Are the leaves of one of your favorite plants turning yellow, but you can’t tell why? There are several possible causes for the discoloring of foliage.
Here’s an infographic created by Safer Brand to help you figure out what might be happening to make your greenery go yellow, and how you can go about fixing it.
The Problem: Not Enough Sunlight
Some plants are happiest in the shade while others like to be in full view of the sun — or even a bit of both. It’s important to know what your plant requires for optimal health.
When you purchase seeds or an established plant, the label should specify its ideal sun conditions. You’ll know your plant craves more sunlight if the leaves are drooping and their color looks faded.
This is a simple fix! Find a sunny spot and you’ll have a greener plant.
The Problem: Bugs
There are a variety of pests that can harm your plants, including mites, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and scale whiteflies. Some of these insects you’ll be able to see, while others are so tiny you’ll only know they’re there from the telltale signs of them.
Bugs are like vampires in that they can suck the sap of the plant — the blood of the plant world, if you will. As a result of the attack on the plant, the overall health of the greenery diminishes and the leaves yellow.
The Solution: Wash Up
To deal with an insect infestation, you can wash the plant — repeatedly if you have to. Use neem oil or horticultural soap to wipe the plant. You can buy the soap or even make it yourself.
The Problem: A Lack of Nutrients
Plants need more than a dozen essential minerals in order to flourish, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and others. If a plant is deficient in one or more of the needed nutrients, you’ll see it in the plant’s appearance. The lack of a specific nutrient shows up differently from one plant to the next.
The Solution: Add Nutrients
Once you figure out what nutrient(s) are lacking in your plant, you can add what it’s missing. There are a variety of products which can help you do this. They’re available at most garden centers and hardware stores.
The Problem: Too Much or Too Little Water
Plants, like humans, need moisture to survive. Humans can feel very unwell if we guzzle gallons of water or if we’ve gone too long without it.
Plants are no different — they are affected by the amount of water they have (or don’t have).
If a plant is in dense or poorly drained soil, it can become waterlogged, making it impossible for the roots to absorb the oxygen they need to properly function. Root damage increases the longer the plant has to deal with reduced oxygen supply.
Ultimately, the roots get damaged when overwatered and some may even die. This makes it impossible for the rest of the plant to get the necessary nutrients and water needed to sustain life.
If your plant is curling up, or its leaves are wilting, you might be under-watering it. The pores on the surface of leaves, called stoma, let air into a plant. If a plant doesn’t have enough water, it closes up the stoma to prevent any evaporation of the precious little moisture it still has. This results in wilting.
The Solution: Rethink Your Plant’s Bedding
If the soil around your plant is dense and doesn’t drain well, add mulch around plants or throughout the entire flowerbed. You can also add organic matter, including compost, to help boost drainage.
Remember: A dry soil surface isn’t always a true sign of a plant needing water. Even if the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, it doesn’t mean the roots are dry, as well. Test the moisture content lower in the plant’s pot or plot to truly gauge if water is needed.
Keeping your plants happy and healthy can be a bit of a process. It can take time and some problem-solving skills to get just the right combination of growing conditions. If you pay attention to the appearance of your florae, including the yellowing of the leaves, you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments.
- Companion Plants for Organic Gardening
- 5 Cost-Effective Ways To Home Container Gardening – DIY
- 10 Most Profitable Vegetables to Grow
- Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiency
- Natural Pest Remedies – Organic Lifestyle Magazine
- Why are my plants turning yellow? – Safer Brand