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Why are the Leaves on my Stromanthe Turning Yellow?

Stromanthe is a beautiful and dreamy tropical plant recognized for its impressive colored unique foliage.

Its red, white, and green colored variation in leaves is an eye-catching factor for anyone. If you want to impress someone with a plant, then this is the one you should choose.

But as you may know, beauty comes with a price, and this plant is no different.

If not cared for properly, it won’t take long for your plant to start suffering and show various symptoms, mainly yellowing its leaves.

Generally, Stromanthe leaves turn yellow due to improper moisture in the soil and the atmosphere. Overwatering can easily cause the leaves to turn yellow. Along with that, pest incidence, poor water quality, improper temperature, and lighting can also cause your Stromanthe leaves to turn yellow.

Stromanthe leaves Wikimedia
Stromanthe leaves (Source: Wikimedia)

Fortunately, only a few causes of yellowing leaves may be easily identified and corrected.

If you can identify the problems at the early stage, you will prevent the plant from suffering further and start rejuvenating it back to life.

By the end of this article, you will be able to recognize the exact issues for your yellowing leaves and apply the right solution to solve them.

Is it Normal for Stromanthe Leaves to Turn Yellow?

Stromanthe leaves turning yellow doesn’t necessarily mean that your plant is suffering or lacking something.

Yellowing leaves on Stromanthe are normal when the plant is at its active growth phase.

If your plant is pushing out new growth, it is quite natural for the older leaves to turn yellow. These yellow leaves should occur in the base of the plant rather than in the middle of the tip plant.

It is a natural way of shedding the old leaves to make room for new ones. Shedding of old yellowing leaves helps conserve the plant energy for the growth of new ones.

Why are the Leaves on my Stromanthe Turning Yellow?

It can be upsetting to see your beautiful Stromanthe leaves turn yellow.

Let us begin by diagnosing each problem causing yellowing leaves and then treating it.

1. Improper Watering

The most common cause of your Stromanthe leaves turning yellow is imbalanced moisture in the soil. Too high water content in the soil can easily waterlog it and make Oxygen inaccessible to your plant.

It results in root rot disease, and the yellowing leaves are the initial symptoms that your plant is affected with this disease.

Roots cannot breathe in overly wet soil. They suffocate and stop delivering the water, and nutrients plants need.

Underwatering, also known as drought, has a similar effect. With too little water, plants can’t take up crucial nutrients resulting in Yellow leaves.

Soggy Soil
Soggy Soil

Solutions

  • Water the plant regularly only when the topsoil dries off to prevent overwatering.
  • If the soil is too dry and starts cracking, it is a sign of underwatering. Water thoroughly to revive the plant.
  • Ensure that the pot you are using has enough drainage holes to prevent waterlogging issues.
  • Cut down the watering to half in the winter as it won’t be necessary.
  • Avoid placing your plant in places with high wind movement or drafts.
  • Always water the plant with room temperature water or lukewarm water. Avoid using cold or chilled water.
  • If the root rot is severe, remove the plant, trim damaged and infected parts and repot in the fresh soil mix.
IKEA.. 403.941.18 Vattenkrasse Watering Can
Watering the indoor plant (Source: Amazon)

2. Low Humidity

As much as Triostars enjoy being continually moist, high humidity is required to maintain great-looking foliage.

Stromanthe also thrives in a humid environment, so it is essential to maintain at least 60% humidity at all times.

Low relative humidity generates a need for water from plants. During dry weather, plants close their stomates, which are microscopic pores on their leaves, to prevent excessive moisture loss.

Effect of humidity on leaves
Effect of humidity on leaves (Source: Wikimedia)

Less than that means water-related stress for your plant and can result in yellowing leaves.

Solutions

  • If the humidity levels of your room are not high enough, then misting once or twice a week is recommended.
  • A simple electric humidifier is a great way to increase the humidity levels in your room.
  • Avoid the accumulation of dust on the leaves of your plant. Wipe them clean at regular intervals so that the plant can absorb enough moisture.
  • You can also place the plant in your kitchen or the bathroom, where the environment is primarily cool and moist.
  • Keep your plant out of the direct line of air conditioners or heaters as it can quickly dry your plant.

3. Poor Water Quality

A factor that most beginners easily overlook, water quality, determines whether your plant turns out healthy or not. Stromanthe plant is very sensitive to watering frequency and its quality.

Poor quality water can be responsible for slow growth, resulting in the plants’ progressive death.

High soluble salts can directly harm roots, affecting water and nutrient intake. Salts can build up on the leaf margins of plants, causing them to burn.

Water with excessive alkalinity can severely impact the pH of the growing media, interfering with nutrient uptake and generating nutritional deficits which threaten plant health.

Using normal tap water can also be a determining factor for yellowing leaves in your plant, as it also contains many dissolved minerals.

Effect of poor water quality in plant
Effect of poor water quality in the plant (Source: BigHaat)

Solutions

  • Filtered water is your best bet since it has no impurities that can affect your plant’s health.
  • You can also allow the tap water to sit overnight without any coverings to let the chemicals like Chlorine and Fluoride evaporate.
  • Rainwater, distilled water, and water prepared by the reverse osmosis process are also alternatives you can use.

