Why Is My Diffenbachia Turning Yellow?

It’s heartbreaking when one of your houseplants starts looking sick, isn’t it? All you want to do is fix them so they can go back to their former glory!

If you have been wondering “Why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow?” Then don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with the reasons why, as well as how to fix it.

Why Is My Dieffenbachia Turning Yellow?

why is my dieffenbachia turning yellow

Yellow leaves are a sign that all is not well with your plant. Thankfully, there are lots of solutions to your problem.

  • Overwatering is one of the main reasons behind yellowing leaves. If the soil is wet up to your first knuckle, do not water for at least a week.
  • Underwatering can also cause leaf yellowing, conversely – if your plant isn’t getting enough to drink then it will struggle.
  • Lack of nutrients can also be a culprit. If your dieffenbachia is low in nutrients, especially Nitrogen, this can also cause problems with the leaves.
  • Not enough light can make the leaves turn yellow. This plant likes indirect sunlight, but if it is not getting enough light then it will cause issues.
  • Too much sunlight can also cause leaf yellowing and even scorching – this plant won’t thank you for leaving it in direct sunlight!

The good news is that once you have found the root of the problem, you can easily fix it and ensure that your dieffenbachia is its gorgeous, glossy, green self.

This article explains all about what yellow leaves mean and what you can do about them to restore your plant.

Should You Cut Yellow Leaves Off Dieffenbachia?

The short answer is yes. Although it is always a shame to lose leaves, yellow ones do nothing for the plant.

If a leaf turns yellow, it is a sign that the plant has removed it from the circulation of nutrients. It is effectively already dead!

Removing the leaf once it has turned yellow will help the plant to save its energies for the main stem, and for the leaves that will survive.

You are most likely to notice yellowing leaves from the bottom upwards, so removing them shouldn’t affect the look of the overall plant too much.

Many yellowing leaves will simply drop off by themselves, or will be easy to remove with your fingers.

If it is hanging on, however, you should snip it off using sharp secateurs, or a sharp, sterilized knife.

Always remember to wear gloves when doing anything to your dieffenbachia, as the sap is toxic.

Can Dieffenbachia Recover From Overwatering?

Overwatering is a big problem for many plants – we think we are doing them a favour by giving them a drink, when we could be inadvertently killing them!

This being said, if you know you have been overwatering, you can still save your plant – provided you act fast.

  1. First off, put that watering can away. Once you have diagnosed overwatering, stop watering your plant straight away!
  2. Next, you will need to mitigate the possible damage that has already occurred. Any leaves that are yellowed and drooping will need to be removed, for a start.
  3. Gently remove the plant from its pot, and check the roots – those that are mushy and discoloured will need to be removed so they don’t spread the rot.
  4. Repot the plant into some dry compost, having washed out the pot and removed as much of the soggy soil from it as possible.
  5. Avoid watering it for a good while, until you start to see it recovering it former health.
  6. Water it only when you can stick your finger into the soil and feel it dry up to the first knuckle. This should prevent overwatering problems in the future.

This video, although not specifically focused on dieffenbachia, will show you how to save an overwatered plant:

Why Is My Dumb Cane Yellowing On The Bottom Leaves?

The lower leaves are generally the first to be cut off by the plant if it is not in its ideal conditions, or if it is experiencing problems.

The lower leaves on your dieffenbachia may start to turn yellow even if the rest of the plant is perfectly healthy!

The plant tends to put its energies into growing taller and reaching more sunlight, so its lower leaves are sort of expendable.

If your dieffenbachia is yellowing on its bottom leaves but the rest of the plant is healthy, you shouldn’t have to worry too much.

The yellow leaves are not doing the plant any favors, so you can happily remove them and know that it won’t affect your plant.

You should be able to just remove them with your fingers, or you can trim them off using sharp, clean secateurs.

Do Leaves Turn Yellow From Not Enough Sun?

In short, yes. Leaves need the sun’s light to photosynthesize, which is what creates the gorgeous green color that we know and love.

If your plant does not have enough natural sunlight, the leaves will not be able to maintain their color.

The plant needs sunlight to convert to energy, and if there is not enough of it then the plant will cut off support from the leaves that are serving the least purpose, to try to conserve the others.

 You can work out if this is the issue by checking all sides of the plant – of the side that is furthest from the sun is the yellowest, then you have found your problem.

Try moving your plant to a sunnier position, or at the very least you should rotate it to ensure that it gets as much light as possible.

A dieffenbachia should have gorgeous, glossy, green leaves if it is a healthy plant. If they are yellowing, then you need to change something quickly!

Don’t panic too much, however. As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to prevent yellowing leaves, and to stop them from happening again in the future.

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