Yellow Spots on Philodendron (Causes and Solutions)


This image is showing Yellow spots on philodendron leaves.

Perhaps you are afraid. Afraid that you are wrong in how you take care of your philodendron. With its increasing yellow stains every day, you might ask yourself what the best way to overcome it could be.

From its beauty to its air purification abilities, the tropical philodendron plant is a gem to behold. However, yellow spots are a common issue for philodendron.

Yellow spots on philodendron occur due to exposure to Bacterial and Fungal Leaf diseases. Any direct exposure to direct sun rays is likely to turn their leaves yellow and accentuate scorching. In addition, pest infestation, cold injury, and root rot disease can cause this problem.

Various aspects go into understanding the causes of yellow spots on these plants. That is because yellowing is not a product of direct exposure to sunlight only. 

Unless you know these elements, it will be relatively hard for you to make logical decisions about taking care of your beloved plant. This article aims at addressing such aspects. Here are a few invaluable insights.

How to Identify Philodendron Leaf Spot Diseases

As long as you understand what to look for, leaf spot diseases are relatively straightforward to see.

Usually, people might confuse this plant’s natural color with a condition, meaning you need to be reasonably careful in the process.

Often, these spots are brown but with yellow halos around them. They could also come as dark spots with black edges around them.

Unfortunately, these spots barely take a specific shape, and they tend to be unevenly distributed.

It will also be fair to mention that these spots can occur in any part of the leaves, whether on top or bottom.

The condition is often infectious, meaning an affected leaf will effortlessly pass the disease to other parts of the plant or other plants.

In brief, focus on spots that highlight halos around them. This way, you will be sure of addressing the condition on time. You will also need to keep checking for the same every so often.

What Causes Yellow Spots on Philodendron Leaves

First, you are likely to doubt your ability to take care of such a beautiful plant. However, sometimes, things will often be beyond such doubts. Some causes are even inevitable. 

But as long as you understand these causative agents, you will be better placed to take care of your philodendron plant much better. The following are the main sources.

Excess Light

It is almost impossible to overstate the significance of light in your plant’s growth. However, improper light could be the most significant ingredient in the yellowing of your philodendron. 

This being an indoor tropical plant, it will always be invaluable to consider indirect sunlight at all times. That does not mean it should not be bright enough.

In most cases, the exposure to direct sunlight results in the significant burning of foliage. On the other hand, enough indirect sunlight will ensure that your plants thrive. 

However, the brightness level will vary with the color of the leaves. For instance, plants with solid green leaves might require much less light, unlike those without a solid green color.

The goal is to get enough light, but indirectly so. For this reason, ensure that you place your philodendron near the window. You will also need to make sure that no direct sunlight hits the foliage at any time.

Humidity

You can barely overlook the role of humidity in the healthy growth of your philodendron plants. Usually, enough or a balanced humidity level comes in handy in promoting the development of various bacteria that are critical for the plant.

Most often, low humidity levels in the soil and environment result in drooping leaves and brown edges. With time, the yellowing of the entire leaf will be inescapable.

 For this reason, you might want to mist your plant from time to time. It is the best way to increase humidity on the surface of the leaves. Nothing could assure you of better results in the long run.

One of the best solutions to humidity issues would be the use of pebble trays. This approach often involves placing your plant atop a shallow, water-filled tray with clean pebbles. 

With this, the water will evaporate around the plant to boost humidity. You could also consider a humidifier, as it improves the humidity in the room.

Cold Injury

There is no denying that low temperatures will often have a significant yet negative impact on philodendron. Usually, when temperatures get to chilling points, the plant suffers a frost injury or freezing injury.

It highlights the formation of ice in the plant tissues. Philodendrons are no exception. Usually, this injury exposes them to reduced growth and chlorosis.

This injury is often fatal, as most plants will barely recover from this effect. With time, the damage ensures that the whole leaf turns yellow and falls off. 

However, the philodendron plant is often resilient, and it will grow new leaves with time. As long as you expose it to enough warmth and moisture, you will have no reason to worry.

The main goal is to avoid cold injuries before they happen. As such, ensure that you keep your plant in a barely cold place.

This way, exposure to extremely low temperatures will hardly occur. The temperature should never go below 10 degrees centigrade.

Pest Infestation

It is relatively hard to dissociate pests with the destruction of plants. As long as your plant is weak or stressed, it will always be susceptible to pest and insect infestation. 

Whether they aim to drain moisture or add toxins to the plant, the effect will often be almost similar. As such, you should start by keeping your plant healthy at all times.

Take the time to protect your philodendron against any pest attacks. Whether you choose to use pesticides or insecticides, ensure that the approach is practical.

Otherwise, these bugs will proliferate, exposing your indoor plant to more harm in the long run.

Bacterial and Fungal Leaf Spots

Sometimes, bacteria and fungi might find a haven in your philodendron plant. These organisms have proven to be destructive, and they will always drain the nutrients in these plants. 

As if that is not enough, they often play a critical role in passing toxins onto the leaf.

From leaving waste on the leaf to compromising their integrity, you will barely want these pathogens near your houseplant. For that reason, use any possible mechanism to get rid of them at any time.

