09 Reasons Why Geranium Leaves Turn Yellow

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By Ashley Hanson

Updated: Apr 02, 2024

8 min read

Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow
Photo: @gardensbythebay

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    Geranium spreads beauty in the garden with its beautiful and colorful flowers and foliage which can be grown as houseplants and in the outdoor garden with minimal hassle and low- maintenance. Geraniums are perennials grown in warm climates, but when grown indoors, they thrive all year round. It is loved by homeowners for beds and borders due to its resistance to drought, but despite looking after the plants, when you see leaves turning yellow, it hurts, and you may feel demotivated.

    Geranium leaves turning yellow doesn't mean it’s dying because it happens due to natural processes and other factors that can be reversed and controlled. There is no need to worry because we have brought the reasons and solutions to these problems to help you tackle the issue. Let’s go through it.

    Know the Reason Why Geranium Leaves Turn Yellow


    Yellow leaves of geranium are a signal of over watering because underwatering hardly leads to yellowing of leaves. Geranium plants thrive in dry conditions and need water when 1 inch of topsoil gets dry. The best way to avoid over-watering is to grow geranium in well-drained soil or in a pot with holes.

    Overwatering or Underwatering Geranium
    Photo: @plantistan

    Under watering would hardly cause yellow leaves because geranium is drought resistant. Leaves can turn yellow only when the plant is not watered for a very long period. In this case, the symptom is leaf edges, and tips turning yellow, so start watering slowly when you see these symptoms to ensure water reaches the root.

    Lack of Sufficient Sunlight

    Lack of sunlight can turn leaves yellow because geranium thrives in full or partial sunlight. Geranium requires at least six hours of direct sunlight every day for robust growth and to maintain chlorophyll production to maintain the vibrant yellow color. If you can’t put houseplants in direct sunlight, prune the surrounding plants to allow geraniums to receive more light or set up a grow light above geraniums for light. Grow lights are not as effective as sunlight, so it’s advisable to stay on the light for 14 hours.

    Cool Weather Conditions

    Cold weather affects the color of leaves, turning them yellow, especially during spring. Geraniums are usually dormant during the winter, so leaves turning yellow are part of the natural cycle of these plants. The new growth during spring gets affected by cold snaps in the extended cold weather, causing yellow leaf color.

    Deficiency of Nutrients

    Yellow leaves of geranium are a sign of a lack of nutrients. Plants need balanced nutrition for healthy growth. The common cause of leaves turning yellow could be a deficiency of nitrogen, iron, or magnesium. Nitrogen deficiency causes yellow leaves from the bottom up; iron deficiency causes yellowing between the veins, and magnesium deficiency causes general yellowing of leaves because magnesium helps in photosynthesis and the green pigment of the leaf. To overcome nutrient deficiency, add balanced fertilizer.

    Leaves Turning Old

    Geranium Leaves Turning Old
    Photo: @borrowedgarden

    The old lower leaves of geranium plants turn yellow and shed off. This is a part of the natural cycle of plants to shed off old leaves that don’t contribute to the growth of plants.


    An accidental injury to the plant due to over spraying or drift from the neighboring properties. If you figure out that spray is the cause of yellow leaves, thoroughly water the soil to remove excess spray to ensure roots don’t absorb excess spray.


    Chances of pests attacking these plants are minimal, but always keep an eye on aphids and spider mites as they can harm the plant leaves by sucking liquid from plant leaves. The early sign of their attack is yellow spots on the geranium leaves where pests have sucked chlorophyll from the tissue of leaves.

    Bacterial Blight

    Geraniums are prone to bacterial blight, which can be identified by small watermarks on the leaves.

    Southern Bacterial Wilt

    The attack from southern bacterial wilt in the lowest leaves and drops prematurely after yellowing. Geraniums are exposed to these diseases in nurseries through contaminated soil.


    Why Are My Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow?

    Geranium leaves turn yellow due to multiple reasons, such as lack of nutrients, overwatering, under watering, lack of sunlight, or exposure to cold weather.

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