Brown Spots and yellowing leaves on HousePlant

I have had the plant pictured since 2007. Occasionally the leaves will begin to turn yellow if I overwater. However, it is usually very sturdy. Suddenly, it began developing the brown spots seen with yellowing and the leaves are dying quickly. I removed the diseased leaves two days ago, but new ones are appearing. The plant has grown very little in the 7 years I’ve had it. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Susz,


This condition pictured in above is called chlorotic foliage and there could be several reasons for it occurring. My two best suggestions would be too much salt build- up in the soil over the years or the  houseplant pest called spider mitesLearn how to identify and treat the plant pest called Spider Mites.. When is the last time you got rid of the old soil and gave your plant some new fresh soil? Over time salt, chlorine, and fluoride from fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. and chemicals in the water build up in the soil and eventually start causing leaf damage. I would start be re-potting your plant in a fresh peat based potting soil. Next check for spider mitesLearn how to identify and treat the plant pest called Spider Mites.. Look at leaves and see if you can see any fine webbing or rust colored residue. Feel the leaves and see if there is a gritty feel to them. You can read more about spider mitesLearn how to identify and treat the plant pest called Spider Mites. and how to treat them in the Glossary of the website.