Rust

Are you surprised? Yes, philodendron plants are vulnerable to rust, which is a fungal disease. In most cases, it tends to attack relatively mature plants, thanks to the nutrients they provide. 

Its symptoms will often be evident on the surface of the plant’s leaves. Usually, rust tends to deform the leaves, yellow them, and even make them whiter. 

While it is not a fatal condition, it could easily stunt the growth of your indoor plants. Unless you tame it early, such adverse effects will be inescapable.

Root Rot Could Cause Yellowing

You can hardly stop root rotting. But once it starts, it will be much easier for you to identify the effects.

One such effect will often be the yellowing of your philodendron. Usually, this rotting could end up making the leaves much smaller and even discolored. 

What is more, stunted growth and development will be the order of the day. In the end, your philodendron could readily develop some ooze sap or cankers. That is not what you want to see.

Fertilizer Problem

Are you sure that your soil is fertile enough? Well, sometimes, the solution to poor soil will be fertilizer. But if you misapply it, you will end up with yellow leaves. 

In most cases, the deficiency of nitrogen in the soil could result in yellow leaves. For that reason, ensure that you get the right fertilizer right from the onset.

Usually, fertilizer with all the necessary nutrients will always come in handy for you. You will also need to ensure that it is genuine.

While at it, the lack of magnesium can also expose your plant to such yellowing. Ensure it is sufficient, and over-fertilization should never happen.

Usually, the lack of magnesium is responsible for the chlorosis that the philodendron might suffer in the long run.

Moisture

Did you know that enough moisture is an inevitable requirement? Take the time to understand how much water your indoor plant needs. Usually, overwatering is a recipe for disaster, and you need to avoid it. 

Experts will often suggest that you water the philodendron when the top 25% of the plant above the soil is dry. You need to consider few other things to determine how often to water your philodendron.

However, it would be best if you did not confuse that with neglecting your plants altogether. Ideally, it implies that your soil needs to be damp but not necessarily wet.

If there is any excess water, ensure that you drain it on time. It will ensure that your plant remains healthy in the long run. Remember, too much water causes the roots to rot.

Read this article to know the step by step process of saving an Overwatered Philodendron.

Quality of water

While sufficient water is a priority, it would help if you paid attention to the water quality you use. Usually, you will have to focus on clean and mineral-rich water.

Most often, experts suggest that you avoid alkaline tap water, as it contains too much calcium. The presence of chlorine and fluoride in this tap water could also pose a significant problem.

For that reason, limit the use of both hard and soft water. However, if you must use this water, ensure that it settles for about 24 hours before utilizing it. 

It helps the salts settle at the bottom, allowing you to have an easier time. You could also add a little vinegar to restore acidity.

Instead, opting for aquarium water, spring water, or rainwater will be a wise move. There is no denying that rainwater is natural and clean to use. It also comes with balanced mineral salts that promote plant growth. 

On the other hand, aquarium water provides fertilizer to your houseplants, guaranteeing you a better development.

Proper Philodendron Care Tips

Taking the time to understand how to take care of your philodendron plant will always be rewarding. It will help you avoid mistakes and ensure that your houseplant thrives. With the following tips, you will be good to go.

Light is critical

Philodendrons tend to thrive in medium to bright indirect sunlight. While older leaves tend to yellow with time, be careful whenever you see several of them doing so at once. It could easily indicate exposure to too much direct sunlight.

Sustainable temperature levels

Temperatures above 50°F (10°C) will often be suitable for these plants. Typically, the right temperature for your houseplant to thrive would be between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (23°C). Such heat is enough to cushion the philodendron against cold injury. 

Pests and their toxicity level

Take the time to shower your plant with water from time to time. This way, it will be relatively hard for these pathogens to thrive in the long run.

How to Prevent The Yellowing of Philodendron

Most often, the catch is in how you take care of your beautiful plant. As long as you do it right, you will have no reason to worry. Here are the best ways to prevent the yellowing of your philodendron.

⦿ Maintain an optimal temperature of between 60°F (15°C) and 78°F (25°C).

⦿ Ensure that you do not overwater your plant, as it causes root rot.

⦿ The humidity in the room must remain balanced.

⦿ Take the time to shower the plant with a little pesticide from time to time.

⦿ Ensure that the soil is fertile, and the nutrients are balanced. Do not over apply fertilizer.

⦿ Water your plants consistently yet sparingly.

⦿ Place the houseplant near the window and away from direct sunlight.

⦿ Provide sufficient air circulation.

⦿ Avoid overhead watering.

Common Plant Leaf Problems

Various issues often affect plant leaves, and understanding them comes in handy. Usually, you will expect the following problems from time to time.

Yellow leaves

It is no secret that this is one of the most common problems you are likely to face.

It is a problem that stems from overwatering, less magnesium, insufficient humidity, and low temperatures. Once you address these issues, you will be good to go.

Brown tips

Brown tips result from too much fertilizer. As long as the soil has too many salts, most potted plants will have their tips change color.

Leaf rust

Leaf rust is a problem caused by pathogens. This infection contributes to stunted growth and the yellowing of leaves.

If you can avoid it right from the onset, you will be sure of much more vigorous and healthier plants at the end of the day.

In conclusion, philodendron tropical plants are an investment you can hardly regret. As long as you understand how to take care of them, you will be sure of better air purification in your house.

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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