Why Does My Dieffenbachia Leaves Turn Yellow - How to Fix

Written by Ivy

Jan 12 2023

Why Does My Dieffenbachia Leaves Turn Yellow -  How to Fix

A stunning indoor plant that is among the most well-liked for good reason is the Dieffenbachia. Dieffenbachia leaves turning yellow is a fairly typical complaint, despite the plant being adaptable and simple to care for.

Your Dieffenbachia leaves may be turning yellow for a variety of common reasons, such as overwatering, an unfavorable temperature, pests, or a lack of nutrients.

  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Low Humidity
  • Temperature Extremes
  • Lighting
  • Pests And Disease

If you spend some time examining the growing circumstances your plant is in, you can quickly pinpoint the issue. Using the information in this article, you can evaluate your Dieffenbachia and learn how to address any problems.


Why Are My Dieffenbachia Leaves Turning Yellow?

The Dieffenbachia is a wonderful plant with many positive traits, but it can also be challenging to diagnose problems when they arise. I'm here to shed some light on one of the Dieffenbachia's more annoying issues—its leaves turning yellow.

Temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as a variety of lighting, water, and humidity, are all conditions that Dieffenbachia can withstand while growing.

Every plant has its limits, so if your Dieffenbachia's requirements are not met, it will start to lose its shine and produce yellow leaves. In order to figure out how to fix your plant, let's take a closer look at each of the reasons why Dieffenbachia leaves turn yellow.


The most frequent cause of yellow leaves on your dieffenbachia is overwatering, which results in a generalized, progressive yellowing of the foliage. Given that many of us have a propensity to water our indoor plants excessively, this is a problem that affects many houseplants.

Excessive watering results in waterlogging of the soil, which reduces airflow to the roots for extended periods of time. As the roots are a major source of oxygen uptake, which is crucial for the healthy functioning of your plant, soggy soil literally drowns your plant.

Normal plant processes are hampered in the absence of healthy roots, which results in progressive, all-over leaf yellowing. If the roots are exposed to opportunistic fungal and bacterial disease for too long, the plant will perish.

Simply burying your finger a few inches into the soil or feeling the soil will reveal overwatering. The pot's weight will be obvious because it is filled with water. You can carefully remove the plant from its container and inspect the roots if you believe root rot may be beginning. Root rot is indicated by roots that are black/brown and mushy, and there may frequently be an odor of rotting vegetation.

If you catch the issue early, you can simply stop watering, let the soil completely dry out, and then start watering again very cautiously.


The best way to water your Dieffenbachia is to thoroughly soak the soil until it starts to leak out of the pot's drainage holes and into the drip pan. This will prevent the leaves from turning yellow. After you're done, wait a few minutes while it absorbs what it needs before emptying the drip pan of any extra water.

Wait to water again until the top few inches of soil are almost completely dry. It's difficult to predict how long this will take because so many factors, such as variations in temperature, light, and humidity, are involved.

The best way to know when to water your Dieffenbachia again is to simply keep an eye on it and test the soil by putting your finger a few inches into it. Give it some water once you detect little to no moisture. Dieffenbachia typically needs more water in the spring and summer and much less in the fall and winter.


We have underwatering at the other end of the spectrum. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes we simply forget to water a plant for too long. This frequently results in brown or yellow leaves, usually on new growth as well as older, lower leaves, but not typically in a uniform pattern like with overwatering.

Due to Dieffenbachia plants' moderate drought tolerance, this should be a simple cause to pinpoint. The soil will be completely dried out by the time the leaves start to turn yellow/brown and get a little crispy. The plant leaves will appear extremely dry, and the pot will feel much lighter than usual.

Dieffenbachia plants are fortunately fairly resilient, so if you resume your regular watering schedule, the plant should recover. To avoid overstressing the plant, I would advise watering carefully for about a month before pruning off any yellow or brown foliage.


Low Humidity

Your dieffenbachia can still grow yellow leaves in extremely low humidity conditions, despite being more resilient to low humidity than some indoor plants.

This is most likely to occur when a plant is moved from an area with a higher humidity level to one with a lower humidity level and must quickly adapt to the new growing conditions.

If you purchase a dieffenbachia plant that has been grown in ideal, high humidity conditions at the nursery and then bring it home to the more arid conditions that many of us have in our homes, this problem is especially prevalent.

When a plant is moved from a high-humidity environment to one that has lower humidity, such as a person's home or workplace, the plant may be harmed and its leaves may turn yellow. Usually, after the plant has fully adapted to its new environment, this change disappears.

Temperature Extremes

Dieffenbachia plants thrive in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit; outside of this range, they start to exhibit signs of stress. One of the most typical symptoms of this stress response is yellow leaves because the plant cannot function as effectively outside of these temperatures.

