Why Are My Caladium Leaves Turning Yellow?

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Stephanie

One of the main motives for keeping Caladiums as house plants is their gorgeous foliage. As a result when the leaves begin to turn yellow, the plant will lose a lot of its appeal.

The yellowing of leaves on caladium can result from manganese, nitrogen, zinc, or iron deficiency. The causes of this are often overwatering and underwatering. at the root of the issue. Be sure to use distillate water at the time when only 2 inches of soil is completely dry and use the suns bright indirect light will help keep the leaves from turning yellow.

At this point the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a solution so dont abandon the plant that looks unhappy.

After youve learned from the article above, watering properly will no longer be an issue and you will effortlessly be able to keep your plants in top condition.

What Causes Caladium Leaves to Turn Yellow?


Since this is the most frequent cause of yellow leaves, well tackle the issue first. If your caladium is exposed to excessive amounts of water, the soil gets soggy, which hinders the flow of oxygen.

In the end, what occurs will be that your plant starts to sink. As the problem becomes more severe it could cause fungal infections and root rot, which well tackle in the near future.

What you should be aware of is that if the leaves of Caladium begin to lose their shape and turn yellow, the first thing you should check is the soil.

Make a poke in the soil and youll be able to tell whether the soil is damp or if it is boggy and wet.

If the answer is yes it is likely it is the primary reason for your plants discontent with the surrounding environment. A wet smell and the appearance of gray dirt on the surface of your soil are also indicators of decay.


In the event that your Caladium is excessively watered, what youll need to do is let the plant begin drying out.

It is not a good idea to sit around on this issue and must take actions immediately after youve determined the issue.

Stop watering at this point and make sure there is enough drainage at the bottom of the pot to allow that excess water to drain easily.

When the plants are sitting in a container that is containing water it will block the water from draining out of the soil. Make sure to empty it until the excess water has been drained away.

If the issue hasnt been aggravated then thats all you need to do, and soon the plant will start to recover.

In extreme cases, when the soil is very wet and the plant appears extremely distressed, take the pot from it and gently take out all the soil that is wet and loose surrounding the root.

Then, place the plant on a piece of newspaper and let it to air dry prior to planting it in new potting soil that has adequate drainage capacity.

It is not necessary to water right away after repotting since the potting mix is likely to be slightly damp , and therell be enough moisture in the mix already to allow your Caladium to begin its recuperation.

While the plant will slowly recover following these treatments, those yellow leaves will never return to their original appearance. They may be removed near the stems base.



The second most frequent reason behind the sad yellow caladium leaves is that they are underwater. It might seem odd that the two main causes of the sad yellow leaves stem from opposite extremes however, that is actually the situation.

Your first reaction when you see the yellow leaves is to poke your finger in the soil to check the level of moisture.

You can buy and use the moisture meter, however this low-tech approach is efficient and is cost-free.

If your soil is as if it is dry, sandy then you are certain youre Caladium is deficient in water and cannot transmit nutrients onto its leaf. In the beginning you should water the plant right away.

Correct Watering Procedure

In both of the above instances, you can avoid repeat instances of the issue by learning how to water properly. Its simple.

Make it a habit of checking the soil regularly to determine if its the right time to water. You can do this with the water meter or standard finger that is used in the soil method.

Both are precise enough to ensure the health of Caladium level. What you want to create is a condition that the soil is damp but not completely wet.

If you check the soil on a regular basis and regularly, youll soon be proficient at this. When the soil that is just a few inches below it is completely dry its time to soak it in water. Put the pot in the sink or basin and fill it with water.

Continue to water until you are certain that the excess water flows into the drain holes at the bottom of your pot. Then you have stopped watering, let the excess water completely drain before resetting your Caladium to its normal place.

Dont think that youll be able to follow an established schedule since thats not the way things work.

Based on a variety of variables, your plants may require to be regularly watered, while at other times, less.

Testing the soil regularly can be the best way to ensure that the timing is correct as well as keeping the Caladium satisfied.