4. Infestation of Pests

Pests can also easily result in various issues for your Stromanthe, including yellowing leaves. Mainly, weak or stressed out plants are likely to be attacked by pests more than healthy plants.

Pests can be common as a highly humid environment is required for Stromanthe to thrive. Stromanthe attracts sap-sucking pests like mealybugs, aphids, and scales that drain the plant of its essential nutrients.

It exhausts the plant the nutrients required, and the leaves are yellow. It would be best to control pests at an early stage of infestation to ensure that your plant thrives in the future.

Pests feasting on a leaf
Pests feasting on a leaf (Source: Pixabay)

Solutions and Preventive Measures

  • A healthy potting mix composed of organic materials is an excellent way to maintain your plant’s good health, which means a low incidence of pests.
  • Prune the plant regularly and repot regularly for maintaining good health.
  • Wiping the leaves with cloth dipped in alcohol will also help to treat any pest infestation.
  • If you see pests in your plant, you can shower your plant with cold water to wash them away.
  • Neem Oil is a great organic pest deterrent that won’t harm your plant.
  • Fertilize and feed your plant regularly as weak plants are easily susceptible to pest infestation.
  • Wipe the insects with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • Apply Imidacloprid in the soil to prevent Aphids.

Related Article: How to Use Neem Oil on Indoor Plants?

5. Temperature Extremities

Stromanthe requires a temperature of around 65-80°F  and a cool and moist climate to thrive properly.

Fluctuating or extremities in temperature can also easily cause your plant to start showing symptoms of yellowing leaves.

If your plant is suffering from heat stress, then the leaves will start to droop as well, along with yellowing. The plant won’t provide the energy required for the leaves to maintain their structure.

Being a plant from the tropical region, it can also suffer if placed in an arid climatic region.

It needs a cool and fresh environment with enough air circulation and humidity to maintain the beautiful color of its foliage.

Soil temperature range
Appropriate soil temperature range (Source: University of British Columbia)

Check out this research article by on how temperature stress affects plants: Plants and high-temperature stress

Solutions

  • During the winter season, try to avoid placing your plant on the windowsill, as the cold draft can affect your plant health.
  • You can use plastic sheets, frost blankets, or cotton cloths to cover your plant without directly touching the foliage in cold and windy times.
  •  Using cold frames with a transparent cover will protect your plant in extremely cold conditions.
  • If the temperature is too high, your plant can suffer severe water loss. Watering deeply and misting at times can help to solve this issue.
  • Water granules are available in the market, which you can place in the pot to soak up excess water and release them when needed.
  • Placing it in a greenhouse can be an excellent solution to maintain a stable temperature and climatic condition.
Small Green house
Small Green House (Source: Amazon)

What to do if Stromanthe leaves are turning brown? Check out this article to know more about it: Stromanthe Leaves Turning Brown on the Edges [Explained]

6. Improper Lighting Issues

A well-lit spot with adequate sunlight is essential to keep the foliage of your Stromanthe healthy-looking.

Stromanthe needs at least 7-8 hours of full bright indirect sunlight daily to grow to its full potential. The brighter the light, the more variegations are present in the leaves afterward.

Failure to accommodate the lighting requirement of your Stromanthe means that it won’t be able to produce the required energy needed for the growth.

If the lighting is not adequate, it will discredit the foliage and make it look yellow and ghoulish.

On the other hand, if the sunlight is direct and too strong, it will cause the leaves to turn from yellow to brown, and it will also start falling off.

Close-Up-Variegation-In-Stromanthe-Wikimedia
Close-Up Variegation In Stromanthe (Source: Wikimedia)

Read more to find out how the light color plays a vital role in a plant’s growth.

Solutions

  • It needs diffused sunlight which can be provided by placing it a couple of feet away from North-sided or East-sided windows.
  • Use a blind or a shaded curtain to help diffuse the light and protect the plant from the direct line of the sunlight.
  • If you want to place your plant outdoors, choose an area with partial sunlight, like a patio or balcony.
  •  Use a grow light with the proper color spectrum to compensate for the lack of sunlight during winter.

Should I Remove the Yellowing Stromanthe Leaves?

Well, it depends on the condition of the plant. If there are a few yellowing leaves on the base of the plant, then you can cut them off with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.

However, it is unnecessary to do this as the leaves will fall after a couple of days.

It is not necessary to remove the yellowing Stromanthe leaves compulsorily as the plant can discard the yellow leaves and heal.

Cutting down all the yellowing Stromanthe leaves is not feasible at that point, and it can only deteriorate your plant’s health.

Moreover, more cuts and wounds are an invitation for disease and pests.

Thus, your best bet is to adjust the watering, fertilizing, or temperature conditions to help the plant repair itself.

Check out this short video on what to do if the leaves on the Stromanthe plant turn yellow and dry out;

Conclusion

With this knowledge, you can easily raise a beautiful Stromanthe on your own and solve any issues that come in the way.

Although this plant is a bit fussy, proper care and maintenance mean fewer problems.

Caring for this beauty will be worth the effort, and it is going to bring fresh tropical vibes to your home.

Did you know that Stromanthe is a type of prayer plant? Know more about other prayer plants like Stromanthe: 15 Different Types of Prayer Plants

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