From the dense tropical forests of Asia, Alocasia, also known as elephant ears, is one of the most popular plants amongst plant lovers. The large bright green leaves give off a nice look to the surroundings.
However, they are quite stubborn when it comes to certain places, due to which their leaves turn yellow. Should you be worried for your Alocasia when you see it starting to go yellow? Yes.
That’s because there are tons of reasons that can cause this phenomenon, and you need to inspect your plant properly before coming to any conclusion. Below we have stated some of the most obvious reasons that would help you find the cause for the yellowing of the leaves.
What Are The Causes Of Alocasia Polly Turning Yellow?
If you are thinking of reasons why your Elephant Ears are turning yellow, you are at the right place. We have covered all important reasons for this phenomenon to help you inspect properly and start treating your plant.
1. Natural Ageing
Before you think that your plant is suffering from disease, observe the size of the leaves. If the leaf is a large and old one, then it’s getting yellow due to natural ageing.
Alocasia leaves do turn yellow when they get old, so there’s no point in saving those leaves. But, if the younger leaves are turning yellow, you need to be concerned about it.
If your leaves are not turning yellowish due to natural ageing, then you need to check for your watering routine. Overwatering is the major reason for the yellowing of leaves.
Stop watering your plants for a few days. Check the moisture level of the Alocasia before you begin watering again.
If the top 1-inch layer of the soil is still moist, then do not water it only after the upper layer is completely dry water your Alocasia. You do not want your roots to stand still in the water as it can cause root rot, which further leads to the leaves turning yellow.
Besides, you also need to check whether it has proper draining or not. Create some more holes on the bottom of the pot and let the water completely drain out. It would reduce the chances of the roots standing in water.
3. Lighting Issues
When it comes to Alocasia, they thrive the best in indirect bright sunlight. As it’s a tropical plant, you need to provide it with at least 8-10 hours of daily sunlight; otherwise, its leaves would start turning yellow.
Make sure to place your Alocasia near the door or window sill where the sunlight falls the most. But, make sure not to place it under direct sunlight, especially during afternoons; otherwise, the leaves would get sunburns.
It’s important to provide enough sunlight during the winters as that’s the season when Alocasia finds it difficult to survive. During summers, you can just keep it under indirect sunlight for 4 hours, and it would be alright.
As stated earlier, Alocasia is a tropical plant and would probably need good humidity for its respiration process. A place that has high humidity is perfect for the houseplant.
If the humidity level falls below 505, you would start observing yellow spots on your plant’s leaves.
If you are living in a cold area, there are high chances that your Alocasia will start developing yellow spots within the first month, as the humidity level doesn’t cater to the plant’s needs.
Pests love living on green tropical plants like Alocasia. They stick themselves under the leaves or on the stems, where the sap is high in quantity and feed off the plant.
Due to such pests, the plant starts showing certain symptoms like stunted growth and yellow leaves. Some common pests that attack Alocasia are aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and spider mites.
They love living as a parasite on Alocasia.
If you are in doubt, check for the underlayers and stems of the plant. You might see whitish or blackish layering in there, thus stating that pests have infected your plant.
6. Water Quality
Alocasia plants cannot tolerate hard water as they contain high amounts of lime, Calcium carbonate, and other minerals. Due to this, the leaves can turn yellow.
Due to the presence of minerals in the water, there are high chances that the plant would have mineral deposits in its soil. If the water tank in your house is treated with extensive Chlorine or Bleach, then it can cause some serious damage to your Alocasia.
7. Soil Type
If the soil mixture cannot absorb water quickly, then it can leave the roots to stand in still water, further causing root rot. Due to this, while planting an Alocasia, you need to pay proper attention to the potting mixture.
It would be better to add peat moss or coco coir to the potting mixture that can easily absorb water and drain out excess water from the pot as well. Doing this reduces the chances of your Alocasia suffering from root rot or yellow leaves.
Alocasia needs a warm temperature to survive properly. The appropriate temperature range for Alocasia is between 18 to 29 degrees Celsius.
If the temperature drops to 18 degrees Celsius, then your Alocasia will start showing signs of cold and temperature stress, one of them being the yellowing of the leaves.
