Why Plant Leaves Could Turn Yellow

By Toby T

In most cases, the phenomenon where leaves of outdoor plants turn yellow is chalked up to chlorosis. However, what are the reasons why this could happen? For starters, plants need light for photosynthesis. So, if sunlight is insufficient, then you might end up with the leaves looking faded. As expected, ensure that you keep your plants in a sunny location.

Source: Outside In

When you see a plant’s leaves turning yellow, it’s a pretty telling sign that it lacks water. Even a few hot days could easily cause the plant to lose moisture, so be sure to water your plant deeply and slowly as many times as possible. Interestingly, excess water can also cause yellow leaves. When your soil has a poor drainage system, it can get tightly packed and waterlogged. Thus, oxygen is shut out. 

While nitrogen might be the first nutrient you think of when plant leaves turn yellow, this phenomenon could also be indicative of a deficiency of nutrients such as manganese, iron, zinc, etc. Yellowing leaves could also be caused by overly alkaline soil that affects the plant. We recommend conducting a pH test, as well as a soil test, to determine the soil’s alkalinity. 

If you find that your leaves look burned, then it could indicate that you might have gone a little overboard on the fertilizer. To prevent this, ensure that you immediately water your plants while using granular fertilizers. 

You could burn your leaves if you spray insecticides or pesticides at over 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Once this happens, you might not have a choice but to remove the affected plant parts. You also want to monitor your plants closely to ensure that there are no fungal diseases that can cause yellow leaves and possibly kill the plant. 

Source: Grow It Inside

It is also important to keep a watchful eye and ensure that insects don’t come in contact with your plant and damage it. Spider mites, harlequin bugs, and whiteflies are some of the insects that could cause this. However, you shouldn’t discount the effects of aging. At the end of the day, plants grow old, and their leaves can turn yellow as a result.