Elephant Ears Turning Yellow- Reasons and Remedy

Elephant Ear is also known as the Colocasia plant. It has stunning, light-green, heart-shaped leaves. When these Elephant Ears turning yellow or brown instead of fresh, light-green, it bugs you. Huh?

Not only you but many of the home growers also face this problem. But the solution is not out of your reach. You have questions, we have answers. 

So, no need to be tensed. We have rounded up everything you need to know about Elephant Ears turning yellow right here.

Let’s dive in!

Photo of an elephant ear plant
Photo by Tammykayphoto

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Why Are My Elephant Ears Turning Yellow?

Well, it’s not only you that have this question, but the maximum of the home growers do also have. This is why we compiled the reasons here as if you can find what your plant is facing. Let’s know:

  • Water imbalance
  • Low humidity level
  • Improper light
  • Attacked by insects/pests 
  • Planting problems
  • Natural causes

So, these can be the reasons for yellowing your Elephant Ears. Now, let’s move on to the remedy part. 

What Are the Remedies for Turning the Plant Yellow?

We just talked about the causes of turning the plant yellow and now we will break them down. Also, we will show you what are the remedies for the issue. 

Don’t worry, it doesn’t take a lot of guts to save the plant. In fact, we tried to make the steps easiest for you. Let’s check them out:

Problem 1: Water Imbalance

The most common issue of yellowing leaves among Elephant Ears is this one, improper soil-moisture- particularly, over watering. Yes, this plant likes to be kept damp (not wet or saturated). So, you need to be very careful about keeping a regular watering. 

Solution: When you water your Elephant Ears plant, make sure you provide enough water. It will let the liquid flow from the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot as well as into the saucer. It’s crucial to discard any excess water in the saucer and also not to let the plant sit in any standing water. 

This plant doesn’t like WET FEET which can cause the roots to rot plus lead to the ultimate death of the plant. Turning the leaves yellow or brown is the first sign that root rot may be ongoing. 

So, the summary is, installing a drainage system or using a raised bed can help avoid over watering. 

Problem 2: Low Humidity Level

Remember one thing, alternating between bone dry and wet soil (from ill-timed waterings) can create stress to your plant which results in yellowing the leaves. Because Elephant Ear is not a drought-tolerant plant. 

Why is low humidity and dry soil bad for your plant? Because this lead the leaves to droop and brown on their edges. In the future, yellowing, browning, and shivering can be occurring. 

Solution: To serve your plant with a proper humidity level, you need to take extra care. Do you know that elephant Ears love to boost in humidity from regular misting, pebble tray, or humidifier? So, try these and see the result yourself! 

Problem 3: Improper Light 

This plant grows best when it’s placed in bright but indirect sunlight. Because they tolerate medium light. If they are exposed to direct sunlight for too long, the foliage will be burnt. 

Solution: You should place the plant somewhere that has partial shade as well as will keep the soil moist for the plant. This indicates 3-6 hours of sun exposure should remain per day. 

Problem 4: Attacked by Pests/Insects

Actually, sap-sucking bugs (e.g Spider mite) can drain the plant of moisture. For this, a stressed or weakened Elephant Ear is susceptible to insect infestations. This problem is quickly expressed by the plant by yellowing leaflets and fronds. Bugs like Scale, Mealybugs, Aphids, or Spider mites can frequently attack your plant in indoor conditions. 

Solution: Primarily, to keep your plant dust-free from the very first time, you should do something. I mean, to save your Elephant Ear from the piercing mouths of the insects from the beginning, spray the plant with warm soapy water (every few weeks). It will prevent the pests that exhaust your plant and accelerate yellowing.   

But, now you are in a condition when an infestation already occurred. What you can do now is to use an ultra-fine insecticide oil or Neem oil. These products will help to kill the pests as well as their eggs.

Problem 5: Planting Problems

Look, if the yellow spots compass the entire leaf plus take over the edge of leaves first, it indicates the root structure is stuck in the pot (doesn’t have enough room to grow). In case, the root structure doesn’t have enough space to grow, the leaves that started yellowing will die and fall off.

Solution: Repot the plant and don’t repeat the planting mistakes. 

Problem 6: Natural Causes

Yes, some yellowing is the result of natural causes. Is your Elephant Ear going through new growth? If the answer is yes, and yellowing leaves are older (particularly, at the bottom of your plant) don’t fret, this yellowing is natural. 

Why does it occur? Because your plant is shedding its old leaves and sending energy to new growth. 


The leaves contain Oxalic acid which is toxic. Wear gloves when handling your plant (mainly if you have sensitive skin).

Elephant Ears Turning Yellow – FAQs

Question: What can cause the Elephant Ear to droop/lay down?

Answer: Droopy water indicates you need to water properly in the plant.

Question: Should I trim off broken/dead leaves?

Answer: Yes, you should.

Question: The older leaves of my plant are turning yellow whereas the newer ones are very light green. What does that mean?

Answer: It could be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. Look for the plant foods that contain this nutrient and make sure your plant is well-fed. 

Question: Should I use fertilizer when the leaves are turning yellow?

Answer: No need. They usually work fine without fertilizer and a slow-release fertilizer works best. 


So, we are done. This was in our store for you. We hope that you now have a crystal-clear idea about why and how your Elephant Ears turned yellow. As you are aware of the remedies, go and help your plants to bring back into life. 

Good luck! 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Celina Nance

It’s been a life-long wish of Celina Nance to have a lawn full of colorful flower beds. But living in Arizona city, that seems kind of impossible. But Celina Nance didn’t stop and created a full-form balcony garden instead. And he often shares stuff that he does/solves/innovates throughout the journey.

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