So, if you live in a colder area, then make sure to always keep your room heater on when the temperature is not within the range.
If your plant contains green leaves throughout the year but turns yellow during winter, then you should take it as an indication of temperature stress. Start treating your plant by covering it with warm fabric and adjusting the room temperature in such situations.
9. Nutritional Deficiencies
Yellowing of leaves can also occur due to a lack of certain nutrition.
If your watering routine is perfect, temperature and humidity are within the plant’s requirement, and basically, you have covered every other aspect, but still, the leaves are turning yellow; then it’s time to feed your plant.
Certain macronutrients are the major cause of turning the leaves yellow.
In such cases, add some fertilizer to your potting mix and see if any changes occur. If not, you need to change your fertilizer and get one with a higher amount of macronutrients.
How To Fix Yellow Alocasia Polly Leaves?
So, above, we have stated all the reasons that can cause the leaves of your beloved Alocasia to turn yellow. How can you fix them? Here are the methods that would help you to fix your sick Alocasia in no time.
1. Proper Drainage
As stated above, Alocasia doesn’t do well with overwatering. To avoid that from happening, you need to ensure that the pot has a proper drainage system.
You can either get a pot with lots of holes or drill some on your own.
It would help the excess water to drain out from the pot.
Besides, make sure not to keep the saucer full of drained water under the pot as it would force the roots to seek the water source, exposing them to root rot.
Another thing that you need to invest in is a watering meter. It is a small device, quite similar to a p measuring device. You can use it to check whether the moisture level of your soil mixture and ensure that it is within range.
2. Filtered Water
As unfiltered hard water contains tons of unidentified minerals that can cause mineral deposits on Alocasia, it is better to filter out the water before using it on your plants.
You can either use a normal water purifier for the plants or use a DIY filter to clean collected rainwater.
Rainwater is completely healthy, and you should leave your plants in the rain for some time. But, if you intend on storing it for future purposes, then it’s better to filter the water properly.
3. Humidifying Leaves
Alocasia needs humidity to survive; else, their leaves start to turn yellow.
One of the best ways to ensure that your plant gets proper humidity is by misting it. You can use a spray bottle and mist your Alocasia leaves with it. Do it once or twice a day, as per the humidity level in your area.
Apart from that, you can invest in a small humidifier and place it close to the plant to achieve the humidity level.
4. Infest Treatment
In case of pests infestation, isolating the Alocasia from the rest of your garden plants is important. If not done immediately, then the infection can spread quickly.
Once you are done with the isolating, start cleaning your plant with powerful jet spray. You can also shower it with a watering can or pipe, but make sure the pressure is high.
After that, use an insecticide soap or liquid to kill the bugs and larvae present on the plant.
Use a brush or earbud to remove all the pests. After that, wash it and use a DIY neem mixture for at least a week. Make sure to inspect closely in case of another pest attack. Once you are sure that the plant is alright, you can take it back to its natural habitat.
Should You Cut Off Yellow Leaves On Alocasia?
Yes, you should cut off the yellowing leaves of your Alocasia plant, but only if they are infected or getting old.
In the case of infected leaves, the disease can quickly spread to other parts of the plant, thus causing the whole plant to get sick. Due to this, it’s better to remove the infected leaves first and then move on with the treatment.
If the leaves are getting yellow due to the natural aging process, it’s better to remove them.
That’s because the plant uses most of its energy in keeping the leaf alive, thus sparing nothing for the rest of the plant. By cutting off the old leaves, you are promoting plant growth, so it’s better to chop off your beloved Alocasia sometimes.
How Do You Remove Yellow Leaves From Alocasia?
For removing the yellowing leaves in Alocasia, you can either use normal scissors or gardening scissors. If the leaves are small, then it’s better to use a small pair of scissors so that you don’t accidentally chop off any healthy leaves.
For older leaves, you can go for gardening scissors as they would be able to finely chop off the hard leaves without damaging the rest of the plant.
Alocasia plant is one of the most beloved houseplants all over the world.
Though it is a bit difficult to take care of, it’s beautiful and has tons of benefits. If you are a proud Alocasia parent, then you need to look out for the yellowing leaves, as they are the first sign that your plant is getting sick.