Why is my Calathea turning yellow and how to fix them

Calathea is a tropical plant that is popular for its interesting leaves. It is common to see these plants in homes and offices because they are easy to care for and add a touch of color. However, recently it has been seen that some Calatheas are turning yellow.

There could be a few reasons why this is happening, but the most likely cause is either overwatering or using the wrong type of fertilizer. Keep reading to find out more about why your Calathea might be turning yellow and what you can do about it.

Why is my Calathea turning yellow?

There are several reasons why your Calathea may be turning yellow. It could be due to too much or too little light, overwatering, or pests. If you think it’s due to overwatering, make sure to let the soil dry out between waterings.

If you think it’s due to pests, inspect the leaves and stems for any signs of pests and treat them accordingly. You may also want to try moving your Calathea to a location with more or less light, depending on the current light conditions.

calathea leaves turning yellow

12 of the most common cause Calathea leaves turning yellow

1. Calathea turning yellow from too much light

One of the most common problems with Calathea is that the leaves begin to turn yellow. This is usually a sign that the plant is getting too much light. The ideal location for Calathea is in a spot that receives indirect sunlight. If the plant is placed in a spot that gets direct sunlight, the leaves will begin to turn yellow and will eventually burn.

How to Fix: If possible, move your plant to a location with indirect or filtered light. If that is not possible, you can try draping a thin cloth over the plant to filter some of the light.

2. Calathea turning yellow from too little light

One of the most common reasons why Calathea plants turn yellow is because they are not getting enough light. The leaves of the plant will begin to turn pale, then Yellow, and eventually brown if the problem is not corrected.

How to Fix: One way to determine if your Calathea is getting enough light is to observe the leaves. If they are pointing up towards the light, then that means they are searching for more light. Another way to tell if your plant is not getting enough light is by the number of new leaves that are produced.

If you notice that your plant is not producing as many new leaves as it used to, then that could be a sign that it is not getting enough light. If you think your Calathea plant is not getting enough light, try moving it to a brighter location. If you cannot provide more natural light, then you may need to supplement with artificial lighting.

3. Calathea turning yellow from overwatering

Calatheas are native to tropical climates and prefer high humidity and moist soil. However, they are also sensitive to root rot can occur quickly if the plant is sitting in water, so it is important to make sure that the pot has adequate drainage and that you are not watering more than necessary.

How to Fix: If you see yellow leaves, reduce watering frequency and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. In addition, increase the humidity around the plant by misting it regularly or setting it on a pebble tray.

4. Calathea turning yellow from under-watering

One plant that is particularly susceptible to under-watering is the Calathea. Calathea is a tropical plant that originates from South America. It is characterized by its vibrant green leaves which are often patterns with brightly-colored stripes. While Calathea is a beautiful plant, it is also quite delicate. If the Calathea does not receive enough water, its leaves will begin to turn yellow and eventually brown.

How to Fix: The best way to water a Calathea is to moisten the soil until it is evenly moistened, but not soggy. Allow the top two inches of soil to dry out between watering. If the leaves of your Calathea are turning yellow, increase the frequency of watering and be sure to check that the drainage holes in the pot are not blocked.

5. Calathea leaves turning yellow due to pests

Overwatering is the number one killer of houseplants, but it’s not the only problem that can affect your plants. Pests can also cause leaves to turn yellow, and if you’re not careful, they can quickly spread throughout your entire collection.

One of the most common pests is the mealybug, a small, white insect that feeds on plant sap. Mealybugs can cause Calathea leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

How to Fix: If you suspect that your plant has mealybugs, inspect the stems and leaves for small, white fuzzy balls. If you see any, carefully remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. You may also want to consider using insecticidal soap or neem oil to prevent further infestations.

6. Calathea leaves turning yellow due to disease

Many houseplants, including Calathea, can suffer from diseases that cause their leaves to turn yellow. Generally, these diseases are caused by fungi or bacteria that infect the plant through wounds in the leaves or roots.

Once the disease has taken hold, it can spread quickly, causing the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off. In some cases, the entire plant may die.

How to Fix: To prevent these diseases from taking hold, it is important to keep your Calathea healthy and free from stress. watering it regularly and keeping the leaves clean will help to reduce the risk of infection.

If you do notice any yellowing leaves, take action quickly by removing them from the plant and disposing of them in a sealed bag. You may also need to treat the plant with a fungicide or insecticide to kill any existing infections.

