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Why is my umbrella plant getting yellow leaves?

Is your umbrella plant getting yellow leaves? Here are the top causes and how to fix them!

Umbrella plants are beautiful, easy care houseplants.

But, just because they are easy to care for doesn’t mean something can go wrong.

Amongst all of the top umbrella plant problems, yellow leaves are one of the most common.

Here’s what causes yellow leaves on umbrella plants and how to fix them!

why is my umbrella plant getting yellow leaves

Printable Umbrella Plant care guide

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Umbrella Plant plant care guide

Why is my umbrella plant getting yellow leaves?

Umbrella plant leaves should be dark green and perky. If the leaves start turning yellow or brown, getting soggy or mushy or crispy, or falling off, there is a problem.

Will yellow leaves turn green again?

No, yellow plant leaves will not turn green again. Once the chlorophyll is gone, it doesn’t come back. You are better off removing the dead leaves and focusing on new growth.

Here are some of the top problems with umbrella plants:

  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Temperature problems
  • Over fertilizing
  • Lighting problems
  • Potting issues

Yellow leaves mean that your leaf is losing chlorophyll, and will die. This could happen to very old leaves, but if it is happening to many leaves suddenly, your plant is in distress.

Here are the top causes and what to do about each one.

Watering issues

Watering can cause problems for your umbrella plant whether you are overwatering or under watering.

If the leaves appear withered and drooping, it is under watered.

If the leaves appear sagging and mushy, the plant is over watered.

Yellow leaves are usually, in my experienced, over watered!

How often do you water an umbrella plant?

Water your umbrella tree when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.

Be sure that your pot has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling, which can lead to root rot and leaf drop and usually mushy, dark brown or black leaves.

If your leaves are just starting to turn yellow, its most likely not rotten yet. This is your warning sign to act quickly to save it!

How can you tell if an umbrella plant is overwatered?

Overwatered stems will look limp and mushy. Pull the plant out of the soil and examine the roots – if they are turning black and mushy, the plant is severely over watered and has root rot.

Should I mist my umbrella plant?

These plants don’t need to be misted, but they will tolerate it.

umbrella plant leaves

Temperature problems

Big changes in temperature can also cause houseplants to go into shock and drop leaves. These leaves could turn yellow before falling off.

Keep them away from drafts and always keep indoors in the winter to help prevent temperature shock from happening.

Over fertilization

Applying too much fertilizer can shock your plant, which can sometimes lead to leaves turning yellow and falling off.

Lighting problems

If your umbrella tree gets too much direct sun, it could get sun burned and get brown leaves. This is more likely to be spots on each leaf rather than entire brown leaves.

If your umbrella plant is not getting enough light, it could get some yellow leaves. This is the plant not having enough energy to keep all the leaves alive and choosing some to sacrifice for the good of the others.

Does an umbrella plant like sun or shade?

These plants do best in partial shade or indirect light. Direct sun will burn the leaves.

How much sunlight does an umbrella plant need?

Umbrella plants do best with at least 6-8 hours of bright, indirect light.

new growth on an umbrella plant

Potting issues

If your plant has outgrown it’s pot, it might start dropping leaves to conserve energy.

Do umbrella plants like to be root bound?

Umbrella plants will slow or stop growing when they become root bound. Eventually, it could even kill them. It’s much better to repot when needed.

Should I repot my umbrella plant?

In general you should re-pot once every year or two. Try to stick to repotting in the growing season – spring or summer.

Your plant might not need a larger pot, but could benefit from new nutrients in fresh soil. Gently pull it from the pot, knock off as much old soil as possible, and repot with fresh potting mix.

Any more questions about your umbrella plant?

Thanks for reading!

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