Pansy leaves turn yellow mainly due to overwatering. Overwatering causes root rot, due to which the leaves don’t get adequate water. This causes yellow blotches on the foliage. Excess sunlight could also cause yellowing of the foliage. Pansy leaves also turn yellow when the plant doesn’t get sufficient nutrients. Pest infestations and certain diseases also turn the leaves yellow.
Pansies are hybrid plants that give out big, wonderful flowers. The plants are grown in the garden for the beautiful blossoms.
Pansy flowers are heart-shaped and come in a plethora of bright colors. The