Why Is My Pilea Turning Yellow?

Pileas are great plants to start with for those who are new or lacking the ability to succeed. Their lush greenery fills your house with a feeling of peace and peace.

This is the reason why plants lose much of their beauty when they begin to turn yellow or fade. But, why does pilea change color?

The color of pilea may change naturally as a result of excessive watering and root decay. Also, the yellowing of pilea leaves could result from underwatering or excessive sun exposure, or imbalances in nutrient levels. Repot the plant using fresh fast-draining, potting soil. Keep an eye on the plant for pests and fungal diseases. If the topsoil appears dry, you should water it.

What Yellow Leaves on Your Pilea Are Saying

[1] Pilea Getting Excess Water

Pileas are low-maintenance and can withstand a variety of climates. If you are attentive to the amount of water you give them during spring and summer months, they’ll usually flourish and continue creating new leaves.

When you are watering your pileas it is possible to overwater the plant. If you are able to overwater the growth medium, it can get waterlogged or soggy. The excess water can deplete oxygen and cause the root system to become suffocated.

If they are left in moist soil for a long time and then they will develop root decay as do most houseplants. The decay and damage to the roots together hinder the absorption of essential nutrients needed by pileas to ensure the health of their growth.

The first signs of yellowing appear in older leaves as well as those close in proximity to ground. It is often followed by brown, drooping spots, and a strong smell of rotting.

Most of the time the moment you put your fingers into the soil and look around, you’ll find it filled with water and boggy. You’ll also be able to determine whether the root rot virus has entered your pile when the roots change color to dark brown or black , and turn mushy.

The growth of mold on the surface of the soil is another indication of excessive watering. Similar things happen when leaves that are yellow and green are discarded prematurely.

pilea in hanging white pot

How to Fix a Yellowing Overwatered Pilea

If you’ve overwatered your pilea, you’ll want to sit around for another minute. If the roots are intact and unaffected by rot take the watering container off and let the mixture to dry.

Before beginning, make sure that the medium you are growing in is properly drained and the pot is equipped with enough drainage holes in the bottom

  • In the event that your potting mixture is not able to provide drainage, you should replace it with a drainage-friendly slightly rich growth medium (Check the most current prices at Amazon right here).
  • Change to a high-quality ceramic terracotta pot if your have an unglazed or plastic pot.
  • If there’s not enough holes, you can make some in the base in the bottom of your pot.

In the most extreme instances where the roots are decaying or the mixing is too slurry Repotting is the most effective and most likely the only alternative.

If you do not want to repeat the mistake, stay clear of excessively watering your plant. Instead ensure that the upper inch the potting mix is dry before watering it again.

[2] Fungal Problems

Pileas can also be affected by various fungal diseases, such as gray mold (Botrytis Blight) powdery mildew Pythium root decay, as well as Myrothecium Leaf spot.

Other fungal issues that affect the plants of the pilea include Southern Blight ( Sclerotium rolfsii) and rust. Rhizoctonia aerial blight ( Rhizoctonia solani), and Anthracnose. (Source: University of Florida)

The fungal issues can cause plants to turn yellow due to interference with photosynthesis, causing damage to leaves and causing nutritional deficiency. Let’s look at the three most frequent fungal problems.

Fungal Leaf Spots

The symptoms The symptoms of fungal leaf spots in pileas may be caused by a variety of fungi. Small brown lesions that have edged in yellow on leaves is typical symptoms and signs.

Additionally, these spots could have patterns that resemble targets, such as concentric rings. Most of the time, several fungal leaf spots will completely cover the leaf, leading to yellowing or wilting and eventually falling off before the leaf is wilted off.

Solution for Fungal Leaf Spots on Pilea

First thing that you need to do is to eliminate any affected plant matter

Spray your pilea with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, tebuconazole and myclobutanil chlorothalonil, and copper soap. You can also choose an fungicide with broad spectrum (Check the most current cost at Amazon right here).

Although fungicides may help stop future infections However, you must also take other preventive measures, like:

  • Be careful not to spray or splash water onto the foliage.
  • Increase the circulation of air around your pileas
  • Make sure your plant isn’t excessively watered.

