Alocasia Polly leaves turning yellow is something that’s not normal. After all, the plant is best known for its dark green, beautifully shaped leaves with very distinctive white veins.
As such, when part of the leaves or entire leaves turn yellow, it is something to pay attention to.
Overwatering and potential root rot are the most common causes of an Alocasia Polly with yellow leaves. And because of their consequences, I always give this issue priority above all.
That said, other reasons can cause yellowing Alocasia Polly leaves.
These include, lack of humidity, temperature issues, incorrect lighting, pests and diseases.
Alocasia Polly Turning Yellow Causes
Why are your alocasia polly leaves turning yellow? There are several possible causes.
Each of these are different. Therefore, it is important to understand each.
Knowing what is happening will allow you to have a better understanding of how to fix the issue.
Below I’ll go through the most common reasons for yellow leaves in alocasia polly. And for each, I’ll also discuss how to treat the problem.
Overwatering is one of the first things I check when I notice my alocasia polly leaves turn yellow.
Yellowing is a common side effect with many houseplants when they get lots of water.
More importantly, overwatering is something I prioritize because of its consequences.
Overwatering can lead to root rot. And root rot, if not treated early enough, can be fatal to the plant. Therefore, it deserves extra attention.
Unlike other issues, once root rot takes over, it will keep spreading.
What’s worse is past a certain point, there is no saving your alocasia polly.
This is why it is very important to regular soil moisture. The plant does not like drying out. And it needs water to stay healthy.
However, it is will experience problems if there is too much water.
In general, alocasia polly only need watering once a week. This frequency will change during summers when the temperature gets hot and also during winters when things get gold.
What’s important is not to give it too much water by regularly drenching it or watering it too often.
The plant enjoys moist soil. But wet, soaked soil is too much and it will lead to overwatering problems.
When overwatered, you’ll see the leaves of your Alocasia Polly turn yellow.
This is a sign that the leaves are not getting enough nutrients because the roots are drenched with moisture. Thus, preventing them from functioning at 100%.
If this condition persists, the roots will eventually suffocate to death as the excess water deprives them of oxygen they need. This is when roots die. Then they will rot.
Another issue caused by overwatering is fungal growth.
Fungi and other microorganisms like wet, damp environments. This is where they can grow and spread. And some fungal diseases eat through plant roots causing the roots to die. Again, after they die, they will rot.
Root rot also causes both brown and yellow leaves in Alocasia Polly.
This happens because dead or rotten roots don’t function anymore. So, the plant becomes deficient in both water and nutrients since there are fewer healthy roots left.
Overwatering usually happens due to 3 possible reasons.
- Watering the plant too often
- The soil is not draining enough moisture
- Your pot does not have drainage holes or enough drainage
As such, when you see alocasia polly leaves turning yellow it is important to check all three of these potential causes.
Often, watering too frequently is the cause.
That’s because many people believe that plants need to be watered daily or every other day.
That’s not the case with the Alocasia Polly.
Instead, it does best with once a week watering. Better yet, always check the soil before adding water.
You can easily do this by sticking your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches from the top. If the soil at that level feels moist or wet, do not water.
Only water when the soil 2-3 inches from the top has dried out.
This allows you to avoid watering the plant too soon. And you do not end up watering it when the soil still has a good amount of water.
Another option to checking the soil with your fingers is to use a moisture meter.
This is an inexpensive device you can use to check how much moisture there is in the soil. It is quick and simple. And the screen will tell you if the soil is dry, moist or wet.
From there, you will know when to water.
When watering your Alocasia Polly, do not water it from overhead.
This will wet all the leaves. And most of the water won’t end up in the soil. Instead, it will drench the leaves and get deflected to the sided.
Watering this way is harmful for the plant as it increases the risk of leaf diseases if the moisture does not dry soon enough.
Therefore, water directly on the soil instead.
The two other things to make sure is to use well-draining for your Alocasia Polly and a pot with enough drainage holes at the bottom.
Both will allow any excess moisture to drain so the soil does not get waterlogged.
This keeps the roots from swimming in too much water.
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Alocasia Polly leaves turning yellow may also be a cause of lack of humidity.
The plant is native to the Asian rainforests.
This means that it is used to humid conditions. Ideally, it prefers humidity of 60% to 70%. But it will do quite well as long as you maintain humidity of 50% and higher.
The reason the plant needs this much moisture in the air is that the tropical parts of Asia is notoriously known for being humid since it is located near the equator.
Additionally, rainforests experience regular rainfall which results in lots of moisture in the air as well.
As such, the plant is accustomed this kind of environment.
