One of the most frustrating things is when you work so hard to maintain and care for something and it doesn’t end up perfect! This situation has recently happened to me with my favorite indoor tomato plant in my home that I take care of everyday. I have noticed that in the past couple weeks that the leaves on it have begun to turn yellowish.
Luckily, since I work here at Ambius, I was able to chat with our horticulturalist, Matt Kostelnick, to ask him why this is happening. He said that it is very common for leaves on plants to turn yellow due to stress to the plant, which can be caused many different ways. Since this is such a common topic for prospective green thumbs, I thought I’d share what I learned from Matt on how to prevent indoor plants from turning yellow. Here’s to keeping plants happy and healthy!
The most common reason that plants’ leaves turn yellow is because of moisture stress, which can be from either over watering or under watering. If you have a plant that has yellow leaves, check the soil in the pot to see if the soil is dry.
If you believe that the problem is due to under watering, water the plant more often and consider letting the pot sit on a dish to recollect any water that has overflowed, so that the roots can absorb the extra water.
On the other hand, over watering can contribute to the leaves turning yellow as well. If you feel the soil and it is too wet then you know that you have been putting too much water on the plant. In this case the solution is simple in that you should not add as much water or water less frequently.
Another common reason that plants’ leaves turn yellow is because not enough light is reaching the plant. This occurs because the rate of photosynthesis is limited in low light, but as the light is increased, photosynthesis increases as well.
The temperature contributes to the color of the leaves as well, when it is either too hot or too cold. In terms of the cold temperatures, cold drafts on most tropical plants will contribute to the yellowing of the leaves. If it is not periodic temperature change like a draft, the leaves will most likely be brown if they are exposed to prolonged cold temperatures, especially when they are positioned near an air conditioner.
The yellowing of your plants can also be a good indication of their nutrition. Specifically, if there is an strange pattern to the yellowing, like if the veins on the leaves are green and the tissue is yellow then it is almost always a nutrient problem.
Common sources of nutrient issues are under-fertilizing or over-fertilizing, so it is important to use fertilizer at the labeled rate.
Frequently people tend to use too much fertilizer on their plants to make them grow faster, but what it actually does is create a toxic environment which “burns” the leaves out causing them to turn yellow.
In addition to the problems listed above, other conditions that lead to the yellowing of the leaves include infectious diseases (fungi or bacteria), poor soil, natural aging of the plant and plant destroying pests.
At Ambius, our technicians are trained to make sure that your plants stay fresh and healthy, without any extra work on your part. To find out more about the services that Ambius provides please contact (888) 994-4187 or contact us online.
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