Yellow Spots on Calathea Leaves; What Should I Do?

Calathea is a gorgeous houseplant, but it may be picky about its environment, and its leaves often get yellow spots. If you notice yellow spots on some of the leaves of your Calathea plant, don’t worry. I’ll explain the steps you should follow to regain your beauty and keep it that way forever. Pest infestations or spots that cause leaf spots are usually to blame when calatheas’ leaves get spotted yellow.

Yellow Spots on Calathea Leaves; What Should I Do

Why do my Calathea Leaves have Yellow Spots?

Many factors can strain Calathea plants, and a warning sign is when the leaves begin to yellow. Causes of fungal infection, inadequate temperatures, low humidity, excess minerals in the soil, and bad lighting.

However, this might not be the case if the plant is just adjusting to new growing conditions, such as a recent move or repotting. The plant’s leaves might just turn yellow in this situation. There is little chance of the Calathea adapting to their environment.

Let’s look at what causes yellow leaves on calathea and the indicators and possible treatments.


There will be a loss of chlorophyll as a natural consequence of aging plants or as part of the senescence process. This degradation will cause the leaves of your calathea plant to become yellow, and it will only affect a few of the lowest leaves at a time. Later, they will become brown, acquire a curled appearance, and then pass away.


Do you always have soggy soil, and the lower leaves on the calathea plants are turning yellow? You’re probably overwatering your plant.

The roots won’t get adequate oxygen if the soil is excessively wet or soggy. They will weaken and struggle to take in essential nutrients and water. Root rot will set in if you don’t do anything, making things worse.

The leaves of an overwatered calathea will remain soft and won’t get crispy or dry, but the plant will show signs of wilting and drooping, and you may notice brown or black spots on the leaves, and the leaves may curl or fall off. A mushy area will form at the base of the stems, and other signs, such as moldy potting mix, will also be present.


Some yellowing and dry, brown tips and edges on the leaves of your calathea plant are indications that it needs water. Additional signs include drooping, slow growth, leaf drop, wilting, and death. Without water, they can’t produce chlorophyll because they can’t take in the minerals needed. In addition, dehydration is a component that promotes the breakdown of chlorophyll.

Pseudomonas Leaf Spot

Bacterial infection disease Calathea plants are susceptible to Pseudomonas leaf spot disease. The most common type of bacteria is pseudomonas cichorii. Prolonged periods of moist leaves and Environments that are especially humid encourage the establishment and spread of bacterial infections.

Large, dark green spots appear on leaves infected with the bacterial leaf spot disease, eventually turning black and soggy. It’s possible that the yellow halo surrounding these wet areas will make it appear as though the leaves are divided into concentric yellow rings.

It is highly unusual to discover and over two spots caused by Pseudomonas on a single leaf. This occurs because many diseased leaves wither before plants can be fully coated.

Regarding preventing and controlling disease, sanitation plays a key role. Any infected plant debris, including damaged plants, must be removed and disposed of. The amount of water that splashes and the time that the leaves are wet can be reduced by watering early in the day or using a sub-irrigation system. Fans, more space between plants, and warming and venting can all help bring down the relative humidity in a room. You shouldn’t touch a plant if its leaves are wet.

Though bactericides have some success in preventing and treating bacterial infections, their usage has been restricted. Despite this, copper-based products have been authorized for use in control. Maintaining effective environmental management and ensuring adequate sanitation is of paramount importance.

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Low Light Conditions

Like any other plant, they thrive best when nurtured in conditions that mimic their natural habitat. Calathea love to dwell on the forest floor, making dappled sunlight dazzling but not direct, an ideal illumination source. When the leaves are subjected to direct light, they can easily become discolored.

The plant should be situated no more than two meters from an east-facing window when grown inside. The conditions here are perfect for plant growth. There, it will be exposed to sunlight for some days, but the sunlight won’t be as intense as what you’d get from a window facing west, so there’s less risk of it overheating.

Differences in Temperature

There’s a narrow temperature range in which Calathea plants can thrive. The optimal temperature should be maintained at 62 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures are permitted to linger outside the optimal range, the plant will undergo stress, which could cause the leaves to become yellow. If the temperature is too high, the calathea plant’s leaves will begin to curl and then change color.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Pseudomonas leaf spot is just one of many bacterial leaf spot illnesses that could be responsible for the yellow spots on Calathea. If the Calathea is not doing well, you may see damp spots on the leaves. Both watery lesions with black edges and dark brown spots plus yellow margins have been described. You may look at it anyway and be correct.

Additionally, bacterial illness could result in opposing light and dark areas on the leaves’ surfaces. On the other hand, Bacterial leaf spots can be up to a centimeter in diameter, are frequently asymmetrical, & occasionally ooze a sticky material from their cores.

