Calathea Yellow Leaves: Causes, Solutions, and Expert Tips


Calathea Yellow Leaves

Calathea plants, known for their beautiful foliage and vibrant patterns, have become extremely popular among plant enthusiasts. The lush, green leaves of Calathea plants not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space but also indicate the plant’s overall health and vitality. A common problem that owners of Calathea plants often face is the appearance of yellow leaves. In this article, we discuss the causes of yellow leaves in Calathea plants, discuss practical solutions to prevent and treat this problem and provide expert tips for optimal care of Calathea.

Calathea Yellow Leaves
Calathea Yellow Leaves

Causes of Yellow Leaves on Calathea Plants

Insufficient light:

calathea yellow leaves 1
calathea yellow leaves 1

Calathea plants need bright, indirect light to thrive. Insufficient light can lead to pale, yellow leaves. Place your Calathea plant near a north- or east-facing window where it can receive filtered sunlight. If natural light is limited, supplement it with artificial grow lights to ensure your plant gets enough light.

Watering too much or too little:

Improper watering is a common cause of yellow leaves on Calathea plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot, resulting in yellow, wilted leaves, while underwatering can cause the leaves to become dry and yellow. For optimal soil moisture, water your Calathea plant when the top inch of the soil feels slightly dry to the touch. Ensure good drainage by using well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.

Insufficient humidity:

Calathea plants thrive in high-humidity environments. Low humidity can cause the leaves to dry out and turn yellow. Increase the humidity around your Calathea plant by misting the leaves regularly, placing a humidifier nearby, using a water-filled pebble tray, or grouping the plant with other plants to create a microclimate with higher moisture content.

Extreme Temperatures:

Calathea plants prefer temperatures between 15°C and 24°C. Extreme heat or cold exposure can stress the plant, leading to yellow leaves. Protect your Calathea plant from drafts, place it away from heating or cooling vents, and provide a stable temperature range to prevent leaf discoloration.

Nutritional deficiencies:

Certain nutrient deficiencies can lead to yellow leaves on Calathea plants. Common deficiencies are nitrogen, iron, and magnesium. Use a balanced fertilizer formulated for indoor plants and follow the recommended application frequency. Check your plant regularly for signs of nutrient deficiency and adjust your fertilization accordingly.

Solutions to Prevent and treat yellow leaves

calathea yellow leaves 2
calathea yellow leaves 2

Light Optimization:

Ensure your Calathea plant gets enough light by placing it near a window with filtered sunlight. If natural light is limited, supplement it with artificial grow lights, preferably full-spectrum LED lights, to provide light intensity and duration for healthy leaf growth.

Watering Best Practices:

Maintain a balanced watering routine by regularly checking the moisture content of the soil. Water your Calathea plant when the top inch of the soil feels slightly dry. Avoid overwatering by ensuring good drainage and allowing excess water to escape through drainage holes.

Increase Humidity:

Increase the humidity around your Calathea plant by regularly spraying the leaves with water. You can also use a room humidifier or create a pebble tray by placing a container of water and pebbles under the plant’s pot. Grouping your Calathea with other moisture-loving plants can also create a humid microclimate.

Temperature regulation:

Provide a constant temperature between 15°C and 24°C for your Calathea plant. Avoid exposure to extreme heat or cold and protect the plant from drafts. Consider moving the plant away from heating or cooling sources that can cause temperature fluctuations.

Nutrient management:

Feed your Calathea plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer to ensure the plant receives essential nutrients. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for frequency and dosage. Monitor your plant for signs of nutrient deficiency and adjust your fertilization routine accordingly.

Expert tips for calathea care

calathea yellow leaves 3
calathea yellow leaves 3

Choosing the suitable Calathea variety:

Different calathea varieties have additional care requirements. Research and select a strain that suits your environmental conditions, such as light, humidity, and temperature, to ensure successful plant growth.

