Yellow leaves on an Anthurium plant aren’t just a sore to look at, it’s a sign that something could be seriously wrong with the plant’s health. But there is no single answer that can tell you why the plant’s leaves are yellow, as it’s a sign of several different issues that could be going on with your plant.

That’s not to say that yellowing leaves mean your plant is going to die. It just means that your plant needs some TLC to get it back to a healthy state. Let’s dive into the most common reasons your plant’s leaves are yellow, and how you can fix the problem to ensure your plant can get healthy again and thrive in your home.

Causes of Yellow Leaves On Anthuriums & How to Fix

1) Overwatering

Overwatering is the most common cause of yellowing leaves. Overwatering can cause the leaves to fall off completely if the problem isn’t fixed quickly. It can also lead to root rot, which can kill the plant. To avoid overwatering, water only when the soil is dry to the touch. If you are unsure whether the soil is dry, stick your finger in the soil up to the first knuckle. If the soil is moist, wait another day or two before watering. To take all the guesswork out of when to water your Anthurium, use a moisture meter before watering.

Root Rot

Root rot can happen quickly, so it’s important to treat the problem as soon as you notice the signs. When a plant is overwatered often, the roots have a hard time getting the oxygen they need, and they essentially drown, turning the roots soft, brown, and mushy. The first signs of root rot include:

  • Yellow, droopy leaves that feel soft to the touch
  • Pests, possibly fungus gnats flying around your plant
  • An overall sickly appearance to your plant

Attempting to save your plant from root rot can be difficult, but it’s absolutely possible, and definitely worth trying. If root rot is the cause behind your Anthuriums yellow leaves, you’ll need to gather the supplies you would normally need when repotting a plant, because that’s essentially what you’ll be doing. Get some new potting soil, some gardening tools, and clean, disinfected, and sharp pruning shears

To start, remove the plant from its container, and gently message the soil to remove it from the roots without damaging the roots. Carefully inspect each string of roots for brown and mushy spots. Those spots are rotted, and need to be pruned off. If more than half of the plant’s roots are rotted, the plant may not recover, but you can still try!

Rinse the roots thoroughly to remove the last of the old soil, and then repot your plant with the fresh soil, gently putting soil between the roots, being careful not to squish the roots all in one spot of the pot. Be very careful when watering your Anthurium after this, as a plant recovering from root rot is prone to rotting more quickly in the future.

2) Lack of Humidity 

Another common reason for Anthurium’s leaves to turn yellow is a lack of humidity. Anthuriums are native to tropical regions and require high levels of humidity to thrive. If you live in a dry climate or your home is particularly dry, your anthurium may start to show signs of stress, including yellowing leaves. Monitor the humidity levels around your plant with a humidity meter, and adjust your humidity to keep your Anthurium happy.

To increase the humidity around your anthurium, try grouping it with other plants, using a pebble tray or humidifier, or placing it in a bathroom. By increasing the humidity, you can help your anthurium stay healthy and prevent its leaves from turning yellow. 

3) Poor Soil Conditions

Poor soil conditions will also cause your Anthurium’s leaves to turn yellow, mainly because it is not receiving the nutrients and moisture that it needs. Now, soil conditions doesn’t just mean the nutrients in the soil, it also means the density and consistency of the soil, along with what the soil mixture is made up of.

Anthuriums need well-drained, nutrient-rich soil to thrive, and if the soil is too sandy or too clay-like, it can cause problems. If your anthurium’s leaves are turning yellow, check the soil to see if it needs to be amended. Amending your Anthurium’s soil is fairly easy once you figure out what it is missing, but you can always opt for a pre-mixed potting soil that is specifically made for houseplants.

4) Nutrient Deficiencies

One of the more common reasons for an Anthurium’s leaves to turn yellow is a nutrient deficiency. While there are many different nutrients that an Anthurium needs, the most common deficiencies are due to a lack of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. These deficiencies can be caused by several factors, including improper fertilizer application, incorrect soil pH, and insufficient light.

If you suspect that your anthurium’s yellowing leaves are due to a nutrient deficiency, you’ll first want to test the soil. This can be done with a simple soil test kit from your local nursery or garden center. Once you know which nutrients are lacking, you can take steps to correct the problem.

For example, if the soil is too acidic or alkaline, you’ll need to adjust the pH level. If the deficiency is due to insufficient light, you’ll need to provide your anthurium with more light. And finally, if the deficiency is due to improper fertilizer application, you’ll need to make sure that you’re fertilizing regularly and using the correct amount of fertilizer for your particular plant. 

