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Alocasia Leaves Turning Yellow- Causes & Easy Fixes

The Alocasia is a popular indoor plant. It has large and cordate leaves that grow to almost 8 to 35 inches.

These magnificent plants have their leaves turned into yellow ones no matter how well you take care of your plant.

Therefore, you should be informed about the appropriate solutions for the causes of your alocasia leaves turning yellow.

Generally, the most common cause for Alocasia leaves turning yellow is overwatering. However, there are other possibilities, such as nutrient deficiency, pest infestation, and insufficient light. 

The many causes of your Alocasia leaves becoming yellow are discussed in this article.

Find out what’s causing the yellowing, and if you catch it early enough, you might be able to salvage your plant and bring it back to life.

Is it Normal for Alocasia Leaves to Turn Yellow?

Alocasias have originated from the tropical forests of Asia and Eastern Australia.

They, thus, have stiff and magnificent leaves. But, unfortunately, such leaves are found to be prone to turning yellow from stress.

Is there new growth on your Alocasia?

The yellowing is natural if your Alocasia has new growth and the yellowing leaves are older, especially towards the bottom of the plant.

Your plant sheds its old leaves to make room for new growth.

However, if the yellowing continues, your Alocasia may be in trouble, and it’s time to be concerned.

If you are taking proper care of your Alocasia plant, but the leaves still turn yellow, it is a sign of normal aging.

There is nothing one can do to prevent it.

An Alocasia plant exposed to sunlight
Alocasia plant (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

12 Causes for Alocasia Leaves Turning Yellow (With Easy Fixes)

An Alocasia prefers hot and bright conditions.

Depending on various species of an Alocasia plant, there are different causes to why its leaves turn yellow.

Please read this section below to find out each of the possible causes and their corresponding solutions to why the leaves of your Alocasia plant are turning yellow.

1. Overwatering the Plant

Overwatering is the most common cause of your Alocasia plant’s leaves turning yellow.

An Alocasia plant prefers to be kept damp rather than wet. When overwatered, the roots become too wet and rot.

It leads to the eventual death of the plant. If you find that the leaves of your Alocasia plant are turning yellow, you should first check your plant’s soil.

The soil should be moist but not overwatered. Excessive water flow from the pot’s drainage hole would mean that you have overwatered your plant.

You can check the roots of your Alocasia plant. The roots should be stiff, firm, and earthy-smelling.

If the roots are rotted and foul-smelling, it indicates that the cause of yellow leaves is overwatering.

Save an Overwatered Alocasia

  • Remove the plant and inspect the roots.
  • You should trim the yellow leaves immediately and repot your Alocasia plant in even drier soil.
  • Use a fungicide if you observe fungus or root rot. This treatment should be applied with a spray bottle.
  • As a general rule, wait at least a week before watering again.
  • Then, examine the soil every two days to see whether your Alocasia is mending.
  • Letting your plant stay in the “wet feet” and waiting for it to absorb the excess water slowly over time would deteriorate its conditions.
Overwatering plants (Source Pexels)
Overwatering plants (Source: Pexels)

Tips to Water Alocasia Properly

  • Before watering an alocasia plant, allow the top 2″-3″ of soil to dry out.
  • Water evenly so that all portions of the soil are soaked while watering.
  • Fill the pot halfway with water and drain any water accumulated in the saucer through the drainage hole at the bottom.
  • Timely review the soil by placing your finger in the soil or by gently uprooting the plant to find out whether you are watering it just enough or not.

It becomes prudent that you provide your Alocasia plant with water based on the species of plant you are growing.

2. Low humidity Levels

Alocasia plants grow well in humid conditions. It is fair to say that most of the species of this plant prefer humid conditions.

Although they can adapt to lower humidity levels, they grow best at 60%.

The plant’s leaves become yellow with brown margins when exposed to low humidity inside. The leaves of the entire plant get yellow as a result.

Alocasia Polly may suffer from an arid environment.

So, if you live in that area, you should offer enough moisture to keep them alive.

Tips to Maintain Optimum Humidity

  • Under average humidity conditions, you can group your Alocasia with other tropical plants and place some water-filled trays nearby.
  • If you do not reside or grow your plant in a tropical area, it would be best to use a humidifier.
  • You can also mist your plant to increase humidity.
  • You can also put your plant in your bath or shower and give them a rinse.
Humidifier is placed near a Plant
Humidifier near a Plant (Source: Amazon)

Drenching the foliage and soil leads to increased evaporation and local humidity.

