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The Top Five Reasons Your Philodendron's Leaves are Turning Yellow

Posted on May 21 2021

The Top Five Reasons Your Philodendron's Leaves are Turning Yellow

If you have a yellow Philodendron, you might feel anything but mellow. However, before you enter the Google vortex, take a few deep breaths and assess your plant's situation. If you notice yellowing leaves, there may be a need for changes. To avoid diagnosing the problem incorrectly, make the necessary changes slowly and one at a time. Here's what to look out for if you want to know why your Philodendron's leaves are turning yellow.

Improper soil moisture is the number one reason why Philodendron leaves turn yellow. Soil moisture levels affect the oxygen and nutrients that your plant's roots absorb. Too much or too little water will cut off the healthy supply of both, causing chlorosis or yellowing. To maintain healthy soil moisture levels, consider the following:

  1. Container size: A pot that's too large for your plant's root system can cause waterlogging, which can lead to yellow leaves and root rot. Plant your Philodendron in a pot that's only 1-2 inches larger than the root system.

  2. Container drainage: A container with adequate drainage is essential to prevent yellowing leaves. At least one adequately sized hole per 1 gallon of soil is recommended. If you prefer a pot without holes, water your Philodendron less frequently, or place the pot horizontally for 20 minutes after watering to let excess water drain and saturate the soil evenly.

  3. Soil selection: Philodendrons require fast-draining soil. Modify a conventional potting mix with extra perlite and orchid bark to prevent yellow leaves.

  4. Watering frequency: Water your Philodendron when the top 2 inches of soil are dry and crumbly. On average, this should be every 1-2 weeks. Overwatering your Philodendron can lead to yellowing and leaf drop, while routine underwatering can cause leaf edges to brown and bottom foliage to yellow and drop.

Several factors determine your Philodendron's watering frequency, including temperature, humidity, light, and season. If your plant is kept in low temperatures, it needs less frequent watering. A humidifier can reduce watering needs, while low humidity environments require more frequent watering. Plants that receive bright indirect light require more frequent watering than those in low-light conditions. During the growth period (Spring-Summer), you should allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out. On the other hand, during winter, you should let the soil dry out further.

Lighting can also cause yellowing. Philodendrons require bright indirect light. Too little light will cause bottom leaves to yellow, while too much light can cause leaves to yellow and appear bleached. Place your plant in a window with a sheer curtain or away from the direct path of a South-facing window.

Temperature is also essential for Philodendrons. They require temperatures ranging from 65-80 degrees. Avoid drafty vents, and monitor the temperature in your plant's environment.

In conclusion, yellowing Philodendron leaves are a common problem caused by improper soil moisture, lighting, and temperature. By addressing these factors, you can help your plant thrive and prevent yellowing leaves.

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