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Why Are My Citronella Leaves Turning Yellow? 6 Causes You Must Know!

As an enthusiastic gardener, you want nothing more than to see your plants flourishing and radiating beauty.

But what do you do when you notice something is off and your plants are not as vibrant as they once were?

In this guide, we’re zeroing in on a particular issue—why are my Citronella leaves turning yellow? This popular plant is a gardener’s delight for many reasons, the top of them being its natural ability to repel mosquitoes and its fresh lemon scent.

So, if you have Citronella plants in your garden and see yellowing leaves, it’s imperative to understand what’s causing the problem.

We’ll delve into the most common causes of yellowing leaves in Citronella plants and equip you with actionable tips to keep them healthy.

Let’s begin!

Why are my Citronella leaves turning yellow
Why are my Citronella leaves turning yellow? – Image via Reddit.

Why Are My Citronella Leaves Turning Yellow?

So, why are my Citronella leaves turning yellow?

There could be several reasons for it, ranging from overwatering or underwatering to pest infestations, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, cold exposure, compacted roots, or simply natural aging.

Let’s dive into each cause then we’ll help you save your beloved Citronella.

1. Overwatering or Underwatering

Overwatering your Citronella is one of the most common reasons for yellowing leaves.

The reason behind this is simple—waterlogged roots can lead to root rot and restrict oxygen flow to the roots.

Your plant is, in effect, drowning in all the water.

On the other hand, yellowing leaves in Citronella plants can also result from insufficient moisture levels in the soil. Thus, your plant cannot absorb the water it needs to grow properly, leading to stress and the yellowing of leaves in Citronella.

To avoid overwatering, ensure that the soil you’re using drains well and only water your Citronella when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch.

Balancing too much and too little watering is essential to keep your Citronella healthy and green.

You may need to adjust your watering schedule, especially during drier or wetter months.

If the yellow leaves persist, it may signify deeper root damage.

Revival Tips

Here are some tips for you:

  • Reduce watering frequency—cut back on watering your Citronella plants and only water them when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.
  • Adjust your watering schedule—make sure to water your plants early in the day to allow time for the soil to dry out before evening, preventing the development of fungal diseases.
  • Improve soil drainage—if the soil is heavy and poorly draining, consider adding organic matter to improve the soil structure.
  • Remove yellow leaves—prune off any yellow leaves to allow the plant to focus its energy on healthy growth.

Now, let’s look at the other causes.

2. Pests and Diseases

Aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies are common pests that can cause yellowing leaves in your Citronella due to their feeding habits.

Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot can also cause the same.

To prevent pests and diseases, make sure to regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestations and treat them as needed.

If you suspect pests or diseases are causing the yellowing leaves, take action to control them.

I’ll give you some tips to control pests and diseases.

Revival Tips

Read on!

  • Remove infected leaves—prune off any infected leaves to prevent the spread of pests or diseases to healthy parts of the plant.
  • Control pests—use a pesticide or natural remedy such as neem oil to control pests on your plants.
  • Control diseases—use a fungicide to control diseases on your plants, or consider using a natural remedy such as copper fungicide.

Whenever using a fungicide or an insecticide, take the time to read the instructions mentioned in the labeling.

3. Nutrient Deficiencies

A Citronella plant not getting enough essential nutrients can also result in yellowing leaves.

Remember that your Citronella’s soil will slowly lose its nutrients over time.

If you think that the yellowing of the leaves is due to a lack of nutrients, regular fertilization can help revive your plants.


Revival Tips

Here are some tips:

  • Fertilize regularly—use a balanced fertilizer to provide your Citronella plants with the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.
  • Provide proper nutrients—consider using a fertilizer specifically formulated for Citronella plants to ensure you provide them with all the necessary nutrients.
  • Prevent overfertilization—too much fertilizer can harm your plants and cause damage. Remember to measure correctly and give your plants the right amount of love and nutrition they need to thrive.

Now, let’s move to the next one.

4. Exposure to Cold

Citronella plants are tropical plants and prefer warm temperatures. If they are exposed to cold temperatures, this can cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Protect your plants from cold drafts and frost to prevent exposure to cold.

You can move them to a warmer corner in your house or garden or cover them with a protective barrier such as frost cloth.

However, you don’t need to worry if you think you’ve been a little late.