Apply the water to the bottom of the plant, making sure not to let the leaves get wet , as this could cause fungal diseases. Another suggestion is to use water that has been filtered or rainwater that has been captured.

The water that you drink from the tap contains chlorine, which accumulates within the soil with time, and causes harm to pot plants.

I am fortunate enough to have access to the water from the river and it has made a huge difference in the long-term health for my plants in the indoor environment.

Leaf Burn and Drying Out

They are shade-loving plants. excessive sun is another aspect that could be a factor when the leaves begin to show signs of stress.

What happens when these plants are exposed to too much light is that they get sunburned.

Alongside the becoming wilted and yellowing You may also notice burnt patches on leaves, which have become soft to the touch.

In addition to burning the leaves In addition, excessive light causes stress to the plant as its forced to increase the rate of transpiration because it tries to adapt to extreme circumstances.


To prevent this from happening All you have to do is put the Caladium in the correct position the first time you place it. In general, any place with bright sunlight but not direct light is enough for keeping your plants content. Be sure that if you plant your plants close to a window that it doesnt get an unwelcome flash of sunlight direct even if its just for a few hours each day. In general, windows that face east work very well.

Rust and Southern Blight

Both of these issues are caused by fungal diseases. Rust appears in the form of rust-colored dots on leaf, which then develop into blister-like yellow bumps.

Southern Blight, on the contrary, can change the leaves to a mottled yellow, and then distort them.

If one of these fungal diseases becomes established, your caladium will start to lose its strength and will die quickly.

Control and Management

The primary cause of these fungal diseases tends to begin within the soil. The fungus is dormant, and spreads quickly when the conditions are favorable.

There is no method to determine if the fungus that is attacking your plant was present in the soil you are in or was present in the tuber at the time of planting.

The gardener should attempt to tackle the issue and make sure that the conditions arent favorable to the fungus.

The pathogens thrive in moist soil. Weve seen this can weaken the plant and makes your Caladium more susceptible to disease.

If you use a proper method of watering, you reduce the chance of your Caladium plant being affected. In the event that your plants is still at risk, test soaking the tuber in water that is heated to 122degF (50degC) for 30 minutes.

Then, you can repot it in fresh pots that have been sterilized. Wiping or spraying your leaves using neem oil can aid in preventing fungal diseases.

Botrytis Blight

Another fungal disease that is more prone to soft plant material, and can initially be seen on younger leaves. It manifests itself as leaves with lesions that begin as a caramel-colored color, and later develop into a gray mold.

Control and Management

Since the disease is extremely infectious, you might want to begin by separating your Caladium from other plants you have to prevent spreading the disease.

Maintain the surrounding area of the plant ventilatedand dont wet foliage with water while watering.

If you notice indications of infection, remove the damaged or fallen material as soon as you notice signs of infection and then destroy the affected area. Apply Neem oil since it has natural anti-fungal properties.

For all of the fungal diseases weve just discussed the chances are that your Caladium is more likely to have greater chances of protecting itself and healing when it is healthy.

Insect Infestation Cause Caladium Yellow Leaves

If you maintain it in good state you can be sure that your Caladium is usually free of pests. In the world of house plants there are three major pests you need keep an eye on.

All three depend on camouflage as a part of their survival strategy. If they are not detected, they could reproduce very quickly and take away your plants essential nutrients through sucking the sap from leaves.

Spider Mites

These small pests usually be found close to the base of the Caladium, where they spin tiny webs of protection.

They sucking the sap of the plant, and the first time you are aware of them is when you notice the brown patches without chlorophyll.

They are easily removed by blowing water. They can also be kept in check by wiping them clean with the oil of neem every fortnight.


Small brown or black oval insects that are only 2 or 3 millimeters in length, they suck sap, causing stripling and the appearance of yellow spots on leaf. Wipe them clean with the insecticide soap, or oil of neem will eliminate them quickly.


