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Why Does My Philodendron Have Leaves Yellow? 7 Reasons

Why Does My Philodendron Have Leaves Yellow? 7 Reasons

Once you have mastered the basics, philodendron plants are very easy to grow indoors. These exotic plants have beautiful, green, and healthy foliage, which provides your home with striking beauty.

Philodendron leaves change color from green to yellow as a sign that something is amiss with the plant.


Why Does My Philodendron Have Yellow Leaves?

Yellowing of philodendron leaves is caused by underwatering, overwatering, poor light conditions, pests, temperature stress, and deficit of nutrients, meaning that the plant is sick and needs special attention for recovery. Exposing the affected plant to receive indirect sunlight, watering adequately, and applying fertilizer can solve the problem.


Understanding What Causes Yellowing In Philodendron Plants

Philodendron are popular and very prized indoor plants that thrive well in low, artificial light.

Philodendron require evenly moist soil for growth, otherwise, their roots rot, which causes drooping and yellowing of leaves.

If you notice yellowing on the leaves, it could be caused by the following factors:


Yellowing Due To Improper Soil Moisture

Improper soil moisture is one of the most popular reasons behind the yellowing of philodendron leaves.

Damp soil is the best to grow a philodendron plant, so if it becomes wet, the plant doesn’t respond well and it leads to root rot and eventual dying of the plant. The soil growing the plant should have adequate and consistent moisture.

Most gardeners face the challenge of overwatering their plants, especially if they lack the required experience in gardening houseplants.

Philodendron need a moist root ball, so ensure the top two inches dry up before pouring water into the already moist soil.

It is possible to underwater philodendron plants, especially for inexperienced gardeners. Plants that do not receive adequate water turn brown on the leaf edges, and in some cases, the leaves are yellow and drop off the plant.

This can be alleviated with a good soaking to moisten the soil. It may be hard to know how much water your philodendron needs, so check on it from time to time to avoid cases of too much or too little moisture in the soil.


Yellowing Caused By Nutrient Deficiency

Plants require nutrients from the soil, so the soil should always be in good condition to promote the growth of healthy plants.

Nutrient deficiency causes yellowing of philodendron leaves, but the yellowing is less pronounced than in most cases. It is a sign of chlorosis, a condition resulting from magnesium and iron deficiency.

Iron promotes the greening of foliage, while minerals like calcium, zinc, and magnesium are essential for healthy leaves in plants to develop.

When leaves of Philodendron turn yellow, it could indicate a nutrient deficiency in the soil due to leaching. When the soil loses its nutritional value, the plant is unable to absorb nutrients required for healthy growth.


Improper Lighting Conditions

The yellowing of philodendron leaves can be a result of both excess light and low light. Philodendron plants grow best in areas with bright, indirect, artificial light, or medium levels of sunlight.

Too much exposure of these plants to direct sunlight burns the foliage, which discolors the leaves. Plants exposed to low light levels have slow growth, and if the light is too minimal, the leaves turn yellow.

The rate at which Philodendron grow is affected by the plants’ exposure to light. Less light equates to slow growth, increased risk of overwatering, and minimal water use, so ensure your plant receives bright light.

When exposed to excess light, the leaves scorch and curl. That leaves yellow or brown spots on the surface and edges.

Lighting changes with every season, so position your plants in places where they get bright, indirect light depending on the season.


Yellowing Caused By Pests

Like all indoor plants, Philodendron are often attacked by pests that suck sap from stems and leaves. It is normal for Philodendron to get infested by insects, especially if they are weak or stressed.

When there is an insect infestation, some pests drain the plant of moisture, which quickly manifests by the yellowing of the leaves. Small pests like sap-sucking bugs, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale have piercing mouths that cause exhaustion to the plant.

The leaf damage caused by these pests leaves yellow spots, damaged edges, and holes in the leaves. If the plant is already suffering from nutrient deficiency, improper moisture in the soil, or poor lighting conditions, the yellowing of leaves is accelerated.

Pests are not an overnight problem, so monitor your plants closely to prevent pest infestation, and if there are any signs, use insecticidal soaps to eliminate the pests before an infestation is established.


Natural Yellowing

There are cases where yellowing of leaves in plants isn’t exactly a sign of any problem. Yellowing of old and new foliage in Philodendron isn’t an indication of an underlying problem, so don’t panic.

It is natural for philodendron plants to get yellow leaves when they are having new growth. The yellowing is seen at the bottom part of the plant as old leaves fall out to create room for new growth.

New leaves can appear pale and yellow as they emerge, but they darken over time to match the other healthy and mature leaves.


Other Causes Of Yellowing In Philodendron Plants


Temperature Stress

Healthy Philodendron grow at temperature ranges between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If exposed to places with central heating or drafts, the leaves discolor.


Humidity Levels

Plants’ leaves droop due to low levels of humidity and dry soil. They turn brown on the edges, which leads to total yellowing of the leaves.


Frequently Asked Questions about Why My Philodendron Have Leaves Yellow


Can I save a dying philodendron?

It’s possible to save a dying philodendron and return it to a healthy, green condition. All you need to do is emulate the conditions required for healthy growth with increased humidity, evenly moist soil, relatively warm temperatures, and indirect light.


How often should philodendron plants be watered?

Plants growing in soil need watering when half the soil dries up. Like most plants, yellowing of leaves is an indication that the plant is over-watered, and brown leafing indicates under-watering. It’s easy to know when you should water your plant when the leaves start wilting.


Should I remove yellow leaves on my philodendron plant?

Philodendron leaves discolor for some reasons, but occasional yellowing is not unheard of or abnormal for this plant. If the yellowing is natural, leaves should be removed as they discolor to keep the plant tidy and healthy. If the yellowing is very extensive, it could indicate a nutrient deficiency or other causes that can be corrected by regular plant care and attention.



Philodendron are very vibrant and charming plants with variegated foliage. They are perfect houseplants with low maintenance and very easy-going nature.

It’s very frustrating to have yellow leaves on your plants, especially after you have put effort into caring for your garden. Sickly plants affect the garden’s image, so care for your plants to keep them beautiful and healthy.