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Why Is My Philodendron Turning Yellow?

by Jennifer Bonis

If your philodendron turns yellow, it means something is problematic. But if you know why it can happen, you can get the plant to grow well again in your home.

The best indoor plants can change the look of rooms with their color and shape, bringing the beauty of nature inside. Philodendrons are one example of an easy plant to take care of, but it’s still important to do it right to keep them healthy.

People often ask, “Why is my philodendron turning yellow?” Here are some answers from experts, along with what you can do to fix each problem.

Why Is My Philodendron Turning Yellow


Philodendron plants usually lose their leaves because the dirt is too wet, especially when it rains too much. Fill the pot with water only when the top quarter of the soil is dry. The soil shouldn’t be wet, but it should be damp. During the winter, you can let your plant dry out a bit more between waterings. Just make sure to keep misting it or use a rock tray to add more humidity.

Make sure that when you water your Philodendron, there is enough water to flow from the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot to the saucer. It is very important to get rid of any extra water in the saucer and keep your plant from sitting in water. Your Philodendron won’t do well with “wet feet,” which makes the roots rot and kills the plant in the end.

It is important to keep the dirt consistently moist when you are taking care of a Philodendron. If you water your Philodendron at the wrong time, the soil can go from being bone dry to wet, which can stress the plant and turn it yellow.

Your Humidity Level

When the soil and humidity are low, the leaves droop and turn brown around the edges. Later, the leaves turn yellow all the way through. If you mist your Philodendron’s leaves a lot, the humidity will rise.

Improper Light

The best place for philodendrons to grow is in bright, well-drained sunshine. If plants are in full sunlight for too long, they will burn. Aphids can grow in places with little light, but their growth will be slower. If put somewhere with very little light, leaves may turn yellow.


Every once in a while, the leaves of most plants will slowly turn yellow. It happens when they get rid of old growth to focus on putting out new leaves, and sometimes the very young new leaves just don’t do well. This is not a sign of a bigger health problem; it’s just how plants normally act.

If your Philodendron is getting the right care and looks healthy generally, but some of its leaves are turning yellow, you can easily remove them by pulling them off gently or cutting them off with clean, sharp scissors or shears.

Overwatering: Philodendrons can get too much water, and one of the most common signs is leaves that turn yellow. You shouldn’t water these plants at set times. Instead, you should only water them when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch.

To see how wet your plant is, pull back some of its colorful moss and stick your finger two inches into the soil. It’s time to water the plant if the soil is dry. But don’t do it if it’s still wet!


Insects are more likely to attack a Philodendron that is weak or worried. Bugs that feed on sap, like spider mites, can dry out your plant. This trouble shows up quickly as leaflets and fronds turn yellow. Scale, mealybugs, and spider mites are common pests that live inside.

If you don’t get rid of these little bugs right away, they will keep coming back and moving along the fronds and into cracks and crevices. The insects’ sharp mouths wear down your plant and make it turn yellow faster, especially if your Philodendron is already sick from not getting enough light, nutrients, or water in the soil.

Some Yellowing Is Natural

Does your Philodendron send out new leaves? It’s normal for older leaves, especially those at the base of the plant, to turn yellow while new leaves grow on top of them. The plant gets rid of its old leaves and starts to grow new ones.

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