Observe leaf changes and react to them:

Check the leaves of your calathea plant regularly for signs of discoloration, including yellowing. Address issues promptly by determining the underlying cause and taking appropriate action, such as B. the adjustment of lighting, irrigation methods, or humidity.

Propagation and repotting techniques:

Learn how to propagate calathea plants by division to expand your collection or rejuvenate an aging plant. You should also report your calathea plant when it has outgrown its current pot. Ensure the new pool has adequate drainage and use fresh, well-draining potting soil.

Seasonal Care Adjustments:

Adapt your calathea care routine to seasonal changes. Reduce the watering frequency in winter and avoid placing the plant near cold drafts. In the summer, you should provide extra moisture and monitor the plant for signs of heat stress.


Yellow leaves on calathea plants can indicate problems that need attention. Knowing the causes of yellow leaves and applying the appropriate solutions can help you maintain the health and vibrancy of your calathea plant’s foliage. Remember to choose the suitable cultivar, monitor leaf changes, use proper propagation and transplanting techniques, and make necessary adjustments according to seasonal variations. With these expert tips and a proactive approach to care, you can enjoy the beauty of your calathea plants for years to come.

FAQ: Yellow Calathea Leaves

Why are my calathea leaves turning yellow?

Yellow leaves on calathea plants can be caused by various factors such as B. by too little light, improper watering (over or under watering), low humidity, extreme temperatures, and nutrient deficiencies.

How can I prevent yellow leaves on my calathea plant?

To prevent yellow leaves on calathea plants, ensure they receive adequate indirect light, regularly monitor soil moisture, increase humidity around the plant, avoid extreme temperatures, and use balanced fertilization to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

How do I know if my calathea plant is getting enough light?

Calathea plants prefer bright, indirect light. If the leaves turn yellow and the plant is dimly lit, this can indicate insufficient light. Move the plant closer to a window with filtered sunlight or use additional artificial grow lights.

What is the best way to water calathea plants?

Calathea plants need a balanced watering routine. Regularly check the soil moisture level and water when the top inch feels slightly dry. Provide good drainage using well-drained soil and pots with drainage holes.

How can I increase the humidity around my calathea plant?

Increase humidity levels by misting the foliage regularly, using a humidifier in the room, placing a pebble filled with water under the plant pot, or placing the plant in a group with other moisture-loving plants.

How Do Temperature Extremes Affect Calathea Plants?

Calathea plants prefer temperatures between 15°C and 24°C (60°F and 75°F). Extreme heat or cold can stress the plant and result in yellow leaves. Protect the plant from drafts, and do not place it near heating or cooling vents.

What should I do if my calathea plant shows nutrient deficiencies?

Nutrient deficiencies can cause yellow leaves in calathea plants. Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Monitor the plant for weakness and adjust the fertilizer routine as needed.

Can I still save my calathea plant if the leaves have already turned yellow?

Sometimes, yellow leaves cannot be saved and may need to be cut back. However, by eliminating the causes, proper care, and following recommended solutions, you can prevent further yellowing and encourage healthy new growth.

Can I propagate my calathea plant if it has yellow leaves?

It is best to propagate from healthy parts of the plant and not from those with yellow leaves. For successful propagation, look for areas with vibrant, green foliage.

Are There Certain Calathea Varieties That Are Less Prone To Yellowing Leaves?

While all Calathea cultivars require proper care to avoid yellowing leaves, some cultivars, such as Calathea Orbifolia and Calathea Lancifolia, are known for their hardiness and may be more forgiving of sub-optimal conditions. Still, caring for any calathea variety is essential to maintain its health correctly.

Remember that calathea plants can be delicate; it will take some experimentation to find the optimal care routine. By addressing the common causes of yellow leaves and performing the necessary care, you can enjoy the glowing foliage of your calathea plants. Read article about The Top 10 Tall Grasses Privacy For Your Home and How To Clean Monstera Leaves – A Step-By-Step Cleaning Masterclass in pandan creamery.

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