How do I stop leaves on indoor plants from turning yellow and falling?

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  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 10, 2019

    They sometimes have a dormant period where some of the leaves to fall off. Usually it is from over or under watering. Get a moisture meter, I purchased mine at Menards for around five dollars. Look up your plants to see their water needs, some need more or less than others and use the meter to tell you the moisture level they are at and water them if it needs it. Not all plants will be on the same schedule as others. We have some that are watered twice a week and some once a week and a few that go two weeks to a month without needing water. You may also have some plants that need more humidity than is available in the house and would like misting a couple of times a week or so. We must our orchids once or twice a week and our Norfolk Island Pine twice a week.

  • Water less. Ususally yellow leaves mean they are being watered too much.

  • Catherine J. Gutjahr Catherine J. Gutjahr on Mar 10, 2019

    Thank you

  • Catherine J. Gutjahr Catherine J. Gutjahr on Mar 10, 2019

    How do I grow butter fly plants want to help the butter flys survive.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 16, 2019

    Either too much or too little water causes the leaves to turn yellow, keep a close eye on them and test the soil with a moisture meter, we found ours at Amazon a few years back. Each plant has specific needs as far as water, light & nutrients.

  • Susan Susan on Mar 16, 2019

    I never water from the top of my indoor plants, if your pot has bottom container always water from bottom the plant will soak the water it needs.

  • Lizbeth Lizbeth on Mar 16, 2019

    As others have said it is likely a moisture problem. But there are other possibilities. How likely these are depends in part on what types of plants you have and where you live.


    1. Cold drafts can cause yellow leaves. (Not a one time exposure but regular exposure.) So if your plants are near a drafty window and you live somewhere pretty consistently cold, that could be it. Ficus trees drop bright yellow leaves for this reason. (And others like watering problems)


    2. Not enough light. Even low light plants like pothos can develop pale yellowish leaves in super low winter light. If a plant isn't rotated & the side of the plant away from the light is yellower, it may be a light problem.


    3. Plants like dracenas (corn plants) drop lower leaves as they age. Often these drop just as the plant is about to begin a noticeable growth spurt up top. Our days are getting longer so many plants will show increased growth in the next few weeks.


    4. Pests can make leaves turn pale and yellowish. Mealy bugs and spider mites are common culprits. Spider mites thrive in low humidity as many of us have indoors in the winter. Look at the back of the green leaves in strong light like a good flashlight. Mites are really tiny. Mealy bugs leave cottony stuff on leaf stems near where they attach. Scale is a third pest. Look for unexpected sticky areas.


    5. Low humidity often causes browning leaves but CAN cause yellow leaves too. It's just a different kind of moisture stress than over or underwatering.


    6. Plants that are rarely repotted and never fertilized can develop yellow leaves. I'd wait a few weeks to start fertilizing and mix it weaker than the package calls for. (1/2 strength)


    Good luck!

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