Why are Kalanchoe Leaves Turning Yellow? Causes and Expert Solutions

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Why Are Kalanchoe Leaves Turning Yellow

Experienced a wave of confusion when your vibrant Kalanchoe leaves started turning yellow? You’re not alone. These resilient succulents, often adorning windowsills with their cheerful blossoms, can occasionally show signs of distress.

Such symptoms are quite unsettling for any passionate gardener. Behind those yellowing leaves, there’s an intriguing interplay of factors, from water management to exposure to light. But don’t worry, uncovering the mystery won’t hurt your green thumb.

Why Are Kalanchoe Leaves Turning Yellow?

1. Overwatering

Description leads to root rot and reduced nutrient uptake, resulting in yellowing leaves.
Solution Reduce watering frequency to prevent root rot and improve drainage, allowing soil to dry out between waterings.

Overwatering is a common cause of yellowing leaves in kalanchoe plants. When kalanchoes receive too much water, the roots can become waterlogged and oxygen-starved, leading to root rot. This condition affects the plant’s ability to take up nutrients from the soil, leading to a general decline in health and particularly causing leaf yellowing.

Addressing Overwatering: If your kalanchoe plant shows signs of overwatering, the immediate step is to reduce watering. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. You may also want to reconsider your watering schedule to prevent the same issue from occurring again. Generally, kalanchoe plants only need watering when the top inch of soil is dry.

Improving Drainage: Furthermore, improving the plant’s drainage can help prevent waterlogging. This can be done by repotting the plant into a more porous soil mix or adding coarse material, like perlite or sand, to the existing soil. Using a pot with drainage holes is essential to allow excess water to escape.

Root Rot Treatment: If you suspect root rot, examine the roots and remove any that appear black or mushy. Afterward, repot the plant using fresh, well-draining soil. For severe cases, consider using a commercially available fungicide recommended for root rot. In all cases, make sure the plant has good air circulation, indirect sunlight, and moderate temperatures to help it recover.

2. Underwatering

Description Causes insufficient water absorption, leading to chlorophyll breakdown and yellowing of the leaves.
Solution Increase watering frequency to keep soil consistently moist, and ensure proper drainage to prevent overwatering.

Yellow leaves on a kalanchoe plant is often a symptom of underwatering. When a plant does not receive enough water, it can become stressed and begin to divert nutrients and water to the main stem and roots for survival. Underwatering can cause the leaves of kalanchoe to wilt, turn yellow and eventually drop off as it intensifies.

To rectify this issue, the plant needs to be watered more frequently. Try watering your kalanchoe thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. It is best to allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again, as kalanchoe plants are susceptible to root rot if overwatered. In addition, make sure the plant is in a pot with good drainage to prevent water from accumulating and causing root rot.

3. Lack of sunlight

Description The lack of sunlight causes the kalanchoe leaves to turn yellow due to reduced chlorophyll production.
Solution Increase exposure to sunlight to prevent kalanchoe leaves from turning yellow.

Yellowing kalanchoe leaves could suggest a deficiency in the plant’s access to sunlight. Sunlight is crucial for any plant’s health as it powers the photosynthesis process, where plants convert sunlight into usable energy. Without sunlight, the plant cannot produce enough energy to sustain itself, leading to yellowing leaves – a common sign of an unwell or stressed plant.

Ensuring your kalanchoe plant gets adequate sunlight is crucial in preventing its leaves from turning yellow. Its preferred exposure is indirect, bright light. Direct sunlight could potentially cause a sunburn effect on its leaves. On the other hand, too little sunlight can also be detrimental, causing it to fade and its leaves to yellow. Balance is key.

If the plant is currently indoors, consider moving it closer to a window to provide it with more light while avoiding intense afternoon sun. For outdoor plants, a shady to partial sun area is ideal. Frequent rotation of the plant is another solution to ensure all parts receive equal exposure to light. Also, during the winter months when sunlight is scarce, you could supplement the plant’s light source with grow lights.