7. Calathea leaves turning yellow due to low humidity

Rattlesnake plant yellow leaves are typically due to low humidity levels, which can cause the leaves to dry out and become discolored.

Although indoor plants can endure 50% to 70% humidity, their natural environment has a humidity of 90% or more. The Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea Lancifolia) is the kind that has the greatest reputation for surviving in low humidity, although it still doesn’t like dry air.

How to Fix: There are a few things that you can do to help improve the humidity around your Calathea plant. First, you can mist the leaves regularly with water. You can also place the pot on a pebble tray, which will help to increase the humidity around the plant.

Finally, make sure to keep the room temperature warm, as cooler temperatures can also lead to low humidity levels.

8. Calathea leaves turning yellow due to nutrient deficiency 

One of the most common reasons for Calathea leaves turning yellow is a nutrient deficiency. While Calathea are typically easy to care for, they are sensitive to changes in their environment and can be susceptible to various problems.

If your Calathea leaves are turning yellow, it is important to examine other factors such as light and watering levels before assuming that a nutrient deficiency is a problem.

How to Fix:  First, check the label of your fertilizer to make sure that it is appropriate for Calathea. Second, make sure you are applying the fertilizer at the recommended rate. Finally, consider adding a supplemental dose of iron to help promote healthy growth.

9. Calathea leaves turning yellow from temperature changes 

Many houseplants, including Calathea, prefer warm, humid conditions and may suffer if the temperature drops too low. In addition, Calathea leaves are sensitive to changes in temperature and may develop brown or yellow spots if they are exposed to drafts.

How to Fix: If you notice your Calathea leaves turning yellow, try to maintain a consistent temperature in your home and avoid placing the plant near windows or doors where there might be sudden temperature changes. You should also make sure that the plant is not sitting in water or in a location where the humidity is too low.

10. Calathea leaves turning yellow because they are old

As any gardener knows, the leaves of a Calathea plant will eventually turn yellow and die off as they reach the end of their life cycle. While it may be tempting to remove these leaves as soon as they start to turn yellow, it’s actually best to leave them on the plant until they are completely dry and brown.

These dead leaves provide essential nutrients that help the plant to grow new leaves. In addition, they help to protect the plant’s roots from the sun and heat.

How to Fix: There is no way to fix it, You can wait until the leaves are completely dead before removing them from the plant so that it protects the roots from direct sunlight.

11. Calathea leaves turning yellow from improper soil 

Calathea plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. If the soil is too alkaline, the leaves will begin to turn yellow. Additionally, Calathea plants need soil that is rich in organic matter and well-draining. If the soil is too dense or wet, the roots will not be able to get the oxygen they need, and the leaves will begin to yellow.

How to Fix:  Improving the quality of the soil is often the best solution for this problem. However, if the yellowing leaves are accompanied by wilting or brown spots, it could also be a sign of root rot. In this case, it is best to consult with a professional before taking any action.

12. Calathea leaves turning yellow from chemicals in the water

Many Calatheas (including Calathea zebrina) are sensitive to the chemicals commonly found in tap water, such as chlorine and fluoride. These chemicals can cause the leaves of the plant to turn yellow.

How to Fix: If you notice that your Calathea’s leaves are turning yellow, it’s important to take action quickly. The first step is to start watering your plant with filtered or distilled water. You can also flush the soil once a month to help remove any built-up chemicals. If the problem persists, it’s possible that your plant is not getting enough humidity. Try misting the leaves or placing the pot on a pebble tray. With a little care, you can get your Calathea back to its beautiful best.

calathea yellow leaves

Related Post: Why Are My Calathea Leaves Turning Brown? (Causes – Fix)

How can I prevent my Calathea from turning yellow in the future?

To prevent your Calathea from turning yellow in the future, make sure to give it the proper amount of water and light. Water your Calathea when the top inch of soil is dry and give it indirect sunlight for part of the day.

If you think your Calathea is getting too much or too little water, try adjusting your watering schedule. You should also inspect your Calathea regularly for pests and diseases and treat them accordingly.

Sylvia Matlock

Sylvia Matlock

Sylvia Matlock graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, which shows in everything she does, from adding depth, texture, and color to selecting the best plant for the job. She curates plants, garden accessories, indoor and outdoor furnishings, and gifts for the retail store. Plants suited for the site or environment are used in landscape design and installation for commercial and residential customers.

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