What causes leaves on my houseplant to turn yellow or brown and drop off?


What causes leaves on my houseplant to turn yellow or brown and drop off?


Yellowing, browning, and dropping of leaves is one of the most vague and difficult issues to deal with because it can be caused by a wide variety of issues. Many of the problems seen in houseplants are not caused by just one factor, they are the result of several factors coming together. It is important to investigate all potential causes and take corrective action before the issue is fully resolved.

Improper environmental conditions is the leading issue that causes leaf drop. Be sure temperatures are not extreme.  If plants were not protected from cold in transport or if plants experience blasts of cold or warm air from doors, windows, or air ducts, leaves are likely to yellow and drop.  Check watering practices as over- and under-watering can lead to these symptoms.  Plants that are under-fertilized will often develop yellow leaves.  Low humidity will cause the browning and eventual drop of leaves.  Light levels that are too high or too low, as well as a sudden change in light intensity, will cause leaf drop.  Always change light intensity levels gradually when moving plants to new locations.

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