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What Makes Geranium Leaves Turn Yellow? Know The Reasons Here

What Makes Geranium Leaves Turn Yellow? Know The Reasons Here

Geraniums are easy to care for plants that bloom abundantly, and everyone likes them because of their beautiful pom-pom-like flowers.

Although commonly referred to as geraniums, the plants we grow in our gardens belong to the Pelargonium.

These plants are trendy among gardeners because of their drought-tolerant nature, colorful foliage, and lovely scent.

These plants do great outdoors in the warm parts of the year, but sometimes they might need to be moved inside if the weather gets too cold.

What makes geranium leaves turn yellow?

Geraniums are relatively easy to grow and can even survive indoors all year long if placed in a spot that receives sufficient sunlight.

They do not need over-pampering and will provide you with a fresh flowery smell with little effort.

But sometimes, you might notice the leaves of your geranium plant turning yellow. If you are wondering the reason behind it, most likely of them are listed below


This is one of the most common reasons for geranium leaves turning yellow.

You can tell that the yellowing of the leaves is overwatering if the affected area is mainly at the bottom part of the plant. It can happen if you’ve kept your germanium plant outside in the rainy season.

Geraniums are drought tolerant plants and require little watering to sustain themselves.

The trick for watering geraniums is this – Put your finger in the soil and water the plant only if the top 1 inch of the soil is dry to the touch. These plants love the sun and do not perform well in too much water.


Geraniums thrive in less water rather than excess water. However, too much less watering (Read that again!) might also not prove to be fruitful.

If your plant is affected by underwatering, you’ll notice the edges of the leaves are starting to turn yellow.

If this is the case, use the finger technique to check for moisture in the soil and water it if found dry. However, do not overwater the plant even if you feel the need to overcompensate for the dry spell.

Extreme cold weather

Geraniums are very severely affected by extreme cold weather and frost. Especially when the weather is cold and wet for an extended time, the geranium leaves start to turn yellow.

The geranium plants that you keep outdoors can be inside if the weather is extreme. But if that’s not possible, you can prepare it for the harsh weather conditions.

You need to water your geraniums properly if there is a frost forecast.

It is because, in extreme weather, water acts as an insulator and protects your plant from the cold. If the temperature drops, the heated moisture evaporating from the plant will provide some extra heat.

Proper sunlight

Geraniums are sun-loving plants and one of the few plants that can survive a heatwave. These plants also need open and well-ventilated spaces to nurture correctly, which you should keep in mind if you plan to grow them indoors.

Geraniums need four to six hours of sunlight daily that should preferably be from the morning sun. In the afternoon time, you need to shift it to a place with light shade.

If the leaves of your germanium plant are turning yellow, you need to check the amount of sunlight it is receiving.

It does not do well in the scorching sunlight of the afternoon. It also does not properly develop if it does not get at least four hours of sun daily.

The ideal growing condition for a geranium plant is four to six hours of morning sun and little shade in the noon.

Herbicide damage

Weeds are a common problem in most gardens. If you are using herbicides to rid your plant of weeds, it might lead to side effects.

Although not all herbicides are lethal to germaniums, most of them tend to have a bleaching effect on the leaves.

So, if you notice the yellowing of the leaves of your geranium plant, you might want to stop using the herbicides.

The best way to remove weeds is manual.

Do this frequently so that you won’t have to use harmful chemicals to protect your plant from unwanted growth. Another good approach to weed control is using mulch for your geranium plant.

Nutritional deficiencies

If you notice the leaves of geranium plants turn light green, yellow, or even brown, this may be due to certain nutritional deficiencies.

You have to check your plants with a nuanced view to figure out the particular nutrient deficiency causing the discoloration of the leaves.

If the young leaves begin to turn yellow and eventually turn white, this indicates an iron deficiency. Sometimes this may extend to all the leaves and even the stem.

You can understand the amount of iron in the soil by the acidity of the soil. The more acidic the soil, the higher is the concentration of iron in it.

If there is a zinc deficiency, the leaves start to turn yellow, puckering, and even necrotic. It sometimes leads to them turning purple. This deficiency stops the roots and shoots from growing as well.

Nitrogen deficiency leads the leaves in the lower part of the plant to turn yellow with brown tips, and they die. It also results in the slowing of the plant’s growth rate, and the plant appears stunted.

Copper deficiency in the geranium plants causes young leaves to become stunted and, in some cases, take a bluish hue around the veins.

Discoloration of the leaves, in this case, starts from the base of the leaf. It also reduces flower growth in the plants.

Now that you know how to identify which type of deficit is affecting your plant, you can use the appropriate fertilizer to boost your plant’s strength and growth so that it can return to its previous glory.

Germanium diseases

Germanium plants might be suffering from one of the following diseases, which can be the reason behind the discoloration of their leaves.

Bacterial Blight

This causes V-shaped lesions and yellow or brownish water spots on the underside of the leaves. It starts at the bottom part of the plant and results in drooping and yellow spots.

It eventually causes a stem rot and spreads to the rest of the plant. If your plant is suffering from this disease, isolate it from the other plants before further spread.

Bacterial leaf spot

This is similar to blight but does not cause wilting of leaves. It also shows yellow spots and is very fast spreading.

If your plant is suffering from this, you cannot salvage it, and you should get rid of it before it spreads to other plants. Remember to clean your gardening tools to prevent further infections.


Geraniums are beautiful plants that add a nice touch of color to your garden. And as a feather on the cap, they are fairly easy to grow.

If you are a beginner at gardening and your garden is full of succulents, geraniums are great for a bit of variety.

If your leaves are starting to turn yellow, do not worry and look for the reasons mentioned in the list and try to figure out which one might be responsible for it.

Most of them are easily fixable, and you get back your beautiful plant with the lovely scent of its colorful flowers!