Umbrella Plant Yellow Leaves – Causes and How to Fix It

Is the dreadful sight of yellowing umbrella plant leaves bothering you?

If it hasn’t already, it should because yellowing umbrella plant leaves is not natural. This, however, is not an uncommon issue! Anyone who has ever potted or repotted a Schefflera plant may have faced this issue.

The umbrella plant leaves turn yellow as a result of moisture stress caused by over or underwatering, transplant stress, insufficient lighting, pest problems, and nutrient deficiency. 

One of the first signs of a stressed plant is a yellowing leaf. As a result, if you catch it early, you can prevent yellowing leaves from spreading throughout the plant!

Why are the Leaves on My Umbrella Plant Turning Yellow?

Why are the Leaves on My Umbrella Plant Turning Yellow?

1. Moisture

The most common cause of yellowing leaves in Scheffleras is insufficient soil moisture, specifically overwatering. When 50-75% of the soil volume is dry, water your umbrella plant. Allow your plant to dry out a little more between waterings in the winter.

When watering your plant, make sure that enough liquid flows from the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot into the saucer. It is critical to discard any excess water in the saucer because your Schefflera will not respond well to “wet feet,” which causes the roots to rot and the plant to die.

To properly and consistently care for an umbrella plant, the soil must be moistened. Your umbrella plant may become stressed and turn yellow if the soil alternates between being bone dry and wet due to improper watering timing.

2. Your Relative Humidity

Normal household humidity is fine for these plants, but extremely low humidity and dry soil make the umbrella plant leaves turn yellow and brown on the edges. Place a humidifier, add a pebble tray, or mist the area.

3. Poor Lighting

When placed in medium to bright indirect sunlight, the umbrella plant will flourish. The foliage will burn if exposed to direct sunlight for an extended time. Though they can adapt to low light conditions, umbrella plants’ growth will be sluggish. 

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of insufficient light. Move following the amount of light your umbrella plant is receiving.

4. Pests

The umbrella plants that are weak or under stress are more vulnerable to insect infestations. Spider mites and other sap-sucking insects can dehydrate your plant. Leaflets and fronds quickly start to yellow as a result of this issue. 

In an indoor environment, scale, mealybugs, and spider mites are frequently present. These tiny pests multiply and move into nooks and crannies along frond parts if they are not eliminated at an early stage. 

The insects’ piercing mouths exhaust your plant and hasten it to yellow, particularly if your umbrella plant is already unwell due to inadequate lighting, nutrient deficiency, or insufficient soil moisture.

5. Some Yellowing Is Common

Is your umbrella plant producing fresh growth? This yellowing is normal if there is new growth on your plant and the yellowing leaves are closer in age, especially at the base of the plant. Your plant releases its old leaves and directs its energy toward new growth.

What Causes Yellow Umbrella Plant Leaves?

What Causes Yellow Umbrella Plant Leaves?

The umbrella plant leaves turn yellow for a variety of reasons. The causes of yellowing leaves, as well as appropriate solutions and preventions, are discussed further below.

1. Overwatering Concerns

Overwatering is a major issue for houseplants like umbrella plants, which respond quickly to waterlogging with yellowing or spotted leaves. Waterlogging can cause the soil to become damp, resulting in moisture stress. On umbrella plants, it can cause slowed root growth, root rot, and fungal infestation.

Too much water prevents roots from absorbing nutrients from the soil. Underwatering, on the other hand, will dry out the soil and suffocate the plant’s roots. Yellowing leaves, in any case, are the first sign of overwatering issues.


  • Reduce the amount of watering and misting the plant right away and hold off until the issue passes.
  • Discard any drained water that accumulated on the saucer.
  • Before adding more water, check the top few inches of the soil to see if it has dried out.
  • Stay away from soggy soil. Look for dark brown soil on the surface as opposed to light grey soil.
  • Avoid abruptly starting to drown an underwatered plant in water to make up for the loss of oxygen; instead, gradually increase the amount of water it consumes to 1.5 liters.


  • Plan to water once per week during the spring and summer growing seasons.
  • 1.5 liters, or roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the pot’s volume, should be used.
  • Between waterings, let the top 12 inches of soil dry out.
  • In the fall and winter, reduce watering to once every two weeks and use no more than one liter of water.
  • Make use of planters with drainage holes.
  • When watering, avoid using hot or cold water. Water should be at room temperature (68°F) for umbrella plants.