Depending on where they live, they could get bigger or keep the same size. Infected leaves may dry up and fall off after turning a brownish-yellow tint at the leaf tips and edges. The result is that the leaf tips and edges start to look and feel like paper. Rapid plant transmission is observed in cases of bacterial leaf spot disease. The disease-causing bacteria overwinter in the plant’s dead sections and travel to the living leaves via a splash of water. Conditions like cold and wetness help these diseases spread.

Treatment, and prevention

If you notice a bacterial leaf spot on a plant, you must act fast to prevent the illness from spreading to other plants. To prevent the disease from spreading further, infected vegetation should be cut away and thrown away as soon as possible. Utilize a bactericide based on copper in the early stages of an infection.

  • Watering from above should be avoided.
  • It is best to water your Calatheas first thing in the morning to prevent the leaves from getting damp.
  • When the leaves are damp, you shouldn’t touch them at all.
  • Employ methods of clean and sanitary gardening.
  • As soon as possible, clear away any dead plant matter and trash.

Nutrient Deficiency

Chlorosis, The most typical cause of leaf yellowing and yellow patches on Calatheas is nutritional deficiency. The season is approaching when leaves begin to turn brown and die, rendering them incapable of photosynthesis.

Deficient amounts of nitrogen, magnesium, zinc, and zinc are commonly observed in plants of Calathea. Symptoms are most easily recognizable as yellow spots on the leaves. Concurrent water scarcity and nutrient deficiency are regular occurrences. One reason is that plants can’t take up soil nutrients if there isn’t enough water. A shortage of zinc or magnesium could cause the leaves of a Calathea plant to cluster at the stem or the base of the plant.


  • Give your Calathea a houseplant fertilizer that is well-balanced and has a label that specifies the nutrients you want it to focus on absorbing. For instance, you can treat magnesium insufficiency with Epsom salt, which you can buy online.
  • The application of compost can revitalize the soil.
  • To increase the nitrogen levels in your plant, move your Calathea to a more brightly lit spot.
  • Most nutrient shortages affecting your Calathea can be remedied by simply repotting the plant.

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Pest Infestation

Particularly susceptible to infestation by spider mites are calathea plants. They are also susceptible to attacks from scale insects, aphids, white flies, thrips, and mealybugs. When feeding regions are infested with pests, the leaves may become stunted and yellow in spots. If the Calathea has been overwatered, the issue is usually very serious, is sick, or has not been given sufficient food.

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Guests

  • You can prevent the reproduction of spider mites on your plant by misting it.
  • A powerful stream of water should be used to rid your home of mealybugs and other pests.
  • In addition, you could try using horticultural oils, neem oil, or soaps that kill insects. You will, however, need to continue spraying once a week until the infestation has been eliminated.

Levels in Relative Humidity

Typically, the native environment for plants belonging to the genus Calathea has a relative humidity of about 90%. Making a replica of it inside is almost unlikely. They can tolerate humidity levels as high as 70% but not below 50%. A Calathea plant’s leaves will begin to turn yellow when the humidity drops below 50%.

However, suppose you’re having trouble keeping the relative humidity in the room at around 50% and still want to grow tropical plants inside. In that case, you can do a few things to increase the humidity right where the plants are located.

Having rootbound or compressed roots

Although calatheas need to be transferred after two to three years, you can see the plant’s roots growing through drainage holes and the bottom leaves turning yellow before you do so. This is a sign that the plant’s roots are being stifled, which is bad news if you have it as a houseplant.

When you notice it is actively growing, it is time to repot the plant into a larger container. If not, then put it off until early spring. It’s important to repot into a container that can accommodate the entire root ball.

Frost Damage

Calatheas are not tolerant of cold temperatures. If they are exposed to freezing conditions, whether through frost, drafts, or temps lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, they will suffer harm from the cold. Damage caused by frost makes an area susceptible to bacterial and fungal infection. Inadequate illumination, edema, nutrient shortages, and overwatering are all conditions that are made worse due to this factor. Consequently, the plant will develop abnormally slowly, wilt, and develop yellow or brown patches on its leaves. Another sign is the falling off of leaves.


  • Your Calathea should not be exposed to freezing conditions, whether through frost, drafts, or temps lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
  • Calatheas that have experienced frost or cold shock should receive less water.
  • Next to your Calathea, To keep warm, cover yourself with a blanket or use a steam vaporizer.

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If I remove the yellow leaves from Calathea plants, will new leaves sprout in their place?

Before attempting to prune a Calathea, you should take it out of its container and inspect its roots and rhizomes closely. They should all be a uniform white color. Shoots of leaves will emerge from rhizomes, but you should only prune back on them if necessary.

The photosynthesis process continues even if only one leaf remains on the plant. The leaves of a calathea can be trimmed back to the ground after they have lost most of their pigmentation. The plant will next shift its focus to establishing new growth. In time, the leaves will fall back where they belong.