Aroids are members of the Araceae plant family. They include several varieties of common houseplants such as aglaonemas, monsteras, philodendrons, and pothos plants.
In the wild, they tend to live on the bottom canopy of the rainforest, so the are well adjusted to low light and thrive within the home. From the day lily that will fit on your desk at work to the giant corpse flower, Aroids come in all shapes and sizes.
Aroids often share similar preferences, so they often do well grouped together. Great for beginners, they are easy care houseplants that typically only need to be watered once a week. Despite being a good plant for a beginner, they can sometimes develop problems which will turn their leaves yellow. If this happens, you need to determine the underlying cause in order to save the plant.
The Aroid Plant
Most Aroids are native to Latin America, however they can also be found in Asia, Europe, and Australia has one native species as well. They are one of the oldest and most primitive forms of plant life around today. They can be aquatic (growing in water), epiphytic (growing in air) and terrestrial (growing in soil). Some aroids have developed special survival mechanisms, such as being able to generate heat of propagate in water. The fact that many Aroids are adapted to thriving in swamps and very wet conditions make them easy to care for as houseplants. They have waxy leaves that help prevent them from absorbing too much water at once.
Great for beginners, Aroids do well in lower light conditions and are somewhat resistant to overwatering, which is one of the major problems that results in unhealthy houseplants. All Aroids are poisonous to humans and animals, due to the sharp crystals they have as a defense mechanism. While not fatal, they can cause pain in the mouth, throat and digestive track when consumed so its best to keep them away from pets and children.
Why Aroid Plants Have Yellow Leaves
There are several reasons why the leaves of your Aroid plant may be turning yellow.
Moisture: Though well adapted to thriving in wet conditions, Aroids are still susceptible to root rot, which occurs when a plant is overwatered or left to sit in a saucer with water pooled in the bottom. Their leaves may also begin to yellow if the soil is allowed to dry out too much..How much water an Aroid requires depends on a couple of factors, most importantly how much light it receives, and what time of the year it is, which will determine whether the plant is in its growing season. Hardy plants, they are able to tolerate imperfect watering schedules, but do best when watering is consistent.
Temperature: Aroids do best in temperatures between 65- and 85-degrees F. Wide temperature swings can be problematic, and they do best when placed in an area with a relatively stable temperature. If being kept outdoors, they should be brought inside whenever the temperature is expected to drop below 50 degrees F.
Nutrient Deficiencies: Aroid plants take nutrients from the soil, and they require these nutrients to stay healthy and grow. Plants that do not receive the proper nutrients may begin to wilt or turn yellow or brown.
Lighting: Many Aroids can do well in low light, but most prefer indirect sunlight. Placing your Aroid in direct sunlight can result in sunburning the leaves of the plant. Certain Aroids, such as Monstera, require more light than others.
- Soil should always be moist but should not be soaked. Water when the top two inches of soil have dried, usually around once a week.
- Saucers beneath plants should be emptied after watering to prevent roots touching the water, which can result in root rot.
- Create a watering schedule so you do not inadvertently over or under water your plants. Inconsistent watering causes stress to the plant.
- Being rainforest plants, Aroids prefer a humid environment. Misting your plant with a spray bottle, placing it in a bathroom where there is steam, or near a humidity are ways to ensure your plant gets adequate moisture.
Temperature and Climate:
- Make sure your plants are kept in an area where the temperature is between 65 to 80 degrees F.
- Your plant should not be kept too close to air conditioning or heat vents, or near drafty door and windows when it is cold outside.
- There are many gentle plant foods available to purchase. These can be used each time the plants are watered, so you won’t have to set up a complicated fertilization schedule.
- Plants should be placed in a room with plenty of indirect natural light. Most can survive in lower light conditions, but all do best with some bright natural light.
- Don’t place your plant in direct sunlight, as this will result in burned leaves.
- If your plant is placed very close to a window where there is direct light, hang a sheer curtain or blinds to help diffuse the light.
How to Take Care of the Yellow Leaves
If your plants leaves are damaged or turn yellow, you can gently prune them away from the base of the plant or carefully trim the leaves to remove the damaged section. Follow the natural lines of the plant. No more than 30% of your plant should ever be pruned at a time. If a large portion of your plant needs to be pruned or trimmed, do it a little at a time.
It is also natural for leaves to turn yellow sometimes. Plants naturally lose their older leaves over time, replacing them with new growth. If your plant seems otherwise healthy but a few older leaves are turning yellow, this is most likely just part of the plants growth cycle and nothing to be concerned about.
The Aroid family of plants are perfect plants for beginners. They are hardy and tolerant to drought, able to thrive in mid to low light environments. If you provide adequate, a regular watering schedule, and ensure the necessary nutrients are in the soil, your Aroid plant will thrive for many years to come.