Fertilizing Anthuriums

Like all house plants, Anthuriums will benefit from regular fertilizing. This will help keep the plant healthy and allow it to thrive in your home. A great fertilizer balance for your Anthurium is one that is high in phosphorus. Aim for a 10-30-30 fertilizer, which will give your Anthurium the best ratio of nutrients.

5) Excessive Sun Exposure

The leaves of an anthurium can be damaged by too much direct sunlight, causing them to turn yellow and eventually brown. If you notice that your anthurium’s leaves are turning yellow, take a look at where your plant is placed, and see how much sun your plant is getting. If it’s in a particularly sunny spot in your home, try moving it to a shadier spot. Filtered light is best for Anthuriums, as they’re not a plant that likes full sun exposure.

6) Cold Damage or Extreme Heat

Extreme temperatures are not friends of the Anthurium plant. As it is a tropical plant, the Anthurium has to live in steady, consistent temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees fahrenheit. It will thrive even more in temperatures right in the middle, around 65-75 degrees. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the leaves will start to turn yellow and eventually fall off. If the temperature gets too hot, above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the leaves will also turn yellow and eventually fall off.

To fix yellowing leaves because of extreme temperatures, fix the plant’s environment first, and then supplement with quarter-strength fertilizer every couple of weeks to give your plant an extra boost to come back from the stress of the cold or heat damage.

7) Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are common in houseplants and can be caused by a number of factors, including overwatering, inadequate drainage, or low humidity. Fungal infections typically appear as yellow or brown spots on the leaves, which can eventually spread to the stems and flowers. If left untreated, the plant will eventually die.

To treat a fungal infection, first remove any affected leaves and dispose of them. Then, water the plant with a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to water only the roots and not the leaves, as wet leaves can encourage further fungal growth.

If you have difficulty treating the infection, or if it continues to spread despite your best efforts, you may need to dispose of the plant entirely to prevent the fungus from spreading to other plants in your home.

8) Spent Leaves

There are times when a plant’s leaves just get old and fall off. Unfortunately, this is a normal part of the plant’s life cycle, and there isn’t much that needs to be done. Even though this is a normal part of the plant’s life, many people don’t like the look of spent leaves on their plant and choose to prune them off.

If you’ve ruled out all other possible causes of yellowing leaves, it’s possible that it is just time for that leaf to die off and create room for the next leaves to grow. These leaves will first turn yellow, and then eventually turn brown, dry up, and fall off.

Overwatering is the most common cause of yellowing leaves on anthuriums. Read more about how to fix yellow anthurium leaves.

Removing Yellow Leaves On Anthuriums

Removing the yellow leaves is crucial for the plant’s well-being, unless it’s only because of old age. When a leaf falls off due to age, it can actually be used as natural fertilizer for your plant, but many people choose to remove them anyway to improve the overall appearance of their plant.

If the plant’s leaves are turning yellow for any other reason, you will want to remove them to ensure the cause of the yellowing leaves doesn’t spread to the rest of the plant. This can easily be done by using sharp, clean pruning shears to cut the leaf as close to the stem as possible without damaging the main stem of the plant.

Anthurium Leaves Turning Yellow FAQ

  1. Why are my anthurium’s leaves turning yellow?

There are a few reasons why this could be happening. Overwatering is a common cause of yellowing leaves in anthuriums. If the soil is constantly wet, the roots can’t get the oxygen they need and the leaves will start to turn yellow. Another possibility is that your anthurium isn’t getting enough nutrients. A lack of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium can all cause the leaves to turn yellow. Finally, exposure to too much sunlight can also cause anthurium leaves to turn yellow. If the plant is in direct sun for too long, the leaves will start to fade and eventually turn yellow.

  1. What can I do to prevent my anthurium’s leaves from turning yellow?

To prevent overwatering, make sure the soil has time to dry out between waterings. Stick your finger in the soil to see if it’s dry before watering again. If you think your anthurium might be lacking nutrients, try fertilizing it with a balanced fertilizer formulated for foliage plants. And if you think too much sun might be the problem, try moving it to a spot with filtered or indirect light

Anthurium Yellow Leaves Final Thoughts

Regardless of the reason behind your plant’s leaves turning yellow, as long as your plant still has several healthy leaves, it should make a full recovery as long as the underlying cause is fixed.

Remember, yellowing leaves on your Anthurium plant does not necessarily mean that your plant is dying. The first thing to check if your plant’s leaves are turning yellow is the soil, as this will likely tell you why the leaves are turning yellow. Simply follow the tips above and you should be able to identify why your Anthurium’s leaves are turning yellow, and then you can fix it!

More Houseplant Resources

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