The appearance of a plant gives lots of clues as to its health and well-being. Yellow leaves may be an indication of a problem and are best investigated to find out the cause, ideally at an early stage before any problem becomes too advanced. The horticultural term for yellowing leaves is chlorosis.
Why do leaves turn yellow?
Yellowing leaves develop for a wide variety of reasons. Often yellow leaves are a sign that something is wrong, and action is needed. For example, your plant may be telling you it has been given too much water or needs feeding. Leaves turning yellow can be a sign of pest or disease problems, an indication that the plant is growing in the wrong place, or due to extremes of rain. Though in some cases, such as with evergreen shrubs and trees, some yellow leaves are simply a natural part of the plants’ life cycle.
Causes and remedies of yellowing leaves on plants
Overwatering – older leaves turn yellow first. Overwatering is easy to do on house plants that sit in decorative potholders, and patio plants are susceptible when pot drainage holes become blocked or if water has built up during periods of heavy rain. Overwatering may be obvious on first inspection if the plant is sitting in water. If this isn’t the case, check the compost moisture by the simple means of sticking a finger in the compost to feel it. Remedy by standing the plant in a light, airy spot and clear the drainage holes so the root ball drains completely and wait until the compost is on the dry side before watering again. Cut off leaves that have become completely yellow.
Lack of nutrients – depending on the type of nutrient deficiency, leaves discolour in different ways. Yellowing young leaves and general weak growth is likely to be
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Every plant in your garden has to come from somewhere, and for most home vegetable gardeners, that “somewhere” is either a seed in a packet or a transplant tray in a garden center. For the ambitious and curious few, there’s a third way to populate a backyard vegetable patch growing your own transplants at home.
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