Why is My Prayer Plant Turning Yellow? Causes & Solutions


Find out why your prayer plant is turning yellow, explore common causes like sunlight exposure, and watering issues, and learn solutions to revive your plant.

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If you’re looking for answers to why your prayer plant is turning yellow, this guide will explain the potential causes and provide steps to fix them. My comprehensive guide will dive into various factors that may be causing your beloved houseplant’s leaves to turn yellow and provide actionable solutions for each issue.

From excess sunlight exposure and improper watering techniques to nutrient deficiencies and humidity levels, we’ll discuss how these aspects play a crucial role in maintaining the vibrant foliage of your prayer plant. Furthermore, we’ll explore temperature requirements as well as common diseases and pests affecting this tropical species.



By understanding the underlying causes behind yellowing leaves on your prayer plant, you can take appropriate measures to restore its health and vibrancy. So let’s dive deeper into uncovering why your prayer plant is turning yellow and learn how to create an optimal environment for it to thrive!

Psst: If your plant is too far gone, cut your losses and start over with a new plant. I love buying my plants from Perfect Plants or on Etsy. Use code “HouseFur10” to save 10% on Perfect Plants.

red prayer plant
Prayer Plant from Etsy Seller

Table Of Contents:

My Experience & Love for Houseplants

With extensive expertise in houseplant care, I possess in-depth knowledge of caring for Prayer Plants. Years of study and hands-on experience have allowed me to uncover the optimal conditions for their growth. I offer trustworthy guidance on lighting, watering, humidity, and essential care practices, based on scientific understanding and personal dedication!

Excess Sunlight Exposure

One common reason for prayer plant leaves turning yellow is too much direct sunlight exposure. These plants thrive in bright but indirect light, so moving them 3 to 5 feet away from windows can help prevent leaf discoloration and promote healthy growth.

Identifying Signs of Sunburn on Prayer Plant Leaves

If your prayer plant’s leaves have started to turn yellow or brown with crispy edges, it could be a sign of sun scorching. The best way to avoid this issue is by providing the right amount of indirect light.

Tips for Providing the Right Amount of Indirect Light

  • Avoid Placing Near South-Facing Windows: South-facing windows tend to receive intense sunlight throughout the day which can cause your prayer plant’s leaves to turn yellow or even burn.
  • Filtration Methods: Using sheer curtains or blinds will help diffuse harsh sunlight while still allowing enough brightness for your tropical plant.
  • Maintain Consistent Lighting Conditions: To keep your prayer plant happy and healthy, ensure that it receives consistent levels of indirect light each day without sudden changes in intensity.

Improper Watering Techniques and Poor Drainage

Overwatering or using a poorly draining potting mix can lead to root rot, which causes yellowing leaves, among other issues. Ensuring proper water drainage by switching pots with better drainage holes or using a well-draining potting mix like one containing sand and peat moss will keep your prayer plant healthy.

Signs of Overwatered Maranta Plants

  • Yellow prayer plant leaves: Leaves turning yellow is an early sign of overwatering.
  • Brown tips: If the tips of the leaves start turning brown, it’s another indication that you’re giving too much water.
  • Mushy roots: When you remove the plant from its pot, check if the roots are mushy – this indicates root rot caused by excessive moisture in the soil.

How to Choose the Best Potting Mix for Optimal Drainage

Opt for a high-quality potting mix specifically designed for houseplants to ensure your prayer plant receives adequate drainage.

Look for mixes that contain perlite, vermiculite, or coarse sand, as these ingredients improve soil structure and promote good drainage. I recommend THIS potting soil for Prayer Plants because it will help prevent root rot.

You can also add extra perlite or coarse sand to your existing potting soil, ensuring healthier growth conditions for your tropical plants.

Maintaining Ideal Temperature and Humidity Levels

Prayer plants thrive in warm temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity levels. Investing in a humidifier or misting your plants regularly helps maintain these ideal conditions while deterring dust accumulation as well as pests that could harm your beloved houseplant.

Benefits of Using a Powered Humidifier for Indoor Gardening

  • Increase moisture levels, promoting healthy growth.
  • Prevent leaf curling caused by low humidity.
  • Create an environment similar to the plant’s natural habitat.

Misting Techniques to Ensure Adequate Moisture Retention

  1. Select a spray bottle with fine mist settings for even distribution of water droplets on leaves without soaking them completely.
  2. Mist prayer plant leaves during early morning hours when evaporation rates are lower, allowing the foliage to absorb more moisture before nightfall arrives.

Iron Deficiency (Chlorosis)

Yellow foliage on prayer plants may be due to iron deficiency, also known as chlorosis.

Applying chelated iron products or liquid fertilizer rich in essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) during the summer growing season every two weeks can effectively address this issue without causing further damage.

Recognizing Symptoms of Chlorosis in Prayer Plants

  • Pale green leaves with yellow spots
  • Inability to make chlorophyll properly
  • Older leaves turning yellow first before spreading to the entire plant

To diagnose chlorosis, examine your prayer plant for these signs. If you suspect an iron deficiency is the cause of your prayer plant’s yellowing leaves, consider applying a suitable treatment.