It is, however, not an ideal way to increase humidity levels.

3. Use of Tap Water or Unfiltered Water

The Alocasia Polly plant gets affected by tap water. As a result, avoid using tap water to water your plants.

Unfiltered water contains many harmful heavy metals, which can never help any plant to grow.

Calcium and magnesium in tap water can build up on the soil surface, resulting in a white powdery layer.

The root structures may become dehydrated as a result of these excessive salts.

According to Ohio State University Extension, excess salts create plant issues such as stunted development, tiny new growth, dead roots, and leaf withering.

The plant reacts poorly when in contact with heavily mineralized or contaminated water and thus has its leaves turned yellow with brown tips or edges.

Solutions

  • Chemically neutralize tap water with a few drops of de-chlorinator and use it to water your Alocasias.
  • Consider switching to purified water or rainwater if the waterings you provide are causing the plant’s leaves to become discolored.

4. Wrong Potting Mix

Soil that is completely dry and damp is unfavorable for your Alocasia plant.

The plant prefers moist soil rather than a wholly drenched one.

Your plants will suffer considerably if the potting soil lacks nutrients and other attributes, such as the capacity to store moisture and drain excess water.

Alocasia prefers crumbly, loamy soil with a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5 (slightly acidic).

Depending on the characteristics of your species of Alocasia, you have to consider planting it in a different type of soil.

For instance, Jewel Alocasias prefer soil that resembles an orchid mix.

They grow well in soil with substantial bark and perlite for a fast-draining medium.

An utterly wet soil would lead to the rotting of roots and eventually lead to the death of the plant.

Soil Mix
Soil Mix (Source: Pexels)

Tips to Prepare an Ideal Potting Mix

You could mix peat in your soil to increase its capacity to hold water.

However, peat would be a bad addition for a species that requires drier soil between waterings as it would hold a lot of moisture.

A good and classic soil-based potting mix would contain the following:

  • 1/2 cubic yard peat moss or coconut coir or mature compost
  • 1/2 cubic yard of clean builder’s sand or perlite
  • 10 lbs. bone meal
  • 5 lbs. ground limestone
  • 5 lbs. blood meal

This potting mix was developed at Cornell University for commercial growers. However, it is adaptable for home uses.

You can also find a good potting mix on Amazon:

5. Inadequate Sunlight

Insufficient lighting is also a common cause for Alocasia leaves turning yellow.

Alocasias are considered low-light species as they are usually found in tropical shades due to favorable humid conditions there.

However, during seasonal changes, when the rays of light are less intense, your Alocasias plant could have a lackluster growth or turn its leaves pale and yellow.

The primary reason is inadequate sunlight; however, exposure to excessive sunlight can also cause the leaves to turn yellow.

On the other hand, overexposure to sunlight can also cause yellowing or browning of the foliage and burnt or bleached leaves.

It would be best if you shifted your Alocasias to a brighter location during autumn or used supplemental lighting.

It is because autumn light is not as bright as the rays entering through the window during the summer season.

Sunlight rays hitting on beautiful Alocasia
Sunlight rays hitting on beautiful Alocasia ( Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Tips to Provide Adequate Sunlight

  • It would be best if you planted your Alocasias near a south-facing window where there would be no light blocked.
  • If the leaves turn yellow but are also scorched, then you should consider shifting your plant to a better location where it receives adequate but indirect sunlight.
  • As Alocasia plants require indirect sunlight, they prefer to withstand exposure for an entire day.
  • To protect your plant from excess sunlight, use a lot of mulch as it reflects sunlight and assures moderate conditions.

6. Temperature Extremities

As mentioned earlier, your Alocasias plant prefers warm and humid conditions.

Alocasia grows well when planted in a place that has a temperature of anything above 18 degrees Celsius (65 degrees Fahrenheit).

It can sustain well even up to 29 degrees Celsius of temperature.

The plant isn’t frost resilient and suffers when temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).

It could be a reason why the leaves of your Alocasias have turned yellow.

