Why Are My Pond Plants Turning Yellow And Dying?

Why Are My Pond Plants Turning Yellow And Dying?

Solve The Mystery And Figure Out How To Get Your Pond Plants Back To Healthy In Your Maryland, DC, Or Northern Virginia Pond

Yellow plants aren’t living life. They’re just trying to survive.

Plants are a huge part of a pond ecosystem. Without them, water gets dirtier, algae forms more easily, and ponds just look…bland. So if your plants start turning yellow, act fast! The quicker you act, the less time your pond’s ecosystem will have to fall apart.

Why’re your plants turning yellow in the first place? Read on to find out why and even how you can prevent it!

a small pond filled with lots of water.

Keep It Green

Some of the reasons your pond plants may be turning yellow are:

Fertilizer, or Lack Thereof

Fertilize carefully. Plants without enough fertilizer can start turning yellow, as can over fertilized plants. Fertilizer should be added whenever repotting your plants.

If your plants are potted, poke a hole in the soil and push the fertilizer down inside. Then, carefully close the soil over the hole. For floating plants, remove them from the pond and place them in a container filled with water. Add your favorite water-soluble fertilizer and wait.

Check out this video on repotting aquatic plants:


Insects love plants, and not in a good way. They’ll eat away at and wear them down. You’ll have to watch out for your plants whether they’re in your pond or in your house.

Spider mites love the dry winter environment homes have.

a red spider sitting on top of a green leaf.

Any insecticide that you can use on houseplants’ safe to use on water plants inside the home. Aphids are sometimes problems in the house, but mites are more prevalent.

Aphids are the main insects that attack pond plants. Depending on the plant, you may be able to wash them off in the water. They’ll quickly become yummy treats for your fish. Floating plants like hyacinths, water lettuce, lily pads and their flowers are good candidates for this. When you change or add water to your pond, spray the water on the plants and wash the insects off.

a group of black bugs on a green plant.
Photo by Jared Belson

Too Much Sun

Plants can sunburn?! A sunburned plant will have a bleached look or brownish cast to the leaves and will sometimes turn yellow. If you’re moving your plants back outside after winter, make sure to do so gradually. Put them in a larger container filled with water under a shady spot. Gradually over a 2-week period expose the plants to more sunlight.

Do this in the spring when the weather begins to warm so that they can also get used to cooler nighttime temperatures.

Submerged Plant Leaves

a pond filled with lots of water lilies.

Underwater leaves can also turn yellow or brown. Determine that the plant’s set at the proper water depth. It’s okay if the stems are underwater, but you don’t want the actual leaves beneath the surface or they may turn yellow.

If you want further help you can check out our guide to aquatic plants.

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