Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow: Causes, Prevention, and Cure

Discover the reasons behind geranium leaves turning yellow and how to prevent and cure this issue. Get expert insights and tips for lush, vibrant geraniums.

Geraniums are beloved for their vibrant flowers and lush foliage. However, as a gardener, you may encounter the disheartening sight of your geranium leaves turning yellow. Don’t fret!

Why Are My Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various causes of this issue, effective prevention strategies, and proven cures to ensure your geraniums thrive.

Understanding Geraniums

Before delving into the reasons behind yellowing leaves, let’s establish a basic understanding of geraniums.

Geraniums, scientifically known as Pelargonium, are perennial flowering plants that are cherished for their brilliant blooms and aromatic leaves. These hardy plants are popular in gardens, balconies, and windowsills due to their versatility and ease of care.

The Significance of Healthy Leaves

Healthy Geranium Leaves vs Yellow Geranium Leaves
Healthy Geranium Leaves vs. Yellow Geranium Leaves

The leaves of geraniums play a crucial role in their overall health. They are responsible for photosynthesis, which provides the plant with energy and sustenance. Healthy leaves are typically vibrant green, and any deviation from this color can be a sign of an underlying issue.

Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow: Causes

Yellowing leaves in geraniums can result from various factors. Let’s explore the most common causes:

Lack of Sunlight

Insufficient sunlight can cause geranium leaves to turn yellow. These sun-loving plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. If they don’t receive an adequate amount, they may not produce enough chlorophyll, leading to leaf discoloration.


Overwatering is a common mistake that can lead to root rot and yellowing leaves. Geraniums prefer well-draining soil. Ensure that the soil is dry to the touch before watering again.

Poor Soil Drainage

Geraniums thrive in well-draining soil. Soil that retains too much moisture can suffocate the roots, resulting in yellow leaves. Amending the soil with sand or perlite can improve drainage.

Nutrient Deficiency

A lack of essential nutrients, particularly nitrogen, can cause yellowing leaves. Ensure you’re using a balanced fertilizer to provide your geraniums with the necessary nourishment.

Pests and Diseases

Insect infestations or fungal diseases can stress geraniums, leading to yellowing leaves. Regularly inspect your plants and treat any issues promptly.

Temperature Stress

Geraniums are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Cold drafts or scorching heat can cause stress, resulting in leaf discoloration.

Aging Leaves

It’s natural for older leaves to turn yellow and eventually die off. Regularly prune these leaves to encourage new growth.

Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow: Prevention

Preventing yellowing leaves is the key to maintaining the health of your geraniums. Here are effective preventive measures:

Optimal Sunlight

Ensure your geraniums receive adequate sunlight. Place them in a location where they can bask in the sun for at least six hours each day.

Proper Watering

Water your geraniums thoroughly but allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Use pots with drainage holes to prevent overwatering.

Well-Draining Soil

Use well-draining soil or amend your existing soil with materials like sand or perlite to improve drainage.

Regular Feeding

Fertilize your geraniums with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer during the growing season. This will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy foliage.

Pest and Disease Management

Regularly inspect your geraniums for pests and signs of disease. Apply appropriate treatments if needed.

Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow: Cure

If your geranium leaves have already turned yellow, don’t despair. Here’s how you can nurse them back to health:


Trim yellowing leaves and dead stems to encourage new growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.

Adjust Watering

Assess your watering habits and adjust them to ensure you’re not overwatering or underwatering your geraniums.

Soil Amendment

Repot your geranium in well-draining soil if the current soil is compacted or retains too much moisture.

Nutrient Boost

If nutrient deficiency is suspected, use a specialized fertilizer with higher nitrogen content to green up the leaves.

Pest Control

Tackle pest and disease issues promptly with appropriate treatments. Isolate infected plants to prevent the spread of diseases.

Temperature Regulation

Protect your geraniums from extreme temperatures by moving them indoors during harsh weather conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I save geraniums with severely yellow leaves?

Yes, with proper care and attention, geraniums with severely yellow leaves can recover. Follow the steps mentioned in the “Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow: Cure” section.

How often should I fertilize my geraniums?

During the growing season, fertilize your geraniums every four to six weeks with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer.

Are there specific geranium varieties less prone to yellowing leaves?

Yes, some geranium varieties, like the “Rozanne” geranium, are known for their resistance to yellowing leaves.

Can yellowing leaves be a sign of over-fertilization?

Yes, excessive fertilizer application can lead to nutrient imbalances and yellowing leaves. Always follow the recommended dosage on the fertilizer label.

What’s the best time to prune yellow leaves?

You can prune yellow leaves at any time, but it’s best to do so in the spring when the plant is actively growing.

Can geraniums recover from frost damage?

Geraniums can recover from mild frost damage, but severe damage may be irreversible. Protect them from frost to prevent this issue.


Maintaining vibrant, green leaves on your geraniums is achievable with the right care and attention. By understanding the causes of yellowing leaves, preventing these issues, and implementing effective cures when necessary, you can enjoy the beauty of healthy geraniums in your garden.

Hello, I'm Alex, and I'm passionate about gardening. I studied Plant Science at California State University, Fresno, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. My love for plants began in my childhood, and it has grown into a lifelong journey.

Leave a Comment