I remember when I had just planted a new shrub in my garden and was anxiously waiting for it to grow, but I started to notice that some of the leaves were turning yellow. Leaves turning yellow are often a sign of nitrogen deficiency, which several things can cause, like insufficient soil nitrogen, overwatering, or a lack of sunlight.
When new growth leaves turn yellow, it can indicate that your plant is not getting the nutrients it needs to thrive. If you’re seeing yellow leaves on new growth, don’t panic! There are things you can do to prevent this from happening and help your plants get back on track.
Causes of New Growth Leaves Turning Yellow
Here are some possible reasons your new growth leaves might be turning yellow:
Nutrient deficiency is one of the most common causes of new-growth leaves turning yellow. If your plant is not getting the appropriate nutrients, it will show symptoms on its leaves.
Poor light conditions
You may not know, but if your plant is not getting enough light, it will produce smaller leaves that are more likely to turn yellow.
I noticed that when I overwater my plant, the roots will start to rot, which will cause the leaves to turn yellow. Overwatering might be a possible cause of your new growth leaves turning yellow.
Like overwatering, the leaves will start to droop and turn yellow when you don’t water your plant enough.
If your plant is infested with insects, it will feed on the leaves and cause them to turn yellow.
Treatment of New Growth Leaves Turning Yellow
The first step to being able to treat your new growth leaves turning yellow is to find out the possible cause. Now that we know the cause, here are different treatment methods you can apply below:
1. Lack of Nutrients
One of the reasons new growth leaves might turn yellow is that the plant is not getting the right nutrients. If this is the case, you might need to fertilize your plant. There are many different types of fertilizers on the market, and deciding which one to buy can take time. I suggest that you speak to a professional in plant nutrient administration.
They will be able to tell you what kind of fertilizer your plant needs and how much you should be using. And don’t forget—fertilizing isn’t a one-time thing, and you’ll need to do it throughout the year, especially if you’re growing plants in containers.
2. Not Enough Sunlight
When plants are not getting enough sunlight, they can’t produce chlorophyll; consequently, it can lead to the plant leaves turning yellow. The effects of this can also be the dropping and wilting of leaves.
If the plants are in a pot, you can move them to a position where they can receive more sunlight. Make sure that the sun’s rays are directly hitting the leaves as they are like the plant’s solar panels. Cut off the unyielding discolored leaves, and your plant will be better.
3. Too Much Sun
One of the reasons new growth leaves might turn yellow is if they’re getting too much sun, and the leaves will start to get sunburned, which will not be good for the plant.
The best way to prevent this is to ensure your plants are in a spot where they will get shade. If you can’t do that, consider using a plant-shade cloth. Letting your plant get some shade will help deflect some of the sun’s rays and keep your plants looking healthy.
Overwatering is the number one cause of new-growth leaves turning yellow. When you water your plants too much, the roots can’t get enough air, making the leaves yellow.
To prevent overwatering, wait until the top inch of the soil is dry before watering your plants again. You can also use a moisture meter to help you gauge when your plants need water.
If you have been overwatering your plants, don’t worry—you can fix the problem by letting them dry out for a few days. Once the leaves have turned back to their normal color, start watering them again slowly and gradually increase the amount over time.
5. Dehydration or Underwatering
On the opposite end of overwatering, underwatering can lead to dehydration, causing your plant to die much faster. Dry plants lack vigor, and under-watered plants’ performance goes downward, making the plant fruit not form properly.
You should check the soil a few inches below the surface in the early or late times of the day to know if your plants aren’t receiving adequate water. Work out a good watering timetable, and always remember that the appropriate quantity of water depends on temperature, climate, and time of the year. Ensure you monitor your plants frequently and observe the soil moisture levels throughout the growing period. Remember to water deeper and less often, as this is more beneficial to plants than constant light watering.
6. Insect infestation
Spittlebugs, leaf hoppers, flea beetles, and spider mites are insects that can affect new growth and turn their leaves yellow. If not paid attention to, they will infest the plant and cause it to wither and die.
In its treatment, spray insecticidal soap or use neem oils. These can be used as both preventive and corrective measures.
7. Cold Temperature Stress
Seasonal temperature shifts affect plants’ health and the color of leaves. During lengthy cool periods of the year, plant leaves may begin yellowing, and sometimes, leaf edges will appear burned.
Cold-stressed plants’ yellowing leaves are generally corrected by time and seasonal change. Once sunny days return, your plants will spring back to life as chlorophyll production resurfaces on the leaves. You can use a frost blanket or bucket to protect your plants at night in cases of frost.
If your new growth leaves are turning yellow, look through the information above. Also, check the soil pH and ensure it’s in the right range for your plant. If the soil is too alkaline or too acidic, it can cause problems with nutrient uptake, which can lead to yellow leaves.
Also, if you’re using fertilizer, ensure you’re using only a little. Too much fertilizer can burn the roots of your plant and cause the leaves to turn yellow, and these tips will get your new growth leaves back to green.