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6 Reasons Why Hyacinth Leaves Turn Yellow (And How To Fix It)

Hyacinths are known for their beautifully scented and colorful flowers. Unlike many other plants, hyacinths grow from bulbs, not seeds, which gives them their unique long leaves. However, these leaves can sometimes face issues. Let’s dive into what might cause these problems and how to fix them.

Yellowing of hyacinth leaves can be due to overwatering, underwatering, or not getting the right balance of nutrients. Additionally, during fall and winter, it’s natural for the leaves to yellow and die back as the hyacinth enters its dormant phase.

1. Not Enough Water

hyacinth leaves turning yellow

Hyacinth leaves turned yellow due to underwatering.

If a hyacinth doesn’t receive sufficient water because the soil remains dry for extended periods, it won’t be able to absorb the moisture it needs. This often leads to the yellowing of the plant’s middle leaves, a common sign of underwatering.

You might also notice that the tips of the leaves turn brown and dry. If this lack of water continues, the leaves will eventually die and detach from the plant.

Here’s how to address this issue:

  1. First, check the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.
  2. Water your hyacinths until you see excess water draining out of the pot’s bottom.
  3. To prevent this problem, avoid letting the soil dry out more than 2-3 inches deep between waterings.

2. Overfertilization

Opting for a standard bag of compost soil from the garden store usually yields the best outcomes for hyacinths, as it typically contains all the necessary nutrients, eliminating the need for extra fertilization.

Over-fertilizing can overwhelm hyacinths, leading to damage to the root hairs. This damage diminishes the plant’s capacity to absorb and distribute nutrients effectively, which can result in yellowing leaves.

Here’s how to address this issue:

  1. Repot your hyacinths in fresh, nutrient-rich soil.
  2. Limit fertilization to no more than once or twice a year to prevent over-nourishment.

3. Diseases

hyacinth leaves turning yellow

Hyacinth leaves turned yellow because of disease.

When yellowing leaves on hyacinths are accompanied by two main signs of disease, it’s crucial to address these promptly. If the leaves have black spots, trimming them is advised when feasible. However, since hyacinths have a limited number of leaves and can still bloom despite these issues, it’s often better to leave them as is if the damage isn’t severe.

A powdery residue on the leaves indicates a fungal infection, caused by spores landing on and growing on the leaves, which can also lead to yellowing.

Here’s how to address this issue:

  1. Remove any leaves heavily covered in black spots, if necessary.
  2. Apply the mentioned fungicide solution to the affected leaves.

4. Overwatering

hyacinth leaves turning yellow

Hyacinth leaves turned yellow due to overwatering

Hyacinths struggle in overly moist conditions, which can happen if the drainage holes in their pot become clogged, preventing water from escaping. Similarly, watering them too frequently, such as both in the morning and evening, can keep the soil excessively damp.

In such wet conditions, the roots may start to rot, impairing their ability to absorb water and nutrients effectively, leading to the yellowing of leaves.

Here’s how to address this issue:

  1. Water your hyacinths only when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.
  2. Make sure water flows freely out of the pot’s bottom and doesn’t remain in the drip tray for extended periods.
  3. Empty any standing water from the drip tray to avoid root rot.

5. Pests

Spider mites often lead to leaf discoloration in plants. These pests are tiny and might be challenging to see with the naked eye. However, they leave behind fine, silk-like webs on the underside of leaves, which is a telltale sign of their presence.

Here’s how to address this issue:

  1. Apply a mixture of neem oil and water to the plant, which acts as a natural deterrent.
  2. Alternatively, use an insecticidal spray available at garden supply stores for a more direct approach.

6. Soil pH

hyacinth leaves turning yellow

Hyacinth leaves turned yellow due to the wrong soil pH.

Using homemade or garden soil for your hyacinth might result in a pH that’s either too acidic or alkaline for the plant. Soil pH affects how chemical elements interact, either making them more available or less so to the plant through its roots.

Signs of pH imbalance include leaf yellowing, followed by browning and shriveling of the leaves, which can lead to the plant’s premature death either before it flowers or soon after flowering. Given the hyacinth’s brief life cycle, it’s advisable to repot them during their growth period for best results.

Here’s how to address this issue:

  1. Conduct a soil pH test with a kit from a garden supply store; ideal pH is between 6.0 and 7.0.
  2. If the pH is outside this range, repot the plant into a standard compost mix from a garden supply.
  3. To decrease soil pH below 7.0, incorporate organic material or sulfur.
  4. To increase soil pH above 6.0, add crushed limestone (lime).