One of the most common symptoms of weakness or disease in plants is that their leaves turn yellow, either in part or in whole. This symptom can hide a large number of different problems, so it is worth looking closely at the specific case that affects each plant.
This process that yellows the leaves is called chlorosis and occurs when plants stop producing chlorophyll for some reason, which is the substance that gives the leaf its green color. If you want to learn why yellow leaves appear on plants and what are their possible solutions, join us in this article.
Why do plant leaves turn yellow: causes
This is a list of the main causes of plant leaves turning yellow:
- Excess irrigation.
- Lack of irrigation.
- Nutrient-poor soil.
- Need for more light.
- Excess light.
- Inadequate soil pH.
- Weather too cold.
- Too many drafts.
- Arrival of autumn.
Next, we will expose each of the causes so that you can better identify which is the one that affects your plants and, therefore, you can determine what the yellow leaves mean in the plants.
Overwatering, the main cause of yellow leaves on plants
When all the leaves of the plant or a large number of them turn an intense yellow color on a regular basis , it is very likely that we have overwatered the plant or that the substrate or soil does not offer adequate drainage. If you touch the soil and it notes wet and caked, you need to aerate the soil by stirring it and applying sandy-textured soil to the mix.
Lack of watering, cause of plants with yellow and drooping leaves
If the leaves turn yellow into a wrinkled texture and the entire plant seems to be decaying and losing strength, it will most likely need more water. When one of your plants has suffered a severe drought, don’t overwater it. Instead, soak the entire planter in water for a few minutes, then let the soil drain off the excess.
Plant with yellow leaves due to poor soil
Plants need minerals and nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium . When the nutrients in the pot are depleted, the plant will start to yellow. If this happens, you should either transplant it or apply compost to the soil.
Yellow leaves on plants due to excess or lack of light
Some plants are not prepared to withstand direct exposure to the sun’s rays, especially in climates where it shines very brightly. If you see that some leaves that should be dark green begin to yellow, move your plant to a location with more shade or where it is protected from at least the worst hours of sun.
It can also happen that the plant is not receiving enough light and is unable to photosynthesize. This case can be differentiated from the previous one in that here the leaves will adopt a more white than yellow color . When this happens, move your plants to a brighter area or, if you can’t, consider purchasing a plant lamp.
Inadequate pH and yellow leaves
Many plants need a soil with a certain level of acidity. When this is not met, the plant will not be able to absorb the iron it needs from the soil and will begin to yellow. It is possible to get strips or sets to measure the pH of the soil and thus be able to assess what substances or materials you need to add to increase or reduce it according to the specific needs of the plant.
Cold weather, causing yellow spots on plant leaves
Some plants can experience cold periods by showing yellow spots on their leaves, even when they are in climates suitable for their species. The usual thing is that it occurs, above all, in plants that are not used to these conditions because they have been raised in greenhouses or more sheltered areas. If this happens but the climatic conditions remain at those recommended for the plant, don’t worry, when the warm months arrive it will recover.
Yellow leaf tips dry from drafts
There are indoor plants that should not be in locations exposed to drafts on a regular basis. If this is the case, you will see that the tips of its leaves dry or yellow and the plant could lose them. So, if you have observed yellow leaves on indoor plants, simply change their location to a more sheltered one.
Yellow leaves on plants by the arrival of autumn
If the plant is not evergreen, with the arrival of autumn its leaves will turn yellow or brown and finally end up falling. Obviously, it is a natural process that does not indicate that anything is wrong.