Written By Ellie Jonas

What is Making the Leaves of My Philodendron Turn Yellow?

A philodendron with yellow leaf is placed on a green background.

Philodendron has become quite popular nowadays and most of its varieties have large beautiful colored leaves. As it is a fast-growing and low-maintenance plant so; it is loved by most collectors like me. most of its variegation can be kept both indoors and outdoors and, it purifies air by removing toxins from the air.

However, besides so many benefits of a philodendron you may have to face a few problems while growing them. So, proper care is necessary to make this plant survive for long.

The yellowing of leaves is one of the most common problems with philodendrons. Although being an expert in this field I still get worried and sad whenever I notice my philodendron leaves are turning yellow. And I think it is normal to panic when you notice the beautiful leaves of your beloved plant turning yellow.

There are several reasons that cause the leaves to turn yellow. Some of them are overwatering, root rot, direct exposure to sunlight, pests, and diseases. So, to know the exact cause of yellow leaves you need to go through this article carefully.

Here I have shared different causes that can make the leaves of your philodendron turn yellow. Going through this post you can also find out the solution to problems regarding philodendron.

So, here are the tricks and tips to take proper care of your philodendron so, that you can avoid the yellowing of leaves and make your plant stay healthy and grow fast.

Philodendron Leaves Turning Yellow – Causes and Treatment

Sometimes, the yellowing of leaves can be expected and is a part of your plant’s natural growth cycle. However, there can be several other serious issues that can make the leaves turn yellow. Identifying the cause of leaves becoming yellow is very important to avoid and cure it.

philodendron yellowing leave

Here are a few problems and their solution you need to consider while growing a philodendron.

Underwatering and Overwatering

Both overwatering and underwatering can be harmful to your philodendron. although a philodendron is a tropical plant and prefers moist weather, overwatering can cause serious problems like root rot. Also, the pot where your philodendron is placed should have enough holes to drain away excess water.

A well-drained soil should also be used so, that the soil does not become soggy. Clogged water in the pot can prevent the root from getting enough oxygen and thus, leads to the growth of fungi.

This causes the leaves to turn yellow and stop their growth. The process of photosynthesis can be affected due to overwatering and thus, your plant becomes weak and dies soon.

Underwatering can also make the leaves turn yellow. If the required amount of water is not provided to the plant, brown spots can appear on the leaves and they may fall off.


  • Yellowing leaves are a sign of overwatering.
  • If moderate overwatering has been done then, wait for the excess water to dry out completely before watering again.
  • In case of severe overwatering, you need to check out for root rot. Cut off the rotten root and repot your philodendron using fresh soil.
  • Check out the moisture level of the top 2 inches of the soil before watering.


  • Soil becoming excessively dry, and the leaves being crispy are the signs of underwatering.
  • Immediately water your plant or place it in your kitchen sink filled with two inches of water.
  • Drain away the excess water from the holes in the pot to make sure there is no waterlogging.

Here is some additional information on the watering guide that you might find helpful: Philodendron Watering Guide

Over-feeding Your Plant

Although proper feeding by using a good fertilizer is essential for the growth of the plant, over-fertilizing can also make the leaves turn yellow. The tips of the leaves becoming yellow with leaf drops can be a sign of over-fertilizing.

The Solution

  • Flush out the soil, fertilizer, and salt build-up repeatedly using water. This procedure can be done in a better way by placing the plant in the sink.
  • After washing, let the water get drain away completely.
  • If you notice a decayed or damaged root then, remove it immediately and plant your philodendron using fresh potting soil.

Shedding and Regrowth

A split-end philodendron naturally sheds its old, damaged leaves before growing new ones. The yellowing of leaves can also be seen when they are old or damaged.

So, before coming to any conclusion you need to find out the cause of the yellow leaves on your plant. If you notice more yellow leaves at the bottom part of the foliage then, it is normal, and these leaves will fall off naturally and grow new ones.

The Solution

  • Yellowing leaves near the foliage is the natural process of the plant to shed its old leaves.
  • If the foliage is still green, then, rest assured that your plant is healthy and still alive.
  • As the damaged leaves fall off your plant will start growing more quickly.

Also Read: Easy Steps to Trim a Philodendron

Low Humidity

Being a tropical plant philodendron needs enough humidity to grow and survive. The growth of the plant can get hampered in dry weather conditions.