Gray Mold (Botrytis Blight)

Signs and symptoms: Botrytis blight (also known as gray mold) is a fungal infection that is primarily affecting pilea leaves. The leaves affected by the issue appears as tiny yellow spots that have long streaks.

The leaves will soon be covered with yellow and the flowers will be covered with the appearance of black or orange lesions.

Solution for Gray Mold on Pilea

High humidity, overwatering, and poor air circulation are all factors that can contribute to the development of gray the mold in your home. This is why shifting your pile away from the issues is an ideal option to take.

Here’s how you can remove gray mold:

  1. Utilize a cutting tool that has been sterilized to get rid of any plant material that is contaminated as quickly as you can.
  2. Bring your pilea to the bathroom or outside, and rinse off most of your gray mold.
  3. Utilizing a broad-spectrum fungicide apply a thorough spray to the leaf.
  4. To stimulate the development of new leaves, give some nitrogen-rich foliar food.

Photosynthesis Is Hampered By Powdery Mildew

The symptoms: Powdery mildew is a problem for every species of pilea. The fungal disease is transmitted by spores and infects pilea leaves, creating small necrotic lesions that are covered with powdery white substance.

The mildew caused by powdery mildew can cause the foliage and, in certain cases the stem may become yellow in more severe instances. It can cause the growth being stunted and wilting.

How to Fix Powdery Mildew in Pilea Turning Yellow

Powdery mildew is easier to control and treat than other fungal problems. Here’s how you can tackle it:

  • Take off the thin layer of dust-like substance off the foliage by wiping it off.
  • Apply fungicides that are organic, such as neem oil, chemicals-based fungicides such as pyrethrins and.
  • Clean up the environment and increase the circulation of air.

[3] Bacterial Problem is Causing Your Pilea to Turn Yellow

Pileas aren’t particularly susceptible to diseases. However, when they are grown in a house they are vulnerable to bacterial issues.

Pelias become yellow because of bacterial wilt, the most frequent cause of this symptoms. In the majority of pilea species it is a bacterial infection triggered through Pseudomonas Cichorium.

The infection usually darkens the veins of stems as well as leaves. The leaves, particularly susceptible to becoming swollen and becoming yellow spots that rapidly expand over the entire leaf.

Pileas that have the Xanthomonas leaf spots On the other hand they develop watery lesions. These spots that are soaked in water, and could be surrounded with yellow spots, are typically normal in size and possess an oily substance that oozes from the spots.

The spots of bacterial growth will expand and then enlarge to form larger yellow patches when the conditions are humid.

In dry conditions bacteria’s lesions often dry up and change to a brownish red, without expanding. This gives your pile a yellowed, look.

Management and Control of Bacterial Problems in Pilea Plants

Bacterial infections are typically infectious and can be spread rapidly. Therefore, it is recommended to cut off any plant matter that is diseased to dispose it in a safe manner.

You might want to consider repotting your pilea into an entirely new pot, using a new medium-sized growing batch.

To prevent the spread of the illness and avoid future outbreaks, it is recommended to take the following steps:

  • Make sure your plants aren’t getting too watered.
  • Be careful not to spray or splash water on leaves by using an aerator that is well-drained and porous.
  • Make sure your plants aren’t overcrowded.
  • Do not use overhead irrigation.
  • Don’t allow your carpet to be exposed to temperatures that are too low.

[4] Pilea Not Getting Enough Water

One of the main reasons for the sad-looking yellow pilea leaves is insufficient amount of water. Therefore, water-related issues are the main reason for the pilea turning yellow.

Dehydrated pileas will exhibit extreme curling and drooping. It also has wrinkled leaves as well as the yellowing of foliage.

Put your finger in the soil again to determine the level of moisture. Of course, you could use a basic soil moisture gauge and make sure you don’t drown your pile.

Whatever method you choose If the soil is dry, crumbly and light, then your pilea is dehydrated to the point of being a puddle. In the end, it is unable to absorb nutrients efficiently and causes the browning of the leaves.