They appear to be like your caladium been sprayed with a thin layer of flour. They are actually tiny insects that create an ethereal, white wool-like cover that they use to suck the sap from your house plants. They also succumb to being cleaned away using the oil of neem on a soft cloth.

As youve probably guessed that the most frequent insects are extremely fragile and are therefore easy to control. The most important thing to do is be sure to inspect your plants every now and then, and provide a frequent wipe using neem oil to keep them out of your garden.

Root Rot

There are few things that can cause the death of your Caladium faster than root rot can. Most often, it is caused by overwatering and the roots start to turn brown and eventually end up dying.

It is evident in the upper regions of the plant, where the leaves, deficient in oxygen and nutrients, become yellow and then collapse.

Control and Management

If you think your caladium is suffering from root rot, take it out of its pot and look at the roots. Healthy roots are strong and white, while those affected by root rot are flaccid and brown.

Get rid of as much wet soil as you can. Anything that is unhealthy can be removed and removed because it is not able to regenerate and will no longer be serving any function. It is necessary to trim back the damaged areas until you reach the healthy plant material.

The root ball should be dried out and then pot the plant in an unclean pot with new pot soil. Do not water the plant immediately after repotting, but make sure to wait till the soil has dried to the surface.

Nutrient Deficiency

One reason that could cause your Caladium to start to lose color and appear unhappy is if its not getting enough nutrients.

The yellowing of leaves on caladium can result from deficiencies in nutrient levels like manganese, zinc, or nitrogen, or an iron deficiency.

Potting soil is able to hold a certain amount of nutrients that plants require to grow healthy, and following that, its our responsibility as gardeners to ensure that our plants are healthy and well-nourished.


I prefer feeding my Caladiums with the liquid food for house plants which is rich in Nitrogen which stimulates growth of the leaf.

This is why I do this every fortnight in the summer, but cut it back to once a month in the fall and during winter I dont feed my plants any more.

Fertilizer Burn

Caladiums are tubers, and they may be damaged when they are exposed to excessive fertilizer. The damaged root system shows its wilted and yellowing leaves.

If you are sure that this isnt an issue with water, then this could be something you have to think about.


Most often, it is due to the false assumption that the greater food you give your plants food, the more it will grow. However, this is possible to avoid it by feeding it during the growth phase of summer and following the instructions of the manufacturer.

When you first plant your plant it will have enough nutrients in the soil, so there is no requirement to feed it for at minimum the first six weeks. Then, adhere to the above schedule and you will be able to stay clear of this.

Low Humidity

This is a challenge that homeowners of house plants have to deal with, especially when they grow extremely leafy house plants.

Caladiums, as well as many other house plants are indigenous to the tropical regions, where humidity levels are much higher than those the average home. This issue is made worse by the use central heating systems that make the air dry.


There are several options to address this issue. One option is to buy an air humidifier for your plants and increase the humidity around the plant. For Caladiums Ive found that it unnecessary and prefer more low-tech options.

First, I attempt to group plants in a way that the humidity rises due to the collective respiration of the plants. Then, I place the pots up on pebble tray.

The entire set is comprised of tray filled with pebbles and water. Pebbles help keep the base of the plant free of water, while transpiration of water increases the humidity of the plant.

If one of my plants begins to appear unhappy and I believe that humidity is the reason for the problem, I lightly mist them every day. I do this in the morning to ensure that the leaves have ample time to dry out and not damp overnight.

How to Prevent Yellow Leaves on a Caladium

Heres a list of suggestions for you to keep in mind periodically.

  • The first step is to make sure to ensure that the roots arent becoming waterlogged.
  • Follow a routine approach to inspecting the soil regularly to make sure its not too dry or too wet.
  • A close examination and periodic wipe-downs using the oil of neem or insecticide soap will make sure that your Caladium is always free of pests.
  • Feed your plants sparingly, but do it regularly.
  • Maintain humidity levels above the normal levels for a household.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)