Swiss Cheese Plants
Q.

Why Does My Cheese Plant Have Yellow Leaves?

eddie321 added on May 27, 2013 | Answered

Why does my cheese plant have yellow leaves?

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theficuswrangler
Answered on June 17, 2013

A little confusing, right, with all those possible reasons for yellow leaves? Perhaps I can explain a little more for you. First, your plant is really called a Monstera deliciosa - a type of philodendron. (I'm sorry, calling them cheese plants just bothers me.)

90% of the time, yellow leaves will be caused either by soil that is too dry, or too wet. This is because wet soil damages the roots so they can't transport water to the leaves, and leaves turn yellow when they don't get enough water. To find out if you have either problem, dig up some soil from the pot with a spoon. This should be done a few days after you have watered. Dig well down into the pot. Now squeeze the soil between your fingers. If it feels dry, that is it doesn't stick together, or only barely, it's too dry. If it feels wet, that is it sticks together moistly, or water runs out of it, it's too wet Here's a video that shows you what I mean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBBh0RPPqu0 If the soil is too wet or dry, you'll want to correct the watering, this video shows more about that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9fkseDb1Ys

If the soil is neither too wet or too dry, the next thing to investigate is light. How long have you had the plant in its present position? If it's been for only a month or 2, try moving it to a place that gets more light. If it's been in the same place for quite awhile, has anything changed the light, like have trees grown up, or some such? If so, again, try moving the plant. If you move the plant, be prepared to wait for several weeks to see an improvement; plant changes don't happen over night.

If it doesn't seem that light is the problem, you can look for bugs. On a philo, the most likely insect would be mealy bug. Look into the leaf axils - where the leaf stem is attached to the main stem - for small packets of white fuzz. Also on the undersides of the leaves for little white fuzzy bits. If you find these, you can spray with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water (a teaspoon of soap in a small spray bottle of water), spraying very thoroughly into the leaf axils, on the underside of the leaves, all over till it drips. Do this once a week for 4 weeks. You can add some Neem oil if you want, I don't like the smell of it so I don't use it.

If you don't see bugs, consider a mineral imbalance. Since philos can look quite beautiful for years without ever being fertilized, it's not likely that your problem is nutrient deficiency. However, do you fertilize frequently? If so, you may have a buildup of salt. Try leaching the soil by running water through it, 5 times the volume of soil. This will wash out the extra salt, and your plant should start looking better within a few weeks. If you need any help with any of this, please let me know.

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AnnsGreeneHaus
Answered on May 28, 2013
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