Planting your Alocasias indoors with low or high temperatures would not allow the plant to absorb the heat required to thrive.

Tips to Maintain Optimum Temperature

  • Use equipment such as heating pads to keep your plant’s roots warmer.
  • You can also bubble wrap your plant. However, the temperature may still vary according to the room’s temperature.
  • Misting the leaves to ensure a more humid condition.
  • Avoid placing your plant in front of the Heater or Air conditioner.

7. Lack of Sufficient Fertilizer

Lack of sufficient fertilizer is not a common cause of the leaves of an Alocasias plant turning yellow.

But it is still a possibility as lack of adequate fertilizer corresponds to insufficient nutrition.

Nutritional deficiencies often cause the leaves to turn yellow and pale.

The plant can still gain nutritional value from the natural sunlight during warm seasons.

However, when it is in contact with less light, it runs low on nutrition.

It accelerates the falling of older leaves or turns them yellow.

Nutrients DeficiencySymptomsTreatments
Manganese & SulphurYellowing between veinsUse manganese sulphate as a foliage spray.
Use Epsom salt before watering.
CalciumDeformation of young leaf bladesAdd organic matter to the soil.
NitrogenUniform yellowing between veins of older and mature leaf bladesUse of water-soluble nitrogen rich fertilizer during watering.

On the other hand, overfertilization might cause the leaves of your plant to burn or become yellow.

As a result, it’s advisable to stop fertilizing the plant right away.

Excess fertilizer could be washed away by rinsing the pot with clean water until the water flows out of the drainage hole.

Tips to Properly Fertilizing Alocasia

  • During the growing season, fertilize with a balanced all-purpose 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer once a month or when you observe new growth.
  • Stop providing fertilizer if the leaves of your Alocasia plant appear to be burnt.
  • Alternatively, you can use organic fertilizing supplies such as blood meal, vermicompost, manure, or feather meal once a month.
  • Because the plant is dormant during the winter and autumn, you’ll want to cut back on fertilizing completely.
Jacks Classic All Purpose Fertilizer 20-20-20
Jacks Classic All Purpose Fertilizer 20-20-20 (Source: Amazon)

You can buy this ideal fertilizer for Alocasia on Amazon.

8. Infestation of Pests and Diseases

Alocasia plants are easily subject to houseplant pests such as spider mites and aphids.

They get infected by pests because of their big, soft, and juicy leaves.

The leaves of Alocasias may become yellow if they are infested with bugs.

The bugs feed on the nutrients found in the leaves.

You can determine whether your plant has been infested by pests or not by checking the leaves.

If your plant’s leaves have tiny white spots, this is a sign of pest infestation.

PestsProblemsTreatment
Spider MitesPowdery white webs cover the leaves of Alocasia.1. Spray your plant with water from your garden hose. 2. Use insecticidal soap to kill the mites.
MealybugsWhite clumps of bugs are easily visible.
Their secretions leave a waxy film on the leaves.
1. Wipe the leaves with isopropyl alcohol.
2. Use neem oil or insecticidal soap.
ScaleBrown and rounded lumps on the leaves and stems of your Alocasia plant. 1. Rinse your plant. 2. Trim out the damaged foliage and use diluted neem oil weekly.

9. Fungal Diseases

Fungal and Bacterial diseases may also cause the Alocasia leaves to turn yellow.

A pathogen, such as rust, or a fungal or bacterial leaf spot disease, might cause rust or brown spots on alocasia leaves.

Rust is a fungal disease that causes yellow, orange, or red patches on the plant’s leaves and stems.

According to the research, these are the fungi’s spores and fruiting bodies.

The entire leaf may become yellow or brown and fall off the plant at this point.

Plants are affected by rust when the leaf tissue is damp.

Also, a common disease in Alocasias is fungal leaf blight.

It produces tiny round lesions on the leaves of your Alocasia plants. When dry, the leaves would turn yellow or purple.

Fuzzy growth, leaf collapses, and tiny round lesions throughout the plant are symptoms of the fungus in full bloom.

Treatments for Fungal Diseases

  • Isolate the infected plant so that it does not infect other plants.
  • The leaves can be treated with a Bordeaux mixture to help kill the germs.
  • Rubbing alcohol should be applied to the affected region.
  • Prune the affected portions if the disease is only starting to spread.
  • To stop the disease from spreading, apply copper or sulfur fungicides.

