Kalanchoe Leaves Turning Yellow? Here’s How to Revive Them

Has your beloved Kalanchoe lost its vibrant leaves, with unsightly yellow hues taking over? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! Dive into this guide to unravel the mysteries behind those fading colors and restore your plant’s radiant beauty.

kalanchoe leaves turning yellow

Kalanchoe, a houseplant native to Madagascar, is renowned for its eye-catching, colorful leaves that can brighten up any living space. If your Kalanchoe’s leaves are turning yellow, it could be due to various reasons, such as overwatering, lack of sunlight, or even pesky pests. Keep reading to discover practical tips on diagnosing and treating your yellowing Kalanchoe leaves.

9 Reasons for Kalanchoe Leaves Turning Yellow

Kalanchoe leaves turning yellow can be frustrating, but fear not! By identifying the underlying cause, you can take targeted steps to restore your plant’s vibrant hues. Let’s explore the nine most common reasons for yellowing leaves and their respective solutions.

1. Overwatering

Giving your Kalanchoe too much water too often can suffocate the roots and deprive them of oxygen, leading to yellow leaves. To fix this, allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out completely before watering again. Also, ensure proper drainage by using a well-draining potting mix and a container with drainage holes.

2. Kalanchoe top-spotting virus

This virus, spread by green peach aphids, causes yellow spots on the leaves that eventually merge, turning the entire leaf yellow. If left untreated, it can potentially kill your plant. Consult a professional for advice on treating this virus, as it may require the use of specific insecticides or the removal of infected parts.

3. Excessive sunlight

While Kalanchoes love bright, indirect sunlight, too much direct exposure can scorch their leaves, causing them to turn yellow or brown. Move your plant to a slightly shadier spot with filtered sunlight, and avoid hot, drafty areas that can further stress the plant.

4. Improper soil

If your Kalanchoe’s soil is too dry, dense, or lacking in nutrients, it can lead to yellow leaves as the plant struggles to absorb water and essential minerals. Repot your plant in a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix formulated for succulents or cacti. You can also consider using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season.

kalanchoe yellow leaves

5. Zinc deficiency

A lack of zinc in the soil or water can cause nutrient deficiencies, leading to yellowing leaves. Use a zinc-containing fertilizer or amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to boost its nutrient content and improve soil health.

6. Pests

Pesky critters like mealybugs, spider mites, or thrips can infest your Kalanchoe, causing leaf discoloration, stunted growth, and overall plant stress. Inspect your plant regularly and use an organic pesticide or insecticidal soap to get rid of these unwanted guests promptly.

7. Severe temperature changes

Sudden or extreme temperature fluctuations can stress your Kalanchoe, leading to yellow leaves as the plant struggles to adapt. Keep your plant in a consistently warm or cool environment, avoiding drastic temperature shifts, drafts, or exposure to heating/cooling vents.

8. Humidity

While Kalanchoes prefer moderate humidity levels, excessive moisture in the air can harm their growth and lead to yellow leaves, as well as increase the risk of fungal diseases. Use a fan or dehumidifier to increase air circulation and reduce humidity levels around your plant.

9. Root damage

If your Kalanchoe’s roots are exposed to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or physical damage, it can impair their ability to absorb water and nutrients, causing the leaves to turn yellow. Protect the roots by providing proper shading, temperature control, and avoiding disturbance when handling or repotting the plant.

Preventing Kalanchoe Leaves from Turning Yellow

To keep your Kalanchoe’s leaves vibrant and healthy, providing proper care and attention is crucial. Here are some preventative measures to incorporate into your plant care routine:

  • Plant in a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix formulated for succulents or cacti, and repot every 2-3 years to refresh the soil.
  • Water thoroughly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and adjust frequency based on season and environmental conditions.
  • Fertilize regularly during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to provide essential nutrients.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases, and take prompt action if any are found, using organic or safe pesticides/fungicides as needed.
  • Maintain consistent temperature and humidity levels, avoiding extremes or sudden changes that can stress the plant.
  • Provide bright, indirect sunlight, and protect the plant from direct, scorching sun exposure.
  • Consult a plant specialist or read up on proper kalanchoe care to ensure you’re meeting all the specific needs of this plant variety.
  • Be mindful of the plant’s dormancy period (typically winter) and adjust watering and care accordingly, as overwatering during dormancy can lead to issues.
  • Prune away any dead, damaged or yellowing leaves promptly using clean, sharp scissors or pruners to prevent the issue from spreading.
  • Improve air circulation around the plant by providing spacing from walls/objects and using a small fan if needed to prevent stagnant air.
  • Check the soil pH periodically and make adjustments if it strays too far from the ideal range of 6.0-7.0 for kalanchoes.
  • Use terracotta or unglazed clay pots which allow better air exchange compared to plastic pots.
  • Gradually acclimate your kalanchoe when moving from lower to higher light conditions to prevent sun scorch.
  • Quarantine any new plants before introducing them to your existing collection to prevent spread of pests/diseases.

By being proactive and following best practices for kalanchoe care, you can keep this vibrant succulent looking its best.

Frequently Asked Questions

should i cut off kalanchoe leaves

Should I cut off damaged Kalanchoe leaves?

The best thing to do depends on how bad the yellowing is. If just a few leaves are affected, you can trim those off with clean scissors or pruners. But if a lot of leaves are turning yellow or your whole plant looks sickly, it’s better to get advice from an expert.

Why is this important? Removing a few damaged leaves allows your Kalanchoe to focus its energy on staying healthy. However, if the yellowing spreads to most of the plant, just snipping leaves won’t solve the core issue causing it to decline. An expert can examine your plant and provide tailored guidance to revive it.

How do I bring my Kalanchoe back to life?

Bringing a Kalanchoe back from the brink requires a multi-pronged approach. This could involve:

  • Adjusting watering schedule (allowing top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between waterings)
  • Feeding with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during spring/summer
  • Relocating to an area with better light, temperature (65-80°F ideal), and humidity levels
  • Treating for pests like mealybugs or spider mites using insecticidal soap
  • Repotting in fresh, well-draining succulent/cactus potting mix

The key is identifying and fixing all the underlying stresses causing your Kalanchoe’s poor health. An experienced plant pro can examine your plant and provide customized revival tips.