If you’re a plant owner, you know that taking care of your plants can be a rewarding experience. However, it can also be frustrating when you notice that your plant’s leaves are turning yellow.
This is a common issue for geraniums, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, such as overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, pests, or disease.
In this article, we will explore the possible causes of yellowing geranium leaves and provide solutions to help you restore your plant’s health.
Whether you’re a seasoned plant owner or just starting out, these tips will help you keep your geraniums looking healthy and beautiful!
Why Are My Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow?
Geranium leaves can turn yellow for several reasons, and it’s important to identify the cause to take appropriate action.
Let’s take a look at the most common reasons for this, as well as how to avoid them.
Overwatering is a common cause of yellowing leaves in geraniums, and it can be detrimental to the plant’s health.
When a plant is overwatered, the soil becomes waterlogged, which can cause the roots to rot and prevent the plant from absorbing necessary nutrients. This can lead to yellowing leaves, wilting, and stunted growth.
If your geranium has yellow leaves due to overwatering, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage to the plant. With proper care and attention, your geranium can recover and thrive.
Before watering your geraniums, check the soil moisture by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it feels moist, wait a few more days and check again.
When you do water your geraniums, water deeply so that the water reaches the roots. However, it’s better to water less frequently than to water too much too often.
Depending on the temperature and humidity, you may need to water your geraniums once or twice a week.
Geraniums prefer well-draining soil that allows excess water to drain away from the roots. If your soil is too compacted or holds too much water, consider amending it with perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage.
The container you use for your geraniums can also affect the soil moisture, so make sure your container has drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain away.
If you’re using a decorative container without drainage holes, consider planting your geraniums in a plastic pot with drainage holes and placing it inside the decorative container.
How To Save An Already Overwatered Geranium
First things first, stop watering! Give the plant time to dry out a bit before watering again.
If your geranium is in a container, make sure the container has adequate drainage holes. If the soil is still waterlogged, consider repotting the plant in fresh soil that is well-draining.
Yellow or wilted leaves may be a sign of root rot or other issues caused by overwatering. Remove any damaged leaves, as they will not recover and can be a source of disease.
After improving drainage, allow the plant to dry out for a few days or even a week before watering again. Make sure the soil is dry to the touch before watering.
Nutrient deficiencies can also cause yellowing leaves in geraniums, and it’s important to identify which nutrient is lacking to address the issue.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common nutrient deficiencies that are found in geraniums and can cause yellow leaves.
Iron is necessary for the production of chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color.
Without enough iron, leaves can turn yellow or even white. This deficiency can be caused by high soil pH, poor soil drainage, or excessive watering.
Nitrogen is essential for plant growth and development, and a deficiency can cause yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and reduced flower production.
This deficiency can occur if the plant is not receiving enough fertilizer or if the soil is depleted of nitrogen.
Magnesium is important for chlorophyll production and is often associated with yellowing leaves in plants.
This deficiency can occur if the soil is too acidic, or if the plant is not receiving enough magnesium from the soil.
Avoiding Nutrient Deficiencies
To avoid nutrient deficiencies in your geraniums, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure that you choose the right soil. Use a well-balanced soil mix that contains a good amount of organic matter. The soil should be rich in nutrients, but also well-draining to prevent waterlogged roots.
Fertilizers are an important source of nutrients for your geraniums.
Use a balanced fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Follow the instructions on the label carefully, as over-fertilization can be harmful.
Monitor the pH levels of the plant too. Geraniums prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 6.5. Use a soil test kit to monitor the pH levels, and adjust as needed with pH-lowering or pH-raising amendments.
Geraniums also need plenty of sunlight to thrive and produce flowers. Make sure your geraniums are getting at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, or provide supplemental grow lights if needed.
Keep an eye on your geraniums for signs of nutrient deficiencies, such as yellowing or stunted growth.
Adjust your fertilization and watering schedule as needed to provide adequate nutrients without over-fertilizing or overwatering.
Saving A Nutrient Deficient Geranium
Once you have identified the nutrient deficiency, go through the following steps, and you might be able to save it!
Depending on the nutrient deficiency, you can apply specific fertilizers or nutrient supplements to provide the missing nutrients.
