Chlorosis! How to Treat Yellowing Foliage

Buckle up, fellow plant pals! Today, we’re diving headfirst into the murky world of chlorosis – the not-so-cool condition that turns our lovely green foliage into a sad, sickly shade of yellow.

Picture this: you’re lounging by the window, sipping your morning cuppa joe, when suddenly, you notice your plant’s leaves are crying out for help, pleading to reclaim their vibrant glory.

Fear not, my green-thumbed compadres, for I am here to reveal the secrets behind banishing chlorosis and reviving your precious plant babies.

It’s time to roll up our sleeves, gather our arsenal of remedies, and give those yellowed leaves a one-way ticket back to lush green goodness.

So grab your gardening gloves, because we’re about to embark on a chlorosis-busting adventure like no other!

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In this video from Garden Answer, She begins by discussing chlorosis, a condition she is currently dealing with in her garden. Chlorosis causes the yellowing of leaf tissue due to a lack of chlorophyll, with the veins remaining dark green.

She explains that the main reason for chlorosis is a lack of iron, as plants require iron to form chlorophyll and absorb sunlight for energy.

The soil pH plays a significant role in iron availability, as high alkalinity binds up nutrients and makes them insoluble for plants to uptake.

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In her garden, she combats chlorosis by adding soil amendments to lower the pH and ensure iron availability.

Additionally, she adds a good source of iron to the soil. She mentions that root problems, such as damage or compaction, can also contribute to chlorosis.

The condition usually starts on the ends or younger leaves and can progress throughout the plant, potentially causing scorching or even branch death.

She emphasizes the importance of starting treatment as soon as chlorosis is observed.

She shows examples of chlorosis in a rose bush, a perennial geranium, and privet hedges.

To address chlorosis, she uses a product called Iron Tone, following the instructions to sprinkle one to two cups around the drip line of the plant and lightly work it into the soil before watering.

She recommends performing a soil test to determine pH and nutrient levels in order to address specific soil deficiencies and ensure plant health.


1. What is chlorosis?
Chlorosis is the yellowing of leaf tissue due to a lack of chlorophyll. It is characterized by yellow tissues while the veins remain dark green.

2. What causes chlorosis in plants?
The primary cause of chlorosis is a lack of iron. Plants require iron to form chlorophyll, the green pigment in leaves, and to absorb sunlight for energy production.

3. How does soil pH affect chlorosis?
High soil pH, indicating alkalinity, can bind up nutrients in the soil and make them insoluble, leading to iron deficiency and chlorosis in plants.

4. What are the symptoms of chlorosis?
Chlorosis typically starts on the ends or younger leaves of plants, progressing throughout the plant if left untreated. The affected tissues turn yellow while the veins remain dark green. In severe cases, leaves may scorch, and branches can die.

5. How can I treat chlorosis in my plants?
To combat chlorosis, it is essential to address the underlying iron deficiency. This can be done by adjusting the soil pH, adding soil amendments to lower pH, and providing a good source of iron to the soil. Iron supplements, such as Iron Tone, can be applied around the plant’s drip line and lightly worked into the soil before watering.

6. Should I perform a soil test for chlorosis?
Yes, it is highly recommended to perform a soil test to determine the pH and nutrient levels in your soil. This will help identify any deficiencies and allow you to tailor your treatments accordingly for healthier plants.


I’m just a plant lover from Central Florida with a passion for sharing knowledgeable facts about all things plants.

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