Everyone loves walking on the fallen yellow leaves in the autumn season. But no one likes the leaves of their houseplants turning yellow.
So, if you enjoy the fresh air of houseplants, chances are you have come across the problem of yellowing leaves.
Watching your lush green garden going sad is not an incredible sight.
But, unless you have brought the crotons with yellow speckles on them, you are left wondering why the yellowing of leaves.
Is it something you did, or is it the plant going through its necessary changes? Read further to find out.
Can yellow leaves turn green again?
I suggest you do not count on it. Once a leaf turns yellow, the chances of it going green again are slim to none.
The yellowing of a leaf is generally a permanent change. However, if the damage is new and tiny, like there are little spots of yellow on a leaf, you can turn it back.
If the yellowing of the leaves is a deficiency of a nutrient in the plant, it can go back to being green if you provide that nutrient quickly; but the possibility is very low.
If the yellowing is caused to the plant by a lack of care for a long time, you cannot reverse it.
If you find the leaves of your plant are turning yellow, you need to be quick in finding the reason behind it and solve the problem as soon as possible.
Why do plant leaves turn yellow?
Sometimes leaves turn yellow because they have reached their age. There is nothing to worry about, in this case.
The plant produces new green leaves on its own. But if this is not the reason, yellowing of plant leaves is generally a sign of distress.
The green color of the leaves is because of chlorophyll, which is a pigment essential in photosynthesis.
Therefore, if the leaves start to lose their green color, it is an indication that the process by which plants prepare their food is also being negatively affected.
So, it is essential to find the reason behind this and fix it properly. The reasons that might be responsible for the yellowing of the leaves are listed below:
Believe it or not, this is the most common cause of your plant’s leaves turning yellow.
Watering the plants is the only way to show your love towards them, so sometimes you might overdo it (Like with all the selfies with your favorite croton!).
If you think you are an over waterer and find all your leaves have started to turn yellow, you might have root rot.
Now, if you want your plant to survive, you have to repot it carefully. It would help if you gave up on the hope of those leaves turning green.
To make things less confusing, I suggest you check the soil if your leaves are turning yellow.
If the soil is soggy most of the time, the reason is overwatering. But if it is dry and has cracks, the leaves might be turning yellow because of underwatering.
Even if this, it is doubtful that your leaves will regain their former green color.
Aging of plant foliage:
(Not your fault) If only one or two leaves of your plant have started to turn yellow, it is because they are just old.
Aging foliage turns yellow, and there is nothing you can do about it. It is just the plant’s natural life cycle.
To know that the leaf is just dying of natural causes, you need to check all the other leaves.
If they are healthy and growing, and it is just the one leaf turning yellow, you know it is definitely because of the age.
Lack of light:
Light is an essential element for a plant that prepares its food.
If a plant is receiving insufficient light, it will not perform photosynthesis properly, and the plant’s growth will be affected.
The stem becomes leggy in search of light, and the leaves start yellowing.
To solve this, move your plant to a brighter spot, open those blinds every once in a while.
If you do not have a bright spot in your home, you can also invest in an artificial grow light for the plant.
If the old leaves are turning yellow and new ones are fading, your plant might be suffering from a nitrogen deficiency.
You can fix this by adding a store-bought fertilizer or by putting coffee grounds in the soil.
Be careful and conservative in your approach to using coffee grounds because they might increase the acidity too much for your plant if used excessively.
If the edges of the leaves are turning yellow, you might be looking at potassium deficiency.
The deficiency of magnesium can cause patches of yellow that spread from the center of the leaf. In this case, the older leaves are affected first, and the veins of the leaves remain green.
If the leaves are lacking in iron, yellowing starts from the younger leaves. Finally, the foliage turns yellow in the top part, and the veins remain green.
If the leaves suffer from a deficiency of sulfur, the new leaves are affected first, and then the yellowing spreads to the entire foliage.
If the reason behind the yellowing of your plants’ leaves is nutrition deficiency, you might be able to restore the green in them if you meet the needs of the plants.
How do I make my plant leaves green again?
Once the leaves of your plant have turned yellow, there is very little chance to bring them back to their former glory.
But there is no harm in trying. If the leaves have turned yellow because of a nutrition deficiency, you can be optimistic about your leaves turning green. Let us see how we can do that.
- Use the appropriate fertilizer: If you want to rectify the lack of nutrients bothering your plant, fertilizer is the way to go. You need to figure out which nutrient is causing the yellowing of leaves and treat your plant with the respective fertilizer.
- If the soil suffers from a nitrogen deficiency, you can add a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to fix the issue. If you want a more organic approach, you can use coffee grounds as well. (But very carefully!) Adding compost manure to the soil or planting green manure crops like peas, beans, etc., are also known to boost nitrogen levels of the soil.
- A phosphorus-deficient plant will also have stunted growth and yellow leaves or leaves that are reddish-purple along the edges. It can be due to herbicide injury, soil compaction, insect pressure, or poor soil health. You can also treat it with phosphorus-rich fertilizer for a quick solution, but that is generally short-lived. If you want a more permanent solution, you can opt for organic manure (Although it might take some time to show some results).
- If the leaves are turning yellow between the veins, it might indicate a lack of magnesium. The solution for this is to spray some manganese chelate solution on the plant. For all the DIY souls out there, you can try Epsom salt and dolomite. If you catch the problem on time and apply these remedies immediately, there is a chance that your plant can go green again. Some other remedies you can try are:
- Adequate watering: You need to control if you have been overwatering your plant. The soil needs to be moist and not soggy. If you are underwatering, you need to water more frequently to keep your plant well hydrated and prevent any new yellow leaves.
- Provide them enough sun: If your plant receives insufficient sunlight, that might be the reason for the leaves turning yellow. It would help if you kept them in a spot with bright light or anywhere that meets your plant’s needs.
Remember to not keep your plant too long in the direct bright sunlight of the afternoon, as that can also lead to fading of the leaves.
How do you fix yellow leaves on plants?
If the leaves have turned yellow, the chances are that the plant has already given up on them.
But if you are lucky enough to catch them before they are too far gone, and the reason behind it is nutritional deficiency, you can try to revive them.
You can fix the issue using store-bought fertilizer rich in that particular nutrient or a DIY one suitable enough to do the job.
So let us see how we can turn leaves green again by resolving the lack of nutrition.
If, however, the reason behind the yellowing of the leaf is its age, there is nothing you can do. The leaf has reached the end of its life, and there is no way for you to get it back.
In this scenario, you can wait for the leaf to fall on its own, or you can snip it using a pair of clean scissors.
Should you remove yellow leaves from plants?
If the leaves have turned yellow, that means they are no longer capable of producing food for the plant. Therefore, they are of no use to the plant, and it is better to get rid of them.
It is how you can ensure that your remaining healthy plant foliage gets proper nutrition. In addition, dying leaves attract pests like fungus gnats, so it is best to nip them off using sterilized scissors.
Using clean scissors is very important as dirty scissors can also lead to infections. Cutting dying leaves is vital for a lot of reasons. Some of them are listed below:
- To make the foliage look fuller and healthier.
- To promote the growth of new green leaves and provide them proper nutrition.
- To prevent any bacterial or fungal infestations.
Having healthy green foliage to look at is a great mood booster. Something is satisfying about owning a plant, taking care of it, and keeping it alive for a long time.
On the other hand, seeing a yellow leaf in the lush green foliage is a real buzzkill unless it’s the fall season.
Hopefully, by now, you can figure out the reason behind it and try to solve that problem so that your plant can go back to looking beautiful and healthy.
Now you know, if it is because of age, it is not your fault. And you know better than being optimistic that it will return to being green.