If the interior of your house is not humid enough then, using a humidifier around the plant or misting is always recommended.

The Solution

  • Use a room humidifier to increase the moisture level at your home.
  • Lack of humidity can make your plant suffer and thus, stop its growth.
  • Misting the leaves once or twice a day can add moisture to them.

Excess or Very Less Light

Most variety of philodendrons prefers indirect bright light. It helps the plant to prepare its food. So, if you notice the leaves to be turning yellow then, malnutrition can be a cause for the same.

If your plant does not receive adequate light then, the tips of the leaves can become crispy. However, too much light can also be harmful to your philodendron. the leaves may turn yellow and brown patches can be seen if the plant is kept in direct sunlight.

The Solution

  • Your plant is not getting sufficient light if you notice the leaves to be yellow and crispy.
  • When kept indoors, place the plant near a window so, that it can get indirect bright light.
  • Always avoid keeping your philodendron under direct sunlight to prevent sunburn spots and damage.
  • If your plant is not getting enough natural light, then, use an indoor grow light.
  • Change the position of the pot to make sure the plant receives enough bright light.


Pests can cause considerable harm to your beloved plant. A plant that is not taken care of properly is more prone to these pests.

Bugs like spider mites, scale, and mealy bugs can drain the moisture from your plant and thus, the leaves become yellow. If immediate action is not taken, these pests can spread all over the plant and kill it.

The Solution

  • Improper care and low management of the plant can lead to pests.
  • Using a mixture of water and vinegar can be an effective remedy.
  • You can also wash the plant with neem oil and water to get rid of the bugs.
  • Always use insecticides if, natural remedies do not work.

Rotting of the Roots

Root rot is the most common problem with a philodendron. although it is a hardy plant, root rot can cause severe damage to the plant if not checked on time. Rotting of the roots can lead to several problems like the yellowing of leaves, the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients, and fungal diseases.

So, the pot where the philodendron is placed should have enough drainage holes so, that the excess water can seep out. overwatering should always be avoided as it may lead to water logging.

The Solution

  • Discard the soggy soil if the root has already been rotten.
  • You can cut off the decayed part of the root and wash any mushy part that has been left.
  • Using fresh and well-drained soil you can repot your plant.
  • If you find the top 2 inches of the soil to be dry, then only water the plant.

Also Read: Simple Steps to Trimming Philodendrons Like a Pro

Nutrient Deficiency

Poor nutrition can cause chlorosis which may lead to yellowing of leaves. you may see V-shaped yellow patterns forming along the veins of the plant.

To prevent this condition the soil you are using should contain enough nutrients.

The Solution

  • Use a teaspoon of magnesium sulfate or Epsom salt and mix it with a gallon of water.
  • You can use this solution over the soil to overcome the soil’s magnesium deficiency.
  • Iron deficiency can also lead to yellowing of leaves. so, to overcome this situation use a fertilizer like ironite.
  • Check the quality of your soil using a soil tester before using any salts or fertilizer in your plant.


By taking proper care you can easily prevent the yellowing of leaves. the factors responsible for making the leaves, turn yellow should be taken into consideration while growing a philodendron.

I hope this post will help you overcome the problems associated with a philodendron. and you can make your beloved plant stay healthy, grow fast, and survive for long.


  1. Should I Remove Yellow Leaves From the Philodendron?

    Sometimes you may notice yellow leaves on your philodendron even if it is healthy. It is just a natural behavior of the plant, and you can trim or pull them off to make your plant look beautiful as always.

  2. Why is My Indoor Philodendron Turning Yellow?

    There are several causes that can make the leaves of your philodendron yellow. overwatering, too dry weather conditions are the most common causes. As philodendron prefers humid moist weather so, extremely dry soil and low humidity can make the leaves droopy and yellow. To increase the humidity misting the leaves is necessary.

  3. Will Yellow Philodendron Leaves Turn Back to Green?

    The yellowing of leaves due to nutritional deficiency can only be overcome by the plant. Lack of nutrition can make the leaves yellow. However, providing proper nutrients can bring the leaves back to their natural green color. If the leaves have turned yellow due to some other reasons then, it cannot turn back to green again.

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My name is Ellie Jonas, and I’m a writer, editor, and lifelong plant lover. With over 12 years of experience in growing different varieties of philodendrons and other indoor plants, I inspire and educate new gardeners with a focus on planet-friendly gardening practices.

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