Why Plants get Yellow Leaves

Hi – When neighbor moved out she gave me this plant. I re-potted immediately since the roots were busting out all around. Now its growth seems slow, and leaves often yellow. First I do not even know what type of plant it is, I checked your site and it could be elephant ear type plant but lacked certain traits. Anyhow can your help, thanks.

Hi John,

Learn why plants get yellow leaves and how to treat the problem

Your plant is a hybrid of the Philodendron Selloum called the Philodendron “Hope.” This is an easy-care plant that also cleans the air of harmful toxins. ‘Hope’ is a ‘self-heading” variety of philodendron, it grows upward and does not vine. A Philodendron Hope grows well in bright indirect light. In lower light, the leaves turn a darker green; direct sun or too much light burns or fades the leaves. Unlike other Philodendrons, this Philodendron likes moist but not soggy soil. During the winter, water less often, keeping the soil barely moist.

The usual reason why plants get yellow leaves is that you are over-watering. Since you moved the plant to the larger pot, it takes longer for the soil to dry out. You should be watering less often than before. These plants grow faster when they are root bound in small pots. So when you moved the plant to a larger pot, it stopped producing leaves and started producing more roots.

Cut back on your water and keep the plant in bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. and things should improve quickly.

These plants are considered poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to poisonous houseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them..