Check the plant regularly to monitor its response to the added light and to ensure it isn’t receiving too much light. By adjusting the plant’s light exposure, you should be able to improve the health of your kalanchoe plant and reverse the yellowing of the leaves over time.

4. Nutrient deficiencies

Description The lack of sunlight causes the kalanchoe leaves to turn yellow due to reduced chlorophyll production.
Solution Increase exposure to sunlight to prevent kalanchoe leaves from turning yellow.

Nutrient deficiencies in kalanchoe plants often manifest in yellowing leaves. This happens when the plant lacks essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, or potassium. It directly impacts the plant’s overall health and growth. Without these nutrients, the plant’s ability to conduct photosynthesis is hindered, leading to yellow leaves. In severe cases, nutrient deficiencies can lead to growth stunting and leaf drop.

To solve this issue, identify the specific nutrient deficiency and apply the appropriate fertilizer. For nitrogen deficiency, a nitrogen-based fertilizer can be used, while phosphorus or potassium deficiencies need a complete fertilizer with all three nutrients. A regular watering schedule should also be maintained. Overwatering can lead to nutrient washout from the soil. Therefore, let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Regular soil testing can also help prevent nutrient deficiencies. It enables you to maintain the optimal soil nutrient levels and keeps your kalanchoe plant healthy and vibrant.

Why Are Kalanchoe Leaves Turning Yellow

5. Pest infestation

Description Increase exposure to sunlight to prevent kalanchoe leaves from turning yellow.
Solution Apply insecticide to eliminate pests causing yellowing of kalanchoe leaves.

Yellowing leaves on your Kalanchoe could be a result of pest infestation. Insects such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites feed on the plant, damaging the foliage and causing the leaves to turn yellow. This happens due to the loss of chlorophyll, which is crucial for plants to perform photosynthesis and stay green.

There are several ways to address this issue. First, inspect your plant regularly for early signs of infestation, such as tiny bugs or abnormal leaf damage. Small infestations can often be wiped away manually with a soft, damp cloth.

For larger or recurring infestations, you may need to resort to insecticidal soaps or sprays. Ensure these are safe for your plant and applied correctly. In extreme cases, you might need to repot your plant, discarding the old soil, and using fresh, pest-free soil. Lastly, keeping your Kalanchoe healthy through proper watering, lighting, and feeding will make it more resistant to pests.

6. Disease or fungal infection

Description The yellowing of kalanchoe leaves may be caused by disease or fungal infection.
Solution Ensure proper watering and drainage, provide adequate sunlight, and monitor for pests or over-fertilization.

Kalanchoe leaves turning yellow could be an indication of a disease or fungal infection. Diseases and infections often compromise the plant’s ability to function properly, leading to discoloration and deterioration. These infections may block the plant’s capacity to absorb nutrients and conduct photosynthesis, leading to the yellowing of leaves.

Addressing this issue involves multiple steps. Initially, isolate the infected plant to prevent the spread of infection. Treatment with a proper fungicide is recommended. Make sure that the kalanchoe is in a well-ventilated area with an appropriate amount of indirect sunlight. Avoid overwatering as this can make the plant more susceptible to fungal infections. Regularly inspect plant leaves for signs of infection and promptly remove any that appear unhealthy. With the right care and environment, your kalanchoe should return to its healthy green color.

7. Aging or natural leaf shedding

Description The specific reason for a leaf turning yellow is aging or natural leaf shedding.
Solution Increase nutrient intake to support new leaf growth and promote overall plant health.

One common reason why Kalanchoe leaves turn yellow is due to overwatering or poor drainage. Too much water prevents the roots from getting the necessary air causing the roots to rot and consequently, the leaves to yellow. Overwatering not only endangers the current state of the plant, but it also leads to long-term degradation of the plant’s overall health.

To solve this issue, it is crucial to regulate watering practices. Ensure to water your Kalanchoe only when the topsoil feels dry to the touch. Furthermore, make sure the plant is potted in well-draining soil and pots with adequate drainage holes. Taking these steps will help to prevent water from stagnating around the roots and causing damage to the plant.