How to Treat an Underwatered Pilea Plant

The majority of plants require moderate to intense watering. If the soil is dry you should soak it in water by permitting it to absorb the water via drainage holes in the sink or bathtub.

Make sure to water your pilea plant as soon as the top 1 inch of the potting mix has dried out, so that this doesn’t happen again. In the summer heat, it is recommended to be sure to water your plants more often.

[5] Pale Coloration of Foliage Due to Too Much Light

The pale hue of the leaves of the pilea is usually caused by excessive exposure to light. This is a frequent issue in springtime, especially as the intensity of light is increased.

Plants that are exposed to too bright light can develop yellowing leaves and light-colored ones.

How to Fix

It is essential to provide enough lighting for your plant. Since most plants like indirect, bright light, you should avoid direct summer sun, which could burn the foliage.

The rotation of your plant’s pile every once a week is essential to ensure that you get a uniform exposure of light.

[6] Insect Infestation is Causing Pilea to Turn Yellow

If you’re in good health, your pilea plant must be free of pests. In the beginning, however, be aware of the three most common pests which can cause havoc to pilea plants.


Signs: There’s a high possibility that your pilea is infested with Aphids if a few of the leaves are falling and yellow spots on the leaves.

They also excrete honeydew that creates sooty mold on the top of the leaves. The tiny bugs are available in brown, white and black colors, as well as green, black and red shades.

Solution Spray the leaves of the pilea extensively with the oil of Neem each 7 to 7 weeks until the aphids have gone.

Spider Mites

Signs: Look for white specks and webbing on the stems and leaves of your pilea to determine whether you are suffering from a spider mite infestation. In the event that your infestation becomes serious enough, the leaves will change to a yellowish or partially.

Solution: Clean the spider mite and webbing colonies on the leaf’s sides of your pilea outside and in the bath. Use a gentle lukewarm water jet.

Neem oil, insecticide soap or insecticides should be sprayed over the sides and tops of the leaves.


Signs: If your plant is infested by mealybugs, your plants will be covered in white fuzzy material on their lower surfaces.

The tiny insects look like dusting of flour on your plant. Another sign of danger is the black mold that is visible on the top of your foliage.

Solution: The majority of mealybugs can be eliminated by hosing your plant pile. Rub alcohol onto the plant to kill them and eradicate them completely.

[7] Micronutrient Deficiency

It’s easy to misinterpret sunburn as a sign of a deficiency in potassium in your plant pilea. On the contrary, the leaves are likely to turn brown, appear burnt at the edges, and then turn yellow.

If you suffer from an insufficient nitrogen supply the leaves of your pilea will change color, become soft, and then curl upwards. Additionally, the leaves could turn brown before falling off. The typical pattern is that it starts with older, lower and more mature vegetation.

The yellowing may also be the result of a deficiency of iron. Chlorosis is a form of yellowing that can be caused by the absence of iron.

Treatment and Prevention of Nitrogen & Potassium Deficiency in Pilea Plants

You might want to consider feeding your plants with a high-nitrogen fertilizer or adding an amino acid supplement to your fertilization program to address a nitrogen shortage.

To ensure that you get the maximum absorption of potassium ensure optimal absorption, maintain the soil’s PH between 6.0 to 7.0. To make up for the lack of potassium use a fertilizer with high potassium.

Some Yellowing is Natural

Lower leaves will always turn yellow before dropping off due to them being the oldest, according to me, simply following the natural course! They will be replaced by beautiful, new green leaves.

There’s no way to fix it, but you could remove the old, sad looking leaves to make the pile appear more appealing.

Should I remove yellow leaves from Pilea?

It is possible to remove the yellow leaves from your pile if the majority of the foliage is yellow. If that is the situation, you must wait until the plant sprouts new leaves before taking out those that are yellow.

Can Yellow Pilea Leaves Turn Green Again?

The leaves that have yellowed are not likely to change to green in nearly every case. But, your plant will soon be awash with lush green leaves if you solve the root of the issue.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)