Why Are My String Of Dolphins Leaves Turning Yellow? ๐Ÿฌ

By Kiersten Rankel

Dec 16, 20236 min read

  1. ๐ŸŒŠ Overwatering and underwatering both lead to yellow leaves in String of Dolphins.
  2. ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿ’Š Light, temperature, and nutrient imbalances can also cause leaf yellowing.
  3. โœ‚๏ธ๐ŸŒฑ Proper propagation and pruning promote healthy foliage and prevent yellowing.

Common Causes of Yellowing Leaves

๐Ÿ’ง Overwatering

Overwatering is a classic rookie mistake. You're trying to shower your String of Dolphins with love, but it's suffocating instead. The roots need oxygen, and too much water drowns them, leading to a condition called root anoxia. This waterlogged scenario hampers nutrient absorption, causing the leaves to turn yellow.

๐Ÿœ๏ธ Underwatering

On the other end of the spectrum, underwatering is equally problematic. If the soil is as dry as a desert, your plant can't gather the necessary nutrients for photosynthesis. The result? A lack of chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis, leading to yellow leaves. If the leaf margins are crispy and the leaves are dropping, your plant is probably parched and begging for a drink.

๐ŸŒž Light and Temperature

Next up, light and temperature. Your plant isn't a sun worshipper. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing discoloration. Conversely, if your plant is throwing a yellow leaf party, it might be due to too much shade. Finding the sweet spot of indirect sunlight is key to keeping your plant's foliage vibrant and healthy. Also, be aware of temperature fluctuations, as they can stress your plant and cause yellowing.

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiency is another common culprit. If your plant's diet is lacking, it's going to show in the leaves. Nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and iron are all essential for leaf health. Each deficiency presents differently: nitrogen deficiency starts with yellowing on older leaves, potassium deficiency causes yellow edges, magnesium deficiency leads to yellowing between the veins, and iron deficiency shows up on younger leaves. So, if your plant is sporting a yellow leaf ensemble, it might be time to consider a balanced fertilizer.

๐Ÿœ Pests and Diseases

Finally, we have pests and diseases. If your leaves are yellowing in patches, it's an indication of pest damage. It's alarming when plant leaves turn yellow, but it's not the end of the world. Yellow leaves are a symptom of a fixable problem. The trick is determining which one youโ€™re dealing with and how to help your houseplant thrive again.

Remedies and Prevention

๐Ÿ’ง Adjusting Watering Practices

Consistency is key. Overwatering and underwatering can both lead to yellow leaves, as they stress the plant. Check the soil's moisture before wateringโ€”don't rely on a schedule. Use filtered water or let tap water sit overnight to allow chlorine and fluoride to evaporate.

๐ŸŒž Light and Temperature Management

Balance is crucial. Too much light can scorch leaves, too little can weaken the plant. Aim for bright, indirect light and stable temperatures to keep your String of Dolphins vibrant and healthy.

๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Nutrient Management

Yellow leaves might scream nutrient deficiency. A balanced fertilizer can address this. If you suspect a deficiency, don't guessโ€”test the soil and then fertilize accordingly.

๐Ÿœ Pest and Disease Control

Regular inspection can catch pests and diseases early. Integrated pest management and cultural practices, like crop rotation, can prevent infestations. If you spot trouble, act fast but thoughtfullyโ€”avoid overdoing it with pesticides.

Propagation and Its Impact on Leaf Health

๐ŸŒฑ Propagation Techniques

Let's dive into the world of propagation. It's not just about making more plants, it's about ensuring the health of the ones you've got.

When it comes to propagation, timing is crucial. Spring and summer are the prime times for propagation, when your plants are in their active growth phase.

For the String of Dolphins, leaf propagation is an option, albeit a bit tricky. The key is to choose a healthy, fleshy leaf from an actively growing plant. This gives you the best shot at success.

To remove a leaf, use a sterilized knife to make cuts along the stem where the leaf attaches. Hold the leaf, apply force towards the stem, and gently shake the leaf sideways to detach it.

Remember, nodes are essential for leaf and root growth. Without nodes, your leaf cutting will be as useful as a chocolate teapot.

๐ŸŒฟ Root Health

Now, let's talk about roots. They're not just for sucking up water. They're the foundation of your plant's health.

When repotting, be gentle with the roots. Use a clean knife or garden trowel to release them from the existing pot. Trim any dead or rotting roots with sterile pruners.

If the plant is rootbound, cut through the roots to prevent continued encircling. This is like giving your plant a much-needed haircut.

Ensure the plant sits about 1 inch below the edge of the pot to avoid water spillage. Backfill with soil, tamp down, and water thoroughly.

Remember, healthy roots equal healthy leaves. If your plant's roots are in good shape, you're less likely to see those dreaded yellow leaves.

So, there you have it. Propagation isn't just about making more plants. It's a vital part of maintaining the health of your String of Dolphins. So, get propagating!

Specific Care Techniques for Healthy Foliage

โœ‚๏ธ Pruning: A Snip in Time Saves Nine

Pruning is not just about giving your plant a haircut. It's a strategic move, a game of chess with Mother Nature.

Snip off any dead, damaged, or dying leaves or stems. This isn't just for aesthetics; it's a matter of plant health.

๐Ÿ”ช The Right Tools for the Job

Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. Wipe them off between cuts. You're a surgeon in the operating room of plant care, and you don't want to spread any fungal diseases.

๐ŸŒฑ Stimulating Growth

Pruning in front of a leaf node will stimulate new growth. It's like telling your plant, "Hey, you've got room to breathe. Now, go forth and multiply!"

๐Ÿž๏ธ Soil and Pot Selection: The Foundation of Plant Health

Choosing the right soil and pot is like setting up a trust fund for your plant's future.

๐ŸŒฑ Soil Selection

Soil fertility is a big deal. It's not just about dirt; it's about the life within the dirt. Your plant's diet depends on it.

๐Ÿบ Pot Selection

And then there's the pot. If your plant looks tired, consider repotting it with fresh potting soil. Use a well-draining potting mix with perlite or add sand and gravel for extra porousness.

โš–๏ธ The Right Balance

Remember, it's all about balance. Too much of anything can be bad. Over-fertilization can lead to leaf burn and other nutrient imbalances.

๐ŸŒฟ The Final Word

In the end, it's about giving your String of Dolphins the best chance at life. And that starts with you, the plant parent, making the right choices.

Revive your dolphin leaves ๐Ÿฌ from yellow to green with Greg's PlantVision identification, custom watering plans, and community troubleshooting!