, a general decline in health, and even the plant’s eventual death.
Regularly check your plants for pest infestations, then treat the area with rubbing alcohol or fungicides like neem oil extract to stop new pests from infesting the area. Additionally, it’s critical to avoid soggy soil because larvae growth is facilitated by moisture.
If you see any larvae on the leaves or in the soil, remove them one at a time and clean the plant and the pot with neem oil extract.
7. A Lack Of Humidity
Philodendrons may experience humidity problems in regions that are particularly dry. Misting your Philodendron a few times a week will help increase its humidity if your home is frequently dry or if an air conditioner or heater is frequently on.
The leaves of the majority of plants occasionally show signs of yellowing. It occurs when they remove the older growth in order to focus on producing new leaves, and occasionally, the young new leaves simply do not flourish. This is just typical plant behavior and not a sign of a larger health problem. If your Philodendron is being properly cared for, and looks healthy overall, but has a few yellow leaves, you can simply pull them off or trim them off with a pair of clean, sharp scissors or shears.
Can Yellow Philodendron Leaves Revert To Green?
Because the chlorophyll that makes yellow philodendron leaves green has already been lost and cannot be replaced, they cannot turn green once more. To prevent the rest of the plant from being harmed, the yellow leaves need to be pruned away, and the cause of the yellowing needs to be addressed.
Is It Safe To Remove Yellow Leaves From A Philodendron?
Unless your philodendron’s yellow leaves are pest-infested, you don’t need to remove them. The yellow leaves will drop off on their own. To make your plant look better, you can remove the leaves, but you should wait until they are completely yellow before doing so.