Preventive Measures

  • Reduce the amount of high humidity around the plant.
  • Increase the air movement in the area where the plant is kept.
  • When pruning and propagating, use sterilized tools and gloves.
  • Avoid overhead watering as much as possible.
  • Clean up the plant’s surroundings and remove any fallen leaves.

10. Normal Aging

Whenever you try to find out the reason behind the leaves of your Alocasia turning yellow, always consider normal aging as a factor behind it.

When the leaves of the plant grow old, they turn yellow. And then they eventually die.

Sometimes, you may wonder why the leaves of your Alocasia plant are turning yellow even when you are supplying an adequate amount of light and water.

When the plant leaves have grown old and are drained of all the resources.

It happens so that a new leaf starts to grow. But, unfortunately, there are no solutions for normal aging.

11. Acclimatization and Dormancy

An Alocasia plant usually needs time to acclimate to new surroundings.

A sudden and dramatic change in lighting conditions can trigger Dormancy, too.

As a result, leaves can turn yellow and die as the plant adjusts itself.

The shifting of the plant’s location could respond to yellow leaves. But it only makes the problem worse in some conditions.

The new site should always be a beneficial and suitable change.

If your Alocasia plant becomes dormant, keep it a bit drier.

You could then water it adequately later. It is of less harm to overwater a sleeping Alocasia.

A dormant Alocasia will continue its new growth again in a few months.

12. Transplant Shock

Dropped or yellowing leaves, inability to flourish, or plant withering are all symptoms of transplant shock.

When a plant develops wilting leaves after repotting, as well as a slew of other symptoms, it’s typically due to the manner it was handled during the transfer.

Repotting the plant at the incorrect time is one of the worst culprits.

A plant suffering from repotting stress may be cured, but it will need care and time to recover.

Transplant shock is almost unavoidable in plants. However, you could avoid them to an extent in the following ways:

  • First, water your Alocasia plant thoroughly after transplanting.
  • Keeping the rootballs moist when transplanting.
  • Disturbing the roots as little as possible.

If your Alocasia plant has undergone transplant shock and is turning its leaves into yellow, you could apply the following solutions:

  • You should keep the soil moist and watered and ensure that the plant has good drainage.
  • During waterings, consider using weak sugar and water solution.

Read our article on Alocasia Black Velvet Care and Growing Guide.

Should I Remove the Yellow leaves?

You can remove the yellow leaves of your Alocasia plant, but you should ensure that it has turned completely yellow and died.

Removing partially yellow leaves could do more harm to your Alocasia plant.

It is because even a partly yellow Alocasia plant can provide energy to the plant.

A few completely yellow leaves that have or are going to die can be removed as they won’t turn green again. 

Alocasia plants store their energy in their bulbs. It allows them to sprout new leaves once they return to favorable conditions.

So, trimming out the unhealthy leaves won’t halt the growth of your Alocasia plant.

However, if your Alocasia plant is affected by a disease, and thus the leaves of your plant turn yellow, then it is advisable to remove the affected leaves as soon as possible.

You can gently slice the yellow leaves from your Alocasia plant.

It would be best to cut through the fleshy stem of the yellow leaf that you are trying to remove.

Can Yellow Leaves on Alocasia Turn Green Again?

Alocasia leaves do not turn green again once it turns yellow.

So, you should identify the cause of why your Alocasia leaves are turning yellow.

And start applying solutions immediately to prevent any other leaves from turning yellow.

Although the yellow leaves do not turn green again, the yellow leaves will die out, and good maintenance will produce new, green, and healthy leaves.

In cases of excess lighting, there is an exception. The leaf yellowing can improve if the plant is shifted to an area with suitable lighting.

Alocasia Regal Shield with distinct elephant ear leaves. (Source: Unsplash)
Alocasia Regal Shield with distinct elephant ear leaves. (Source: Unsplash)

The Bottom Line

It is common to see an Alocasia plant have its leaves turned yellow.

Now, you can identify the causes of why your Alocasia plant’s leaves have turned yellow and apply necessary solutions to counter these problems.

Consider these solutions and take care of your Alocasia to grow it healthier!

Related Article: A Complete Guide to Alocasia Propagation

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