12 Common Reasons why prayer plant leaves turning yellowPin

Either natural or environmental factors can cause a prayer plant leaves to turn yellow. This phenomenon may occur around leaf margins, in-between veins, or with the entire leaf. It is a sign that the plant is experiencing stress from the environment. Identifying the specific reason why this happens will help you to take immediate and proper action to address this problem.

Causes of Yellow Leaves on Prayer Plant

Here are the common causes why yellowing on prayer plant leaves occurs.

Watering Issues

overwatered prayer plantPin

Watering issues such as overwatering, underwatering, and water quality affect the production of chlorophyll. Overwatering is the common cause of yellowing leaves as it causes a lack of oxygen and waterlogging that damages the roots. Underwatering dries out the leaves of the prayer plant which causes it to turn yellow. Water quality is the type of water that you use in watering plants. These watering issues affect the transport of nutrients from the root zone to the leaves.

Poor Drainage

The soil that is not well-draining and the pot that has poor drainage affect the health of prayer plants. Also, lack of oxygen weakens the root of the plant so it fails to absorb water and minerals.

Temperature Stress

Temperature stress happens when the plant is exposed to an extremely hot or cold climate. The leaves of prayer plants are more susceptible to turning yellow in cold temperatures. When the temperature drops down to 13 degrees Celsius, plant cells will be damaged as the water freezes inside the plant. Heat stress affects the production of chlorophyll and the absorption of water and minerals.

Low Humidity Level

Low humidity level happens when the prayer plant is experiencing dry indoor air and there is too much moisture in the root zone. The tip and edges of the prayer plant turn yellow as the plant experiences water loss in the root zone.

Too Much Fertilizer

Excessive use of fertilizer affects the transportation of water and minerals from the root zone to the aerial parts of the plant. It builds up too much salt in the soil and damages the roots.

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency causes the leaves of this plant to turn yellow. The plant will not absorb enough iron when the soil is highly acidic. It reduces the production of chlorophyll and reduces the plant’s ability to photosynthesize.


Some of the pests that infect the plant by sucking its juice and water are aphids, thrips, and mealybugs. Spider mites cause yellow stripling on the leaves of the prayer plant. These insects take away the nutrients from the plant and damage its cells.


Bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases cause yellow pots, patches, and splotches on the leaves. The helminthosporium leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes yellow spots on the leaves that will turn into brown or tan color. The cucumber mosaic virus creates a yellow pattern on the leaves and there is no treatment for this disease so the plant that will be infected must be removed from the garden.

Poor Light Conditions

Light conditions affect the process of photosynthesis. Prayer plants will not be able to produce chlorophyll in poor or dark areas. The leaves of the prayer plant will turn yellow when it is exposed to too much light.  As a result, yellow patches will be developed on the leaf’s surface.

Rootbound or compacted roots

Rootbound occurs when the roots of the plant overgrow the pot. When the soil doesn’t have enough space to grow, root systems cannot grow on the soil.



Old leaves turning yellow is a natural phenomenon in plants. The production of chlorophyll decreases as the plant gets old. The leaves on the lower part of the plant are more susceptible to turning yellow and will become brown.

Transplant shock

Changes in the environment cause the leaves of the prayer plant to turn yellow. It happens when you transfer the plant to a new pot or environment.

How to prevent prayer plant leaves from turning yellow?

Proper environmental conditions and plant care practices will stop this problem. Here are the ways to prevent the prayer plant from turning yellow.

Prayer plant leavesPin

Water the plant sparingly

Check the condition of the soil before you water the plant. Let the soil get partially dried before you water it again. Use water that is free of chemicals such as rainwater and distilled water.

Use a well-draining potting mixture

The potting mixture must be well-draining and the pot must have good drainage to keep the root zone aerated and hydrated. Use a coir or peat-based potting medium and add perlite or sand to increase water retention. The saucer must be removed when you water the plant to prevent waterlogging.

Maintain a proper temperature

Maintain an ideal temperature of eighteen to twenty-seven degrees Celsius. The foliage of the plant becomes healthier and it retains its natural green color. 

Maintain the right humidity level. 

The ideal humidity level is forty to sixty percent. Putting the prayer plant in a pebble tray or humidity tray, misting their leaves, and grouping your plants can maintain the right humidity level.

Provide enough iron

Leaves use iron to retain their green color. The iron can be increased by using a coir or peat-based potting mix. Change the soil if yellow leaves continue to occur after using a well-draining potting medium.

Prevent pests and diseases

The condition of the plant must be inspected regularly. Cleaning its leaves will prevent any pests from getting into the plant. Neem oil can be used to treat fungal diseases.

Repot the plant

When the roots overgrow the pot or if it is planted in the same pot for three years, it must be transferred into a larger pot. Providing enough space in the root zone allows the plant to absorb water and minerals faster.

Potted prayer plantPin

Maintaining the right environmental conditions 

Environmental conditions affect the foliage of prayer plants’ condition. The root zone must stay hydrated and aerated while the aerial part of the plant must receive proper lighting to make sure that the foliage of the plant will remain healthy and vibrant.

Should I cut the yellow leaves off my prayer plant?

The yellow leaves from the prayer plant will not be restored to their natural color, for that reason they must be removed. Use a disinfected and sharp knife in cutting the yellow leaves. The leaves on the lower part of the plant must be pruned to divert the plant’s energy to other areas of the plant. In fact, leaves naturally will turn yellow because of aging so prune them before it happens to keep the plant’s aesthetic look.


The primary cause of prayer plant leaves turning yellow is water issues. The other issues that led to this problem are lack of proper lighting, nutrient deficiency, poor drainage, temperature stress, and other environmental factors. The leaves of the prayer plant make them more attractive so cutting off its yellow leaves will make them visually appealing. Proper care and regular monitoring will keep the plant’s foliage healthy.

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Elizabeth Mcmillan is a passionate gardener with a strong interest in plants. She used to be a teacher, but Elizabeth has spent the last few years immersing herself in the world of plants, learning about their biology and cultural value and trying out different ways of growing them in her own garden. Elizabeth Mcmillan loves indoor plants, succulents, and cacti, and her friends and family know her as a plant care expert.

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