Revival Tips

Consider the steps below if your Citronella has just gone through a cold spell or frost.

  • Find a better location—a spot that is protected from the cold wind and provides the plant with plenty of indirect light.
  • Wait for new growth—this may take several weeks or even months, depending on the severity of the damage.
  • Gradually acclimate your Citronella to outdoor conditions—if the weather has improved, you can slowly start introducing your plant to outdoor conditions. Start by placing it in a shaded area for a few hours a day, and gradually increase the amount of time it spends outside until it can handle the full sun.

Be patient!

It may take some time for your plant to fully recover from a cold, so be patient and don’t give up on it too soon.

5. Root-Bound Plant

Another potential cause for yellowing leaves in Citronella plants is compacted roots.

If your Citronella lives in a pot or plant box, it may have grown to the extent that its roots have completely taken over its home, leading to a lack of oxygen and poor growth.

A root-bound plant can no longer absorb water and nutrients efficiently, causing your Citronella to suffer.

Plant your Citronella in a big pot with adequate space to prevent compacted roots.

You can also plant it in the ground and keep the soil loose and well-drained.

Revival Tips

Here’s what you can do:

  • Repot the plant—gently remove it from its pot and loosen the tangled roots. Trim any damaged or dead roots and replant the Citronella into a pot that is two to three inches larger in diameter. Use well-draining potting mix and water thoroughly after planting.
  • Provide adequate drainage—ensure that the pot you use has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and root rot. Place a layer of rocks or gravel at the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.
  • Avoid overwatering—root-bound plants are especially susceptible to overwatering, so be mindful of watering frequency and avoid letting the soil stay wet for long periods.
  • Proper pruning—regularly prune your Citronella plant to promote healthy growth and prevent overcrowding. Trim back any yellow leaves and damaged stems to allow for new growth.


6. Natural Aging Process

Why are my Citronella leaves turning yellow, you ask? Yellowing leaves in Citronella plants can also be a natural part of the aging process.

As the plant grows and matures, some older leaves may turn yellow and fall off. That is a normal part of the plant’s life cycle and is not something to be concerned about.

Following our guide, you can revive your yellowing Citronella plants and enjoy lush, healthy growth.

With proper care and attention, your Citronella plants can thrive for years to come.

Understanding Citronella

Citronella is a genus of perennial plants that belong to the Geranium family.

They are native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia and are best known for their strong, lemony scent.

This scent is what makes Citronella a popular ingredient in many insect repellents. In addition to their mosquito-repelling properties, Citronella plants also make excellent ornamental plants due to their fragrant foliage and delicate flowers.

There are several common varieties of Citronella plants, including the Citronella Mosquito Plant, Citronella Java, and Citronella Winterianus.

These plants are easy to care for and grow well in warm, sunny areas.

They are also low maintenance and can be grown in pots or in the ground.

How to Care for Citronella Plant – YouTube

FAQs: Common Questions About Citronella Plants

Following are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Citronella plants.

Where Do Citronella Plants Grow Best?

Citronella plants prefer warm, humid environments and do best in full sun to partial shade. They are commonly grown in tropical and subtropical regions but can also be grown in temperate climates with proper care.

How Often Should I Fertilize Citronella Plants?

Fertilize your Citronella plants once a month with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Can Citronella Plants Be Grown Indoors?

Yes, Citronella plants can be grown indoors if they are provided with plenty of bright, indirect light and proper care.

Are Citronella Plants Toxic to Pets or Humans?

Citronella plants are not toxic to pets or humans, but the essential oil derived from the plant can cause skin irritation in some individuals.

Concluding the Talk!

In conclusion, yellowing leaves on Citronella plants can be a frustrating problem, but it can be easily resolved with proper care and attention. Remember to properly diagnose the problem and follow the appropriate steps for revival, and your Citronella plants will be back to their lush, healthy growth in no time.

In addition to reviving yellowing plants, it’s also important to maintain healthy Citronella plants to prevent future problems.

Some tips for maintaining healthy Citronella plants include:

  • Providing proper sunlight
  • Watering the plants consistently
  • Fertilizing regularly
  • Controlling pests and diseases.

If you have any questions or want to share your own tips for reviving yellowing Citronella plants, we would love to hear from you!

Your feedback and input are valuable to our gardening community and us.