For example, if your geranium is lacking nitrogen, apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. If it is lacking iron, apply an iron supplement.
If the soil pH is too high or too low, it can affect nutrient uptake. Adjust the soil pH as needed to provide an optimal growing environment for your geraniums.
If the soil is depleted of nutrients, adding organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure can help improve soil quality and provide essential nutrients.
Keep an eye on your geraniums for signs of improvement, and adjust your fertilization and watering schedule as needed to provide adequate nutrients without over-fertilizing or overwatering.
Geraniums are susceptible to a variety of pests, which can cause yellowing leaves, wilting, and distorted growth. Some common pests that can affect geraniums are as follows.
These tiny pests can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but they can cause significant damage to geraniums. They typically feed on the undersides of leaves and can cause yellowing, stippling, and webbing.
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that feed on the sap of plants, causing yellowing leaves, wilting, and distorted growth. They can be green, black, brown, or red, and often congregate in large groups.
Mealybugs are small, white, cottony-looking insects that feed on the sap of plants, causing yellowing leaves and stunted growth. They can be difficult to get rid of, as they are protected by a waxy coating
Thrips are small, slender insects that feed on the sap of plants, causing yellowing leaves, stippling, and distorted growth.
They can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but can often be identified by the silver-colored trails they leave on leaves.
Avoiding pests entirely can be tricky, but there are ways that you can prevent them as much as possible.
It’s important to identify the type of pest and use an appropriate treatment. This may involve using insecticidal soap, neem oil, or other pesticides.
It’s important to read the label carefully and follow instructions, as some pesticides can be harmful to beneficial insects and pollinators.
Don’t forget to practice good plant hygiene too and remove any infected or infested leaves or plants from the area to prevent the spread of pests.
Geraniums are also susceptible to a variety of diseases, which can cause yellowing leaves, wilting, and other symptoms. The most common include the following.
This fungal disease can cause yellowing leaves, wilting, and gray mold on the leaves and stems of geraniums. It thrives in humid conditions and can spread quickly through the plant and to nearby plants.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
This bacterial disease can cause yellowing leaves, brown spots, and wilting on geraniums. It can be spread through contaminated water or plant debris and can be difficult to control.
This fungal disease can cause yellowing leaves, wilting, and stunted growth on geraniums. It can be spread through contaminated soil or water and can survive in the soil for years.
Again, good plant hygiene is a must! Remove any infected leaves or plants from the area. Avoid overhead watering, which can promote the growth and spread of fungal diseases.
Use a fungicide as directed to prevent or control fungal diseases.
It’s also important to use disease-resistant varieties of geraniums and to avoid planting geraniums in soil that has previously been infected with fungal or bacterial diseases.
There are a few, specific environmental issues that are particularly dangerous to geraniums and can quickly cause yellowing leaves, so let’s go through them.
Geraniums are sensitive to temperature extremes, and exposure to high or low temperatures can cause yellowing leaves, wilting, and other symptoms.
In hot weather, geraniums may benefit from shade or protection from the sun, while in cold weather, they may need to be moved indoors or protected with frost cloth or other coverings.
Geraniums require plenty of bright, indirect light to thrive, and insufficient light can cause yellowing leaves and weak growth.
If your geraniums are not receiving enough light, consider moving them to a brighter location or supplementing them with grow lights.
Geraniums prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter, and soil that is too compacted or lacking in nutrients can cause yellowing leaves and poor growth.
It’s important to provide your geraniums with the appropriate soil conditions, which may involve amending the soil with compost or other organic matter or repotting the plant in fresh soil.
Exposure to air pollution, such as from car exhaust or industrial emissions, can also contribute to yellowing leaves on geraniums.
If you live in an area with high levels of air pollution, consider moving your geraniums to a more protected location or providing them with a barrier, such as a screen or a fence.
Yellowing leaves can be a sign of several issues in geraniums, including overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, pests, diseases, and environmental stress.
By identifying the underlying cause and taking appropriate action, you can save your plants and promote healthy growth and flowering.
Remember to regularly monitor your plants and maintain good gardening practices to prevent issues from arising in the first place.
With proper care and attention, your geraniums can thrive and bring beauty to your garden or indoor space!