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Yellow Leaves on Impatiens – How to Fix It

There is nothing more satisfying as gardeners when we see our plants start to bloom. That happens to me when I see my impatiens bloom so exuberantly. However, at some point (and this happens to all of us), the leaves of the impatiens begin to yellow. Sometimes it is easy to find leaves turning yellow after blooming because of a lack of nutrients. But that is not the only situation. So, Why are impatiens leaves turning yellow? In this article, I will help you to find out how to fix yellowing leaves on Impatiens. Impatiens are very showy flowering plants. Ideal for keeping in pots, being native to tropical regions during the coldest months of the year. You should protect them so that they arrive to spring healthy. Learn all about yellow leaves on Impatiens in this full guide.

First, and for reference, the lower or older leaves of Impatiens plants are the first to dry once completed the cycle, starting to turn yellow and eventually dry. If this is your case, do not be alarmed. We are within the normal parameters of the Impatiens. On the other hand, if those leaves turning yellow are the newer or central leaves, we may already have a problem, and in this post, we will review how to fix it.

impatiens leaves turning yellow
Impatiens leaves often turn yellow after blooming because of a lack of nutrients. But that is not the only reason. So, Why are impatiens leaves turning yellow, and how to fix and prevent yellowing leaves on impatiens?

Why are impatiens leaves turning yellow, and how to fix and prevent yellowing leaves on impatiens? Let’s start.

What Causes Yellow Leaves on Impatiens?

What Causes Yellow Leaves on Impatiens? The leaves of our Impatiens are great indicators of what is happening and what we are doing wrong in general in the care of our Impatiens, everything can be due and usually is due to large groups of deficiencies or deficiencies that may be watering, nutrients, light or diseases and/or pests. Above all, it is usually due to lack of irrigation or lack and/or blockage of nutrients that the plant cannot assimilate.

Below, we will explain the most common causes of yellow leaves in Impatiens and how to solve the problem of yellow leaves in Impatiens.

yellow leaves on impatiens
What Causes Yellow Leaves on Impatiens? There can be many factors that cause yellow leaves on Impatiens. For example, one cause could be a lack of water.

Yellow Leaves on Impatiens Due to Nutrients

Yellow Leaves on Impatiens Due to Nutrients. One of the most probable and common causes is the lack of nutrients in our plants, especially in the case of pots. Impatiens leaves often turn yellow after blooming because of a lack of nutrients. Generally, it is due to a lack of nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, or zinc.

On the other hand, sometimes nutrients are available, but the plant cannot absorb them. So, nutrients are available in the soil, but due to an incorrect soil pH, nutrients are unavailable for plant absorption. Soil pH for Impatiens should be between 6 to 6.5 for proper plant absorption. It should be checked and corrected.

If it usually appears first in the new shoots of the leaves, it will surely be a micronutrient (magnesium, iron, manganese, or zinc).

However, if it appears before in older leaves, it will be macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus), accompanied by this discoloration of the leaves, usually appear wrinkling leaves or even necrosis.

Most commonly, Impatiens suffer from a lack of iron, so the leaves appear yellow. This problem can be easily solved with iron chelate.

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Yellow Leaves on Impatiens Due to Watering Stress

Watering stress, including irrigation issues and the lack of nutrients, are among the most common causes of yellow leaves on Impatiens.

The lack of watering or excess watering can produce yellow spots in the Impatiens, especially on the edges, that usually come accompanied by our leaves falling down or even changing to a tone but brown in the stem, especially if it lacks watering.

Impatiens can hold a lot of water but like having a moist substrate. It is sufficient to water Impatiens once a week in winter, but in summer, they need more frequent watering. Never wet the leaves of your Impatiens to prevent the appearance of fungus.

Yellowing Leaves on Impatiens Due to Watering Stress
Impatiens flower. Watering stress and the lack of nutrients are among the most common causes of yellow leaves on Impatiens.

Yellow Leaves on Impatiens Due to Fungi Appear

A great friend of the orchards in humid climates is the fungi that often manifest themselves by turning their leaves to yellower colors, especially mildew, which is a fungus that usually affects Solanaceous plants (tomato, potato, bell pepper…), although it can also be caused by rust (affects garlic, onions, leeks or legumes).

To prevent our Impatiens from being attacked by fungi, we must avoid wetting the leaves when watering them. If our Impatiens already have yellow leaves due to a fungal attack, we should use a broad-spectrum fungicide.

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Impatiens Leaves Turn Yellow Due to Excess Light

Impatiens are plants that grow and develop much better in the shade. Ensure they receive sunlight, not direct sunlight, or their leaves may wilt.

If you want to put Impatiens in place with a lot of sun, the best thing to do is to expose it gradually to the sun, increasing its sun exposure daily. Otherwise, too much light can cause the yellowing of impatiens leaves to appear suddenly.

impatiens yellow leaves potted
Impatiens with yellow leaves due to excess light.

Pests, Nematodes, Red Spider Mites, and White Flies Causing Impatiens Leaves Turning Yellow

Pests, Nematodes, Red Spider Mites, and White Flies may cause Impatiens Leaves Turning Yellow.

The attack of the nematodes, although usually fewer symptoms for this cause, can also make our leaves yellow and wilt. Nematodes attack the roots preventing them from absorbing nutrients and water properly.

Other pests, such as whiteflies and/or spider mites, can also show yellow leaves, although these are easier to detect as we will see them swarming on the leaves. The bites of these insects cause yellow spots on our leaves.

To eliminate these insects from our Impatiens, it is best to use neem oil. Neem oil is ecological and safe to use in our garden. Learn more about how to mix neem oil for plants.

The Presence of Viruses in Impatiens

The presence and infection of viruses is the least common case that can occur in our Impatiens. Virus detection in Impatiens is difficult to detect. If none of the other options have helped you, it is probably a virus affecting your plant.

There is no way to eliminate the virus from Impatiens, and we must eliminate the plants. So, you will have to throw away the plants and look for methods to disinfect the soil. One of them is solarization.

Impatiens leaves turning yellow due to a virus infection
Less common is to find Impatiens leaves turning yellow due to a virus infection.

Final Conclusions Regarding Impatiens Leaves Turning Yellow

Yellow leaves on impatiens are common. Especially leaves turning yellow after blooming is natural because they need more nutrients. However, my final advice is to check the plants periodically, the leaves, the stems, the soil, and even the back of the leaves.

Look for insects, feel the soil moisture, and touch the turgor of the leaves of plants. To summarize, yellow leaves on impatiens can be caused by different reasons, such as nutrient deficiencies, water stress, harmful insects, disease, etc. Only you can make an accurate diagnosis with the information you learned in this post, and you can fix and prevent the presence of yellow leaves in impatiens.

I am sure that you are becoming an expert gardener, and you will find the information that will guide you in this fabulous way of gardening in The Garden Style.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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