And when humidity is too low, you’ll initially see its leaves turn brown especially on the edges and tips. This will be accompanied by drooping as well.
After a while, entire leaves will turn yellow while some become brown. They will shrivel as well.
Humidity is closely related to watering. Both are associated with moisture.
However, while watering keeps soil moist, humidity is more concerned with the moisture in the air.
Therefore, you need to address each one of these issues separately.
Note that a big part of how humid your home is depends on where you live. As such, you may or may not have to deal with this issue.
If you live somewhere with good humidity, you won’t need to bother with this problem.
This is true if you live in tropical, subtropical or even Mediterranean climates. Similarly, living near a large body of water like the beach, shoreline, in a coastal city, lack or ocean will keep humidity high.
That said, some places are very dry. This includes semi-deserts or desert cities.
So, if your area’s humidity consistently stays under 40%. It is a good idea to monitor your Alocasia Polly to make sure that there is enough moisture in the air.
If you’re not sure, I suggest getting a hygrometer.
This will tell you the real-time relative humidity in any room in your home at any given time of the day.
Thus, you know when humidity is too low and when to take action.
My favorite way to fix lack of humidity is to place the plant in a pebble tray. You can likewise use a humidity tray which works just as well.
Another option is to get a humidifier.
Some growers will regularly mist the plant. But you need to make sure you have the time to regularly do this since its effects are very temporary.
Alocasia Polly need good lighting. They thrive in locations where there is plenty of light.
But it is important to keep in mind that too much light can also harm the plant.
That’s because alocasia prefer medium to bright indirect or filtered light.
They are native to the tropical rainforests of Asia where they are shaded by the much larger trees. Therefore, while they do get sunlight, the branches and leaves of the large trees have filtered this light.
Thus, the plant does best in indirect light indoors and partial shade outdoors.
Avoid leaving your Alocasia Polly in direct sunlight for more than 3 hours daily. Similarly, do not keep it in full sun outdoors.
This kind of intensity and duration is too much for the leaves.
While the plant can tolerate it to a certain degree, you’ll see its leaves get scorched and burned.
Too much light will cause your alocasia polly’s leaves to turn yellow or brown. This is a sign that the light is too strong or harsh.
Similarly, avoid placing the plant in low light.
Dim areas and dark corners are no-no’s as the lack of light will affect its overall growth. As a result, you’ll see your alocasia polly leaves turn yellow as well.
But in this case, the plant itself will grow very slowly, end up much smaller than similar plants in bright light. You’ll also see fewer leaves that are smaller too.
Fortunately, fixing lighting issues is very easy. All you need to do is move the plant.
The more challenging part is to figure out what the lighting problem is. And where to put the plant.
I’ve found a very simple way to figure this out.
Observe your Alocasia Polly.
If you see the sun’s yellow rays keep hitting the plant, it means it is getting direct sunlight. Therefore, it is getting too much light.
You want to especially avoid direct sun between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as this is when it is the harshest.
To move the plant, choose a location that is bright. But at no point during the day should the sun’s rays hit any part of the plant.
This ensures that the plant does not receive direct sunlight.
On the other hand, to check if your Alocasia Polly is not getting enough light, here’s a simple method as well.
Get a book, magazine or newspaper.
Then put it down on the spot where the plant is. Start reading.
If you can reach the main body of the text in the newspaper, magazine or book without having to squint, use extra effort, turn on a lamp or overhead lighting, then there is enough light.
Otherwise, it means that the spot does not have sufficient lighting.
For the latter, move the plant to a well-lit location with no direct sun.
Sometimes, alocasia polly leaves turning yellow is part of its natural aging cycle.
This is especially true if your plant is producing new growth.
Yellow leaves caused by natural aging is usually noticeable at the bottom of the plant. These leaves are older. And they will turn yellow.
After a while, the leaves will start falling off to make room for new leaves to emerge and grow.
In this case, the yellowing occurs as your Alocasia Polly will direct more of its energy and resources to the new growth. This allows the plant to push out new young leaves.
As a result, the older, larger leaves at the bottom do not get the resources they used to. This causes the change the in color.
This is one case where there is no problem. Therefore, there is nothing you need to do.
And do not be alarmed or worried.
It is part of the plant’s natural life cycles and part of its aging process.
That said, you want to monitor the yellowing leaves as well.
When natural aging occurs, only few leaves will turn yellow at a time. In contrast, if there is something wrong like the other issues listed above, the yellowing will keep spreading.
Therefore, if your alocasia polly leaves turn yellow due to natural aging, you should not see a lot of leaves turn color. And the number of limits should be limited.
On the other hand, if more and more leaves keep turning yellow each day, then consider another possible cause from the list above.