Calathea Zebrina Yellow Leaves
What is causing Calathea Zebrina yellow leaves? Yellow leaves on a Calathea plant can be very stressful. They’re notoriously fussy, they die easily and they’re definitely not a plant for beginners. So if you’re experiencing an issue with yellow leaves then don’t worry, you’re not alone and unless the issue has gotten out of control there’s probably something you can do about it. There are generally only a few things that cause Calathea Zebrina yellow leaves and it’s normally relatively easy to work out the cause based on the plant’s environment.
Overwatering Your Calathea Zebrina
The main cause of Calathea Zebrina yellow leaves is overwatering. These plants like to be moist but people often interpret that as the plants needing to be constantly watered. If they’re not allowed to dry out between waterings like other plants then they can become overwatered. It’s important that you allow the soil to dry out before watering your plant again. You don’t want it to become bone dry but the top two inches of soil should feel relatively dry to the touch.
This issue might not just come about from frequency of watering but also how well your soil drains. If you have a dense soil that retains water then your plant could start showing the signs of overwatering. It’s vital that you have a well draining mix so water can pass through the soil with ease and that you use a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
If managing your plants water intake is something you struggle with then you could try using a moisture stick like this one from Amazon. The stick comes with two probes that you insert in the soil to give you a reading. With a Calathea plant I would usually rewater the plant when the gauge reads around 2 or 3. And if your soil is retaining water then try changing up your mix.
This is an issue that you want to get on top of relatively quickly as overwatering can lead to root rot which can kill your plants.
Too Much Sun
Another possible cause of Calathea Zebrina yellow leaves is too much light. Calathea Zebrina don’t like to sit in direct sunlight and or their leaves can become scorched. If they’re getting too much light but the sun isn’t strong enough to burn the leaves then you may see the colour fading and turning yellow.
If overwatering isn’t your issue then it’s very possible your plant is receiving too much light. Take a look at your plants position, is it right in front of a window? Does it receive direct sunlight throughout the day? If you answer yes to either of these questions then try moving it back slightly away from the light source.
Don’t move it to a shadowy corner with no light but just try moving it out of direct sunlight or giving it access to a slightly dimmer spot and see if this makes a difference. Hopefully you’ll see new leaves growing through with vibrant colours and strong patterns.
Too Many Minerals
Another cause of yellowing leaves could be the type of water you’re using. Water that’s heavy in minerals can cause issues like burnt leaves or yellowing leaves. With Calathea you should always water with filtered water to avoid these complications. A regular water filter that you would use for drinking water should be fine for this purpose.
Could Anything Else Be Causing Calathea Zebrina Yellow Leaves?
Other possible issues could be:
- fertiliser problems
- humidity issues
but these tend to come with other problems that are easy to identify.
If underwatering was the case you would expect to see droopy leaves or crispy tips as well. Low humidity can cause problems for Calathea but this normally manifests in crispy tips and brown leaves. And lack of/too much fertiliser can be a problem so use a low strength fertiliser during the growing season on your plant about once a fortnight to once a month.
If you’re still having problems with yellow leaves on your Calathea Zebrina then let us know in the comments below. Try to include as much information about your plants environment as possible. Good luck with your Calathea and remember, if you’re struggling, you’re not alone! They’re beautiful plants but they sure are difficult to look after.
Article: Calathea Zebrina Yellow Leaves