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Why are my Philodendron’s leaves turning yellow?

Having trouble with your philodendron plant? Here’s why your philodendron’s leaves are turning yellow and what to do about it!

Philodendron plants are super common and very popular beginner level houseplants.

Be sure to check out my philodendron brasil care guide!

However, I have been having some trouble with my Philodendron Brasil lately. I got it as a plant trade as a bunch of cuttings and it has just not been thriving since I potted it and moved it into my living room.

There are a lot of reasons why your Philodendron might be dying, but today we are specifically going to focus on yellow and yellowing leaves.

Yellow leaves are a warning sign that your plant is in distress. Luckily, you have the chance to make some changes and improve the conditions for your indoor plant to save it from death!

Why are my Philodendron's leaves turning yellow

How do you fix yellow leaves on a philodendron?

All you can do to fix yellow leaves on a philodendron is to identify the problem that is causing the leaves to turn yellow and rectify it. Then, new growth should be healthy again.

Will yellow Philodendron leaves turn back green?

No, once a leaf loses its chlorophyl, the plant tends to abandon it and it dies. This means that yellow plant leaves are not going to turn back green.

Should I remove yellow leaves from Philodendron?

Some people remove dead leaves while others choose to let them naturally fall off. This is a personal, aesthetic choice. Read all about removing dead leaves here!

If you end up with a long strand of vine without leaves, I suggest propagating it via cuttings to create a bushier plant and new baby plants to share or plant in the same pot for a fuller look.

yellow leaf on a philodendron brasil

Why are my philodendron leaves turning yellow?

Philodendron leaves usually turn yellow due to overwatering, under watering, pest invasion, nutrient deficiency, or poor lighting.


The top reason that a philodendron’s leaves are turning yellow and dropping is improper moisture levels – and it’s almost always overwatering.

I kept my plant potted in a nursery pot within a ceramic pot. When I was investigating the yellowing leaves, I lifted up the nursery pot and saw water pooling underneath. That was my giveaway that it was over watered.

Luckily, I caught the problem before it turned to root rot. If your plant has root rot, the roots will be black and mushy – not white and firm.

If your plant is very soggy, repot it in fresh, dry soil. If not, just drain it well and let it dry out before watering again.

pot dripping excess water

How often do you have to water a Philodendron?

These plants really only need to be watered once a week. More importantly, be sure the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch before adding more water!

Also be sure that your pot has proper drainage holes to avoid pooling water.

Under watering

Under watering can also kill your plant. These leaves will look sad, droopy, or shriveled in addition to yellowed. Try watering a bit more frequently to see if that helps.

I will say that overwatering is more common than under watering for these plants!

If your leaves are yellowing and have brown crispy tips, they could benefit from increased humidity. Try a pebble tray or misting the plants a few times a week!

philodendron leaves turning yellow

Nutrient Deficiency

Yellow leaves can be a sign of chlorosis that’s caused by iron and magnesium deficiency. This usually happens when your soil is old and out of nutrients. Repot your plant every 12-18 months with fresh soil – even if not in a larger pot – to give it some helpful nutrients!

Low temperatures

Large temperature fluctuations can make these tropical plants unhappy. If they get too cold for too long, they will completely die. Shorter bursts of cold can cause yellow leaves. It’s best to keep them indoors if the temperature drops below 50 degrees outside!

yellow leaf on a philodendron brasil

Pest invasion

Yellowing leaves could be a sign of pests that are zapping your plant of nutrients and moisture. Scale, mealybugs, and spider mites all can infest philodendrons and might lead to yellow leaves.

Check the underside of leaves and nooks and crannies for webs, white fluff, or stickiness, and wipe away. If you think your plant has pests, separate it from your other plants to avoid spreading it!

Poor Lighting

Philodendrons can survive – but don’t thrive – in low light situations. However, In extremely low light spaces, their leaves might turn yellow and drop. That’s a sign that the plant really needs more light!

Yellowing of old leaves

As your plant grows new branches and leaves, it is natural for some of the oldest leaves to turn brown or yellow and fall off. This is the circle of life and nothing to get too worried about!

Any more questions about why you have yellow leaves on your philodendron?

Thanks for reading!

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