Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow: Geraniums (genus Geranium), popularly known as cranesbills, are any of the about 300 species of perennial shrubs or herbs that belong to the Geraniaceae family and are endemic primarily to subtropical southern Africa. Among plants for bedding and greenhouses, geraniums are among the most popular.

The best varieties of hardy geraniums, often referred to as cranesbills, are a wonderful choice for beds and borders and provide lovely, colorful flowers for months. However, if geranium leaves turn yellow, something is wrong.

However, yellowing leaves are one issue that can occur.

Five Reasons Why Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow

One of the numerous advantages of growing geraniums in flowerbeds, borders, and containers is that you may choose the most hardy geranium kinds that are suitable for your soil and the environment. However, if plants that were thriving start to produce yellow leaves, something is wrong, and these are the likely causes.

Reasons Why Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow


Geranium leaves can turn yellow due to pelargoniums, not hardy geraniums, but it’s crucial to determine if this is the type of plant being planted.

The lowest leaves of plants frequently turn yellow and drop off; most plants do this to get rid of older leaves that no longer support their growth and health. If the aforementioned leaves are completely or partially shaded, this occurs more quickly.

The following problems may be the cause of yellow leaves on geraniums.


Geranium leaves turning yellow may be due to a lack of sunlight. Geraniums are sun-loving plants that need a certain quantity of sunshine to survive, thus, too little sun exposure might cause the leaves of geraniums to turn yellow. Their production of chlorophyll declines when plants do not receive enough sunshine, which causes their leaves to turn yellow.

For geraniums to keep their brilliant green color and good growth, they normally require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. It is crucial to remember that the precise amount of sunlight needed may vary based on elements like the particular geranium variety and the local climate. Choose a position where the plant receives morning sun if you reside somewhere with a hotter climate.


Geranium leaves turning yellow can be caused by receiving too much water. Put your finger into the earth to see if it needs watering. Geraniums need to be watered when the soil feels dry at a depth of 1 inch, but not earlier.

Are you curious as to whether yellow leaves could also be an indicator of geraniums that are submerged? Although it’s less often, in this instance, the leaf tips and margins are the first to turn yellow. However, if you adhere to the aforementioned watering schedule regulation, this can be prevented.


Geraniums can withstand drought, so it’s less likely that their yellow leaves will result from drought. Typically, it only happens during prolonged dry spells. Initially turning yellow in submerged plants are the leaf tips and edges. Water as soon as the top inch of soil feels dry, rather than waiting for it to happen. Water the plant slowly and deeply so that the entire root ball receives moisture.


Geraniums that have yellow leaves may require fertilization. Geranium leaf yellowing is frequently an indication of nutrient deficiencies. Plants need the right proportions of vital nutrients to grow and develop, and any imbalance can cause obvious signs like fading leaves.

Lack of nitrogen is a typical reason why geranium leaves turn yellow. Nitrogen is a crucial ingredient that supports strong plant growth and good leaf development. The leaves may turn yellow from the bottom up if there is a nitrogen shortage.

Lack of iron or magnesium might also be a factor in geraniums’ fading leaves. While magnesium insufficiency can result in widespread leaf yellowing, iron deficiency can create interveinal chlorosis, or yellowing between the veins.

In order to address this nutritional deficiency and restore healthy foliage to geraniums, it is necessary to provide the necessary nutrients through fertilizer. These deficits may be remedied with the use of a balanced fertilizer comprising nitrogen, iron, and magnesium.


A chilly spell in the spring or unseasonal weather that is cool and rainy for a while might cause yellow geranium leaves. New, greener leaves can emerge as the situation improves.

However, keep in mind that hardy geraniums will become dormant in the winter, so expect yellow leaves in the fall.


A bacterial blight may be indicated by yellow leaves. Look for 1/8- to 1/4-inch-diameter sunken water spots on the leaves that later grow into V-shaped yellow regions. A branch’s entire leaf canopy will eventually wilt, become yellow, and die as the disease worsens. The stems eventually turn dark or black at an advanced stage. When the foliage is damp for an extended period of time due to poor air circulation, the illness frequently manifests itself, especially in warm, wet weather. Bacterial blight is extremely contagious and can survive for up to a year in plant waste. Take out the entire infected plant and throw it away.

It’s critical to remove any infected plants as soon as possible because southern bacterial wilt affects ornamentals, vegetables from the nightshade family, and geraniums, in addition to causing leaves to wilt and yellow. Unlike bacterial blight, which results in spots on the leaves, southern bacterial wilt causes leaves without any spots to wilt and yellow.


Herbicide damage might also be shown by yellow foliage. This may occur as a result of unintentional overspray or drift from nearby homes. If you think a spray is to blame for the yellowing foliage, water the soil well to remove any extra. This can help stop the roots from absorbing too much and possibly killing the plant.

How Frequently Should Geraniums Be Watered?

Checking the soil is preferable to scheduling watering for geraniums. They need to be watered when the top inch is dry. The well-drained soil that geraniums prefer can help prevent overwatering. Remember that since the soil dries out more quickly in containers than it does in beds and borders, watering them requires a somewhat different approach.

Geranium Leaves Turning Yellow: Conclusion

Start by taking a close look at the blossoms on your geranium to figure out what is wrong with the leaves. What is often referred to as geranium may not actually be a zonal geranium or regal geranium, two annual plants in the Pelargonium genus. The five petals of geranium blooms are similar, however, the two upper petals and the three lower petals of pelargoniums differ. Knowing which variety of plant you have is important since pelargonium leaves naturally age and yellow and die. There is no need to be concerned if there are yellow older leaves near the base of the plant, which are frequently hidden by an abundance of younger leaves. 

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