Choosing the Right Fertilizers for Combating Nutrient Deficiencies

Selecting a high-quality liquid fertilizer containing all essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium will help promote healthy growth. Look for products specifically designed for tropical plants like the Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro Nutrient Solution, which provides proper nourishment while avoiding issues such as fertilizer burn that could harm your precious houseplant even more.

close up prayer plant leaf with water droplets

Repotting and Flushing Soil

Repotting your prayer plant every 2-3 years helps keep roots healthy by giving them room to grow. Additionally, flushing the soil with clean water removes excess salts that may build up over time, preventing potential harm to your plant’s overall health.

When and How Often to Repot Prayer Plants

The best time for repotting prayer plants is during their active growth period in spring or early summer. This allows the plant enough time to recover from any stress caused by the process before entering its dormant phase in winter.

To ensure optimal root development, aim to repot your prayer plant once every two or three years.

Techniques for Properly Flushing Soil

  • Pouring Method: Slowly pour distilled water through the potting mix until it runs out of the drainage holes at least twice. This will help remove any accumulated salts and minerals from poor water quality or fertilizer burn.
  • Bath Method: Submerge your entire potted prayer plant, including its container, into a tub filled with distilled water for about an hour. Afterward, let it drain completely before returning it back to its usual spot.
  • RELATED POST: Ultimate Guide to Prayer Plant Care Tips

Identifying and Treating Diseases and Pests

Yellow leaves on prayer plants can be caused by diseases such as Helminthosporium leaf spot or pests like spider mites. To maintain a healthy houseplant environment, it’s crucial to treat active infections and take preventative measures against future outbreaks.

Symptoms of Common Maranta Diseases and Pest Infestations That Cause Yellow Leaves

  • Helminthosporium Leaf Spot: This fungal disease causes yellow spots with dark brown centers on the leaves. If left untreated, these spots may enlarge, causing the entire plant to wilt.
  • Spider Mites: These tiny pests create fine webbing on the undersides of leaves while feeding off your plant’s sap. Infested leaves will turn yellow and eventually fall off.

Effective Treatments for Combating Fungal Infections and Insect Attacks

To treat Helminthosporium leaf spot, apply a fungicide like chlorothalonil. For spider mite infestations, use an organic solution such as neem oil or insecticidal soap sprays. Be sure to follow label instructions carefully when applying any treatment products.

In addition to treating existing issues, consider implementing preventative measures like regular inspections for signs of infection or infestation, proper watering techniques that prevent wet soil conditions conducive to fungus growth (source), and maintaining ideal humidity levels to deter pests.

girl smiling at camera with plants in background
Hi! It’s me in my sun room surrounded by several of my favorite plants.

FAQs for “Why Is My Prayer Plant Turning Yellow”

What Causes Prayer Plant Leaves to Turn Yellow?

Prayer plant leaves can turn yellow due to several factors, including:

  • Excessive sunlight exposure causes sunburns on the foliage
  • Improper watering techniques, such as overwatering or underwatering, lead to root rot
  • Poor drainage resulting in waterlogged soil
  • Extreme temperatures affecting growth
  • Insufficient nutrients from depleted soil
  • Low humidity levels causing leaf dehydration

Should You Cut Off Yellow Leaves of a Prayer Plant?

Yes, you should remove any damaged or discolored foliage from your prayer plant. Gently trim away affected areas using clean pruning shears or scissors.

This helps prevent further spread of diseases and pests while also promoting healthy new growth for the remaining parts of the plant. If your plant is too far gone, cut your losses and start over with a new plant. I love buying my plants from Perfect Plants or on Etsy. 

What Does an Overwatered Prayer Plant Look Like?

An overwatered prayer plant typically exhibits symptoms such as wilting despite wet soil conditions, soft mushy stems at their base with possible blackening due to rotting roots, browning leaf tips, and overall discoloration, including a pale green-to-yellowish hue throughout its foliage.

If you suspect your prayer plant is overwatered, be sure to adjust its watering habits and improve the soil drainage system for future success.

What Does an Underwatered Prayer Plant Look Like?

An underwatered prayer plant typically exhibits symptoms such as wilting foliage, dry and brittle leaves or stems, browning leaf edges, and overall discoloration, including a pale green-to-yellowish hue throughout its foliage.

To fix the issue, be sure to increase water intake with regular watering habits and make sure your soil is well draining for future success.source

How Do I Prevent My Prayer Plant from Getting Diseases or Pests?

The best way to prevent diseases or pests on your prayer plant is to maintain a healthy environment in which it can thrive. This includes providing adequate light and water, proper temperature and humidity levels, using organic fertilizers for nutrition, and inspecting regularly for signs of infection or infestation.

If necessary, use fungicides or insecticides such as neem oil.

In addition, you may need to increase the humidity around your prayer plant by misting it with water or placing a humidifier near it. You can also place pebbles in the pot to create an efficient drainage system that prevents waterlogged soil. Related Read: The Best Humidifiers for Houseplants: Get the Right One for Your Green Thumb!

These measures should help provide ideal humidity levels to deter pests and ensure healthy growth for your prayer plant.


Yellowing leaves on your prayer plant can be a sign of various issues, including excess sunlight exposure, improper watering techniques, temperature requirements not being met, nutrient deficiencies, fertilization problems, humidity levels not being maintained correctly, or diseases and pests affecting the plant.

Identifying the root cause of why your prayer plant is turning yellow and taking appropriate steps to address it can help ensure that your plant remains healthy and vibrant for years to come.

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  1. If the leaves of your prayer plant begin to turn yellow, it may be an indication that you aren’t providing enough water, aren’t keeping the soil at the right temperature, or all three.

  2. good, very good

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