This applies most to plants that are kept next to drafty windows in the winter or grown in hot rooms in the summer because most indoor spaces should be well within this temperature range. If you place your Dieffenbachia outside in the summer and leave it there for a little too long as the cooler autumn nights approach, temperature stress may also result.

I advise placing a digital thermometer next to your plant for a few days if you believe temperature stress may be a factor. These typically keep track of the recorded maximum and minimum temperatures in addition to the current temperature, making it simple to determine whether the environment is suitable.



The Dieffenbachia responds best to indirect bright light. A Dieffenbachia can become damaged by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight because they are prone to burning and drying out. The right amount of light is essential for these plants, not only because it directly affects the health of the plant but also because too much or too little light makes it difficult to determine how much and how frequently you should water the plant.

To prevent these problems, locate a location where the plant receives bright, indirect sunlight all day long rather than more than 1-2 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Remember that the arrangement of the furniture and the location of the windows will directly affect how much light enters the space. Depending on the layout of the room and the direction your windows face, this will change.

Keep in mind that as the seasons change, your plant's access to light and heat also changes. To prevent extremes of too much or too little light, you might need to move your plant around your house at different times of the year.

During the changing of the seasons, especially in autumn and winter, when old foliage is more likely to die back as part of this plant's natural growth habit, some yellowing of the leaves is common.


Consider drafts if you're pretty sure you've got the majority of other aspects of care under control but your plant still appears to be producing a lot of yellow leaves. Common offenders include leaky windows, heating vents, and air conditioning units.

Your dieffenbachia can exhibit significant signs of stress, even though it is more resilient than some indoor plants, so move your plant to a different location to resolve this issue.


Pests and Disease

Insect infestations and bacterial or fungal infections can also cause Dieffenbachia leaves to turn yellow. The majority of common houseplant pests, including mealy bugs, scale, and spider mites, can harm Dieffenbachia.

Regularly inspecting both sides of the leaves of your plant for bugs can help you spot problems early on and take preventative action. As they harvest the priceless juices from your plant, sap-sucking insects will cause a noticeable yellowing of the leaves.

Due to their small size, spider mites can be particularly dangerous because it can be difficult to spot an issue before it's almost too late. Inspect the leaves for tiny webs and treat the issue right away if you find it.

Your leaves can turn yellow due to bacterial and fungal diseases as well. Err on the side of caution and you can keep the majority of these diseases from becoming a problem. The most frequent cause of dieffenbachia plant disease problems is overwatering, by far.

Nutrient Deficiency

The most common nitrogen and phosphorus deficiencies that cause Dieffenbachia leaves to turn yellow are a variety of nutrient deficiency issues.

A plant that has gone years without being repotted and without fertilizer will eventually show symptoms of nutrient deficiency, including yellowing leaves. Many types of indoor plants are grown in nutrient-poor soil; one of my personal favorites for plants like dumb canes is a mixture of peat moss and perlite.

This has the drawback that you really need to give extra fertilizer to your dieffenbachia in order for it to grow and thrive as much as it can. Just be careful not to overdo it because nutrient toxicity might be more detrimental.

Throughout the growing season, fertilize your Dieffenbachia every two to three weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer that has been diluted by half. There are advantages and disadvantages to using organic fertilizer as an alternative.


Can I Remove Yellow Leaves on My Dieffenbachia?

Depending on the root cause. Pruning off affected foliage as soon as possible may be the only way to save the plant if there are pest or disease issues. The plant will be less stressed if it is given time to recover from other causes before being pruned if its foliage is yellow.

Caring for Dieffenbachia Leaves Turning Yellow

You should prune the yellow leaves in addition to using the fixes we provided because they won't turn green again. So you might as well cut them back.

Use a sharp, sterilized scissor to cut around the yellow area if the leaves only have yellow margins. The entire leaf does not have to be taken out.

On the other hand, we firmly advise that you cut it off as close to the stem as you can if the yellowing has spread throughout the entire leaf or is the result of a disease. Use sterile pruning shears or scissors, please.

Last Word

Yellow leaves on Dieffenbachia are a result of being over- or underwatered. A cold climate and/or too much sun exposure are both potential causes. Yellowing leaves can also be caused by nutrient deficiencies or problems with the root system. If the plant is pest-infested or not should also be taken into account.

You can hopefully correct the issue that's causing your dieffenbachia leaves to turn yellow and avoid further issues thanks to the advice in this article. The key lesson here is to take each cause into account separately, carefully evaluate your plant, and make adjustments to improve your plant's health.


Does Overwatering Affect Dieffenbachia?

The plant may suffer if you water it excessively. Your plant may succumb to root rot if the roots find it difficult to absorb all the water.

Can Brown Or Yellow-ish Leaves Turn Green Again?

The color of your dieffenbachia plant's leaves will not return to green once it has dried and the leaves have changed. To prevent them from affecting others, just cut them off.