Fifty Shades of Yellow

Yes! I’m going to admit that every time I see a green leaf turning yellow, or the full range of yellow colour leaf, it’s a big drama. Not because I don’t like yellow 🙂 but it’s a sign that there is something wrong in my plant. And as a friendly reminder, a yellow leaf for an indoor plant will never turn green again (unless there is a deficit of nutrients like nitrogen, zinc and manganese which it’s easily repairable adding the minerals needed bring the green colour back).

In general, I always cut off the yellow leave (base or near the stem), even the ones turning slightly yellow because it’s allowed to get the energy to the green part of the plant and the coming new leave. There are a lot of different opinions about “cut or not cut”, however, I been doing this method since the last 5 years to my indoor plants and I never have any problem on damaging the plants.

Yellow leaves mean different things in your plants:


It’s the most and common problem for anyone that is new to plants. The main symptoms are yellow/brown bottom leaves, dropping leaves and fungus present on the top of the soil.   Allow the soil to dry (sometimes even for a few days if not a week!), do not leave any water on the pot basement, and let you plant breath a bit.


Another common mistake, happening when you give water only to the top of the soil, or basically you forget that you have plants in your house. It’s very easy to see when the plant is an underwater state: very dry soil, the leaves are turning yellow and curling at the edge. The solution is to provide water from the bottom of the pot. Leave the plant in your sink with 2-4 cm of water for 30 mins. You will see the results straight away.


This problem happens when the plants have been moved from a different habitat (for example when we buy a new plant or we change the room) or left in a space with not too much light. Try to bring back the plants in a room with sufficient light (no sun direct please) and give them the time to settle in a new environment.

Lack of minerals

Yellow leaves with dark spots on the surface is a sign of a nutria deficit. The remedy is re-pot the plant using fresh potting mix adding the fertilizers. They should be added during the growing

season, normally spring-early summertime sometimes including vitamins too.

Fungus and pests

Fungus and pests are not difficult to treat and it’s not the end of your plants yet! But you need to act immediately. What I normally do, when happens, I repot the plants in a fresh potting mix using a pot that has been washed and clean. After I give some fungus repellent and I isolate the plants as much time they need to recover (this allow to avoid the spread of fungus and pests to other plants).


Sadly, it’s another common mistake thinking the plants need direct sun to grow. A big no!! Indoor plants love sun with indirect bright light. Its massive stress for the plants try to survive under the sun (it’s like you at the beach without any suncream protection!).

Just move the plants far from the heaters, radiators and direct sun moving them where they can see the sun with sunglasses and protection J. 

If you have a balcony, you can leave them in the shadow and they will be happy!

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