Calatheas are the most beautiful houseplants with vibrant foliage. They are perfect for decorating any interior space due to their tropical air.
But these houseplants are super dramatic. If the utmost care is not given to them, they will soon express their displeasure through these beautiful leaves.
So why are my calathea leaves turning yellow? Calathea leaves turning yellow are caused by an improper watering regime, extreme temperatures, hardening off problems, old foliage, pests, nutrient deficiencies, lighting problems, etc. .
Read on to find detailed information on these causes and learn how to fix the problems without compromising plant health.
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Causes of Calathea Leaves Turning Yellow (And How to Fix It)
Calathea plants need the utmost care to make a bold statement. Calathea leaves turning yellow can be disconcerting, despite optimal care.
The yellow leaves of Calathea orbifolia are a common sight. It is a sign of distress and can appear anywhere on the sheet (edges, tips, anywhere).
But calatheas are more forgiving after the underlying condition resolves. New beautiful leaves will sprout and bring your plant back to normal.
If you notice your calathea leaves turning yellow and brown, examine them and try to identify the cause. The technique will help you correct care errors without overdoing it.
Below are the most common reasons why calathea leaves turn yellow. Take the time to read them and learn how to solve them.
too much water problem
Excessive watering is the main cause of yellowing calathea leaves. These indoor plants prefer constant watering and slightly moist soil.
The humid environment creates favorable conditions for the development of bacteria and fungi. These microbes then cause root rot.
Damaged roots limit water and mineral uptake. Yellowing Calathea leaves are the first sign of overwatering.
Be sure to check soil moisture levels and examine plant roots. If the roots are soft with brown spots, this is an indicator of root rot.
Consider repotting the houseplant to avoid long-term death. Use well-drained potting soil and a pot with drainage holes in the bottom.
Water the plant when the top half inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Develop a consistent aquatic habitat to prevent problems above and below water.
Inadequate lighting conditions.
The Calathea plant thrives in medium to bright indirect sunlight. Light conditions allow the houseplant to produce beautiful, vibrant leaves.
In low light, the leaves of your favorite plant turn yellow. In addition, direct exposure to sunlight causes serious damage to stems and leaves.
If you notice calathea leaves turning yellow, change the current position of the plant. Move the plant to an area that receives indirect sunlight.
Install LED grow lights if the room doesn’t get much natural light. Helps prevent leaf yellowing.
Calatheas like a temperature range of 62-81OF (16-27OC). The ideal temperature contributes to better plant growth and health.
The houseplant becomes unhappy if the temperature is below 62oF. Calathea plants do not tolerate freezing temperatures. You will notice that your plant’s leaves are starting to turn yellow.
Also, Calatheas do not like radiant heat or cold drafts. This is one of the reasons why the houseplant struggles in winter.
Keep your calathea plant away from cold drafts and heaters. Make sure indoor temperature is consistent and meets plant care requirements.
lack of humidity
Calathea plants thrive in a warm, humid environment. These indoor plants are used for the 90% humidity range. But replicating the exact humidity levels in your home can be tricky.
The leaves of the Calathea plant turn yellow due to low humidity. The phenomenon occurs due to the dry air around the plant which promotes rapid water loss.
Use an electric humidifier to maintain optimal humidity in your home. The high humidity ensures that the Calathea plant stands out in a tropical environment.
Calathea plants are not big feeders. But these plants need nutrients to help develop beautiful, vibrant leaves.
Too much fertilizer will cause calathea leaves to turn yellow. Salt buildup around the root system tends to become toxic to the plant.
The best option is to use organic compost instead of compost. Compost generally mimics the plant’s natural habitat.
Be sure to apply fertilizer to the calathea in spring and summer. This is a period when the houseplant makes optimal use of nutrients.
I recommend using a slow release fertilizer rich in nutrients and minerals. Do not apply fertilizer to plants in winter, as they are dormant.
Calathea leaves are more vulnerable to insect pests. Spider mites, aphids and scale insects are the most common pests that attack the calathea plant.
These insects often burrow into leaves and damage vital tissue. Calathea leaves begin to turn yellow as they attempt to heal damage.
Always use insecticides to get rid of these insects on the leaves. Be sure to check the leaves regularly to catch these pests at an early stage.
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Calathea plants need a consistent watering routine. Dry soil due to neglect for a few months will make the houseplant difficult.
Water stress also causes calathea leaves to turn yellow. You will also see signs of long-term curling and drooping leaves.
Be sure to test the moisture of the potting soil before hydrating the plant. The tip helps prevent problems with too much water.
Calathea plants generally need plenty of water in summer and fall. Consider watering the plant every two weeks per month. Water the houseplant once a month in winter.
The first day I brought my calathea plant into my house, I fell in love with it. I did everything I could to keep the plant healthy. But the leaves started turning yellow after a few days.
I started to understand that the houseplant was trying to adapt to my indoor growing condition. These yellowing leaves are usually short-lived.
Always review your calathea plant care routine before acclimating the plant to the new environment. Do not neglect the plant at all during this period.
Repotting calathea plants can be difficult for many people. Any small change in its growing conditions can ruin its well-being and growth.
The good news is that calathea plants are somewhat root-bound. You need to transplant the houseplant every two years.
If you notice calathea leaves turning yellow after repotting, this is a sign that the plant is trying to acclimate to the new environment.
The aging of plants and animals is inevitable. Each plant loses its old lower leaves as it grows. If you notice a mature leaf deteriorating, consider removing it from the plant.
The old leaves of calathea plants are usually yellow and fall off over time. It is a mechanism by which the houseplant can redirect energy and nutrients to new growth.
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frequently asked Questions
Why are my calathea leaves turning brown and crispy?
This happens due to low humidity and dry soil. Consider cutting off affected pieces and increasing the humidity. Water the plant regularly to prevent the soil from drying out.
Why do my Calathea leaves have yellow spots?
This is a sign of pest insects. These pests often pierce the leaves to absorb nutrients and cause serious injury. Leaf spots turn yellow due to poison injection.
Why are my calathea leaves turning yellow and curling?
Possible causes are low humidity, too much water and pests. It is best to identify the underlying cause before taking appropriate action.
Why are my Calathea leaves turning brown?
Exposure to direct sunlight and low humidity will cause calathea leaves to turn brown. These tropical plants thrive in moderate to bright indirect light and an environment with high humidity.
Why are my Calathea leaves withering?
Calathea leaves fade with prolonged exposure to excessive sunlight. I recommend placing the houseplant in a more shady area to prevent the foliage from wilting.
Yellowing Calathea leaves are caused by poor plant care. This is a common leaf problem that all indoor plant lovers should be aware of.
The most common causes of yellowing Calathea leaves are excess water, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, low humidity, pests and diseases (Source: University of Florida†
Be sure to investigate the underlying problem and take appropriate action to prevent the leaves from turning yellow.