Often mixed up with monstera deliciosa yet just as loveable, philodendrons (particularly the split-leaf) are fast-growing, easy-care house plants known for sprouting brisk new leaves every few weeks, especially when cared for properly.
Noticing the beautiful leaves of your philodendrons turning yellow can bring panic to any plant owner or gardener, especially if you have no idea what could be the cause.
Causes And Treatment Of Philodendron Leaves Turning Yellow
Before concluding, inspect your philodendron’s leaves for any signs of discoloration. If you see the leaves starting to turn yellow, then there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a problem.
Some possible and common causes include overwatering, underwatering, too much sunlight, inadequate sunlight, pests, diseases, and nutrient deficiency.
One of the most common causes of philodendron leaves turning yellow is overwatering. This can cause the plant to become root-bound, restricting oxygen availability to the roots.
Philodendron leaves turn yellow and drop in excess water because photosynthesis is inhibited.
Overwatering can also cause root rot. As the water pools the root of the plant, it stops the proper flow of oxygen to the plant root and exposes it to bacteria that can cause root rot.
Too much water at the base of the plant will reduce the amount of soil that keeps it in place. Therefore, causing it to be susceptible to the wind. This exposure can cause it to fall out of place and stunt its growth.
Treatment of Overwatering of Philodendron
If you realize you are overwatering your Philodendron, stop for a week, depending on the climate, you are experiencing. On average, after a week with regular weather, the overwatered soil will dry out, and then you can begin proper watering once a week. Do this and see if your Philodendron leaves green up again.
Another common cause of philodendron leaves turning yellow is underwatering. This often happens when plants are grown in containers with inadequate drainage holes. Without proper drainage, the roots can’t access the oxygen they need, and the leaves will turn yellow.
Because of the seasonal climate, the soil will dry out faster in summer, when there is a lot of heat in the atmosphere. Not paying attention to this will cause using a standard watering method for an extraordinary period. The result will be that your philodendron plant is underwatered, and its leaves turn yellow. In addition, if it is not corrected on time, stunted grown and thinner-looking stems will be the effect.
Treatment of Underwatering of Philodendron
If you notice that underwatering may be a problem for your philodendron, water your plant more frequently and check the drainage holes in your containers. Observe the weather and set the right watering schedule accordingly.
Another common cause of yellowing leaves is a lack of nutrients. Philodendrons are heavy feeders and must be fertilized regularly, especially if they are growing rapidly.
Treatment of Malnutrition in Philodendron
Apply a balanced fertilizer every two to three weeks during the growing season and monthly in winter. If you suspect your plant is not getting enough nutrients, consider having a soil test done to check for deficiencies. Philodendron needs a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20. This means that the fertilizer required for philodendron contains 20% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, and 20% potassium.
4. Pests and diseases
Check your plant carefully for signs of insects such as aphids, whiteflies, or mealybugs. These pests can suck the sap out of the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually die. Diseases such as bacterial leaf spots or fungal diseases can also cause philodendron leaves to turn yellow and drop off. These diseases are usually caused by excessive moisture on the leaves of your philodendron.
Treatment of Pests and Diseases
Treat infestations with an appropriate insecticide according to label directions. If you see signs of a disease, remove affected leaves and destroy them immediately. Also, ensure to water your plant at the base rather than overhead to avoid wetting the foliage.
5. Excessive Exposure to Sunlight
Too much sun can also cause philodendron leaves to turn yellow. These plants prefer filtered light or indirect sunlight, so the leaves will bleach out and turn yellow if they get too much direct sun.
Treatment of Excessive Exposure of Philodendron to Sunlight
Move your plant to a position in the room or garden with less sun exposure. If that is not possible, look for a shade or blanket to limit the sunlight and heat that hits your plant.
6. Lack of Adequate Sunlight
When your plant is placed in a location where sunlight is limited or blocked from reaching it, it will naturally not be able to photosynthesize, leading to the yellowing of its leaves.
Treatment of Lack of Adequate Sunlight
Ensure your plant is getting enough light by moving it to a location where it will receive more sunlight. During a very hot season, put your plant in a light-controlled environment to get a balanced dose of sun.
7. Imbalanced Soil pH
Excess alkalinity or acidity can adversely affect philodendrons in their growing soil. Conversely, inappropriately low acidity and alkalinity of the soil can also cause the yellowing of its leaves, showing a problem to the plant’s vibrancy. More or less of the other in the soil is not good for your plant.
Treatment of Imbalanced Soil pH of Soil
Ensure the soil is acidic enough by testing it with a pH meter or using an acidifier like peat moss or sulfur. You can then add the level of acidity or alkalinity needed by philodendron, which is between five and eight.
Preventive Tips on Keeping Your Philodendron Healthy
As a self-gardener, I know that prevention is key. That’s why I’m always careful to follow the proper guidelines regarding my philodendron.
You must water regularly but do just what is necessary. Let the top inch or so of soil dry out between watering. If you’re using tap water to water your plant, you may also need to add a water conditioner to ensure it’s not too alkaline.
Place your philodendron in a spot with bright, indirect light, and feed it monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.
Pinch back leggy stems to promote fuller growth, and always be on the lookout for pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. If you see any, treat them immediately with an appropriate insecticide or fungicide.