Also Check: How to Choose Best Soil for Schefflera Plant

2. Low Humidity

The umbrella plant is a humidity-loving houseplant because it allows the plant stem and soil to stay moist. As a result, a lack of humidity in the air can cause yellowing leaves.

Dry air conditions, such as in an enclosed environment with a heating unit and scorching heat, can deplete humidity in the air, causing umbrella plant leaves to wither and turn yellow.

It is common during the winter when a heating unit is turned on and ventilations are turned off.


  • As a quick fix, install a humidifier in the space.
  • Place the room’s humidity between 65 and 80%.
  • Till the yellowing stops, mist the plant a few times per week.


  • To increase the humidity in the space, add several houseplants.
  • Regularly run the humidifier in the spring and summer.
  • Remove the room’s heater and air conditioner.
  • In the summer, use a pebble tray filled with water rather than an empty one.

3. Direct sunlight

Direct sunlight

For delicate houseplants like umbrella plants, where direct sunlight on the leaves can scorch with brownish spots, sunburn is the main concern.

Patchy yellow umbrella plant leaves may result from direct sunlight or from keeping the plant near windows or patios for an extended time.

Even though the plant benefits from indirect (filtered) sunlight, placing it too close to the source of the light can result in sunburn.


  • Remove your umbrella plant from the sun as soon as possible.
  • Place them at least two to three feet away from the window that receives direct sunlight.
  • Four hours a day maximum of indirect light should be consumed.
  • Avoid putting the plant in the sun to make up for poor lighting.
  • Using your finger or a pair of pruning shears that have been disinfected, remove the damaged leaves.


  • Plan to consume light for at least 4 hours each day.
  • To ensure complete and regular growth, rotate the plant once a month.

Read More: About Umbrella Plant Light Requirements

4. Pest Control Issues

Although pest infestation with the in-house umbrella plant is uncommon, you should be aware of pests that can cause yellow leaves.

Pests and insects are natural predators of houseplants, sucking out Nitrogen, moisture, and soil microbes, causing the plant’s leaves to yellow.

Wilted or springy leaves, black spots, and tiny holes may also be caused by pest infestation.


  • Wipe the spider mite off the plant with warm soapy water, or use a miticide spray like Grower’s Ally Spider Mite Miticide.
  • To remove aphids from plant leaves and stems, use an aphid-control pesticide or wipe the plant down with rubbing alcohol.
  • Yellow scales can be removed with Yates Nature’s Way Vegie And Herb spray.
  • Alternatively, Neem oil can be used to remove and control pest infestations.


  • Never keep garden plants, fresh cuts, or leaves close to the umbrella plant or bring them inside the house.
  • Maintain a spotless and well-ventilated space.
  • Engage in routine pruning.
  • Use pest control measures.

5. Cold Climate

In its ideal environment, an umbrella plant prefers temperatures between 65°F and 80°F that are warm and humid.

Even though it can survive below 65°F, the plant’s growth is stunted below 60°F, which results in yellowing umbrella plant leaves. In the winter, leaving them outside can result in chilly draughts that will hasten the yellowing of the leaves.


  • Take them out of the space with the air conditioner installed.
  • 4 hours a day maximum of indirect sunlight should be consumed.
  • To allow the plant to breathe, properly ventilate the space.


  • The umbrella plant should not be moved, though you can occasionally rotate it.
  • To keep the temperature consistent, put the newly potted plant in the same spot as before.
  • Make sure the daytime temperature is between 65°F and 80°F and the night-time temperature is between 60°F.
  • To keep the plant’s humidity level high, mist it a few times each week.

6. Excessive Fertilisation


Over-fertilization is a curse for houseplants, especially if they only get regular feedings.

The soil will become toxic for the umbrella plant if it is over-fertilized, resulting in burned and yellowed leaves. The roots will be choked if there is too much plant feed or a high NPK ratio.


  • Stop fertilizing right away and wait for the issue to pass.
  • Feed the plant once per month during the growing season and only start fertilizing again after the issue has subsided.
  • For an umbrella plant, substitute organic Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food.


  • If you fertilize once a week, use mild, diluted plant feed.
  • After the plant has been repotted, wait 6–8 weeks before fertilizing it.

7. Ageing Naturally

The umbrella plant leaves may age naturally, or they may turn yellow on the underside and fall off to make room for new foliage growth.

You shouldn’t be concerned about natural yellowing until only a few leaves per month start to turn yellow. Anything more than a few leaves, though, might point to more serious issues with your plant.


  • Always begin pruning from below and remove wilting or old leaves.
  • During the growing season, remove any pale-looking bottom leaves.


To ensure that the plant ages naturally, maintain the temperature at the ideal level, water it once a week, fertilize it occasionally and keep it getting enough sunlight.

Should I Get Rid Of The Yellow Leaves?

When the umbrella plant leaves turn completely or partially yellow, they are less likely to overturn.

Yellow leaves can be a nuisance because they rob green foliage of essential nutrients and attract pests to decaying or dead leaves.

Thus, removing yellowing or dead leaves will keep your plant looking its best and allow for new growth.

As a simple fix,

  • Using your fingers, remove the old leaves. Pluck as close to the stem as possible and discard immediately.
  • Alternatively, use disinfected pruning shears to remove leaves with the least amount of fuss.

Umbrella Plant Tips and Advice


You can keep plant problems to a minimum by regularly tending to your plant. The umbrella plant is a low-maintenance plant that requires weekly watering and fertilization, 4 hours of indirect sunlight, and a warm and humid environment to thrive.

Consider paying special attention to the repotted plant to avoid transplant shock and other post-repotting issues.

Here are some helpful hints for caring for your repotted umbrella plant.

1. Appropriate Watering

During the growing season, spring and summer, water thoroughly once a week.

If you are unsure, measure 1.5 liters of water in a can and pour it directly onto the soil. Make sure the top 12 inches of soil is dry between waterings.

To avoid having too much moisture, collect the drained water in a saucer pan and throw it away right away. Reduce watering to once every two weeks in the fall and winter. Depending on the state of the soil, provide one liter or less.

Check Out: Umbrella Plant Watering Guide

2. Sufficient Lighting

Make sure they spend at least four hours each day in a brightly lit area with indirect sunlight. To prevent leaf burns, place it at least three feet away from windows that receive direct sunlight and stay away from outdoor spaces like patios and gardens.

These umbrella plants can tolerate lower light levels, but they might struggle in damp, shady environments. A room with natural light will do! 

To ensure even growth, turn your plant once per month.

3. Provide a Warm Environment

The tropical umbrella plant prefers a warm environment. Keep them in areas that are between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and at or above 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

In the fall or winter, when the risks of the cold draught are greatest, never leave your plant outside. In the summer, make sure the room is well-ventilated to allow the plant to breathe.

4. Suitable Humidity Level

Dry air and low humidity can cause your plant’s leaves to turn brown or yellow. Plants stay fresh when the humidity is kept slightly high, between 65 and 80%.

To keep the plant leaves from drying out, mist them a few times each week. To make up for the low humidity in the space, add a humidifier.

5. Fertilize Suitably

During the growing season, you should fertilize your plant frequently to give it an extra boost of nutrients for faster growth. Use a plant food that is slightly high in nitrogen to help the foliage grow. Utilize a 5-1-1 nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) ratio.

Plan to fertilize the plant once per week while watering it, but keep the amount of fertilizer low to avoid burning the roots with too many nutrients.

As an alternative, you can fertilize your umbrella plant once a month with either Monstera Plant Food or Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food, which are organic liquid-based fertilizers.

6. Eliminate Pests

Keep in mind that pests and insects are less of a problem for indoor plants. Look for wilted, excessive yellowing, or scale problems, as well as a white substance under the umbrella plant leaves, as indicators of aphid, mealybug, or scale problems.

As a preventative measure, refrain from keeping your plant outside and stop bringing garden leaves and stems inside. If you come across a pest issue, think about wiping the plant with rubbing alcohol or a warm soapy water solution.

Bonus Tip for All You New Plant Owners:

Please Leave Your Plant Alone.

And I say this because I’m guilty of getting overly excited about having a new plant and start poking it, moving it around, and so on. So, once you’ve found the ideal location for your umbrella plant, leave it alone; otherwise, you may end up harming it.


Your umbrella plant’s leaves may be turning yellow for many reasons. Yellow leaves are typically brought on by inadequate or excessive light, poor watering, and compacted soil. Discovering the root of the issue will enable you to solve it successfully and bring your plant back to its former splendor.

It can become a problem, though, when it is excessive and occurs along with other problems, like wilted leaves, stunted growth, or white substances on the umbrella plant leaves.

Apply the above remedies and precautions to identify the issue with your umbrella plant and manage excessive yellowing. You’ll need to put some time and trial and error into getting these things right, but you’ll learn a lot about these lovely houseplants in the process!

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  • Vaishnavi

    Vaishnavi is a student of organic chemistry. She is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardener who enjoys sharing plant information and ideas. She also enjoys writing inspirational poems. She portrays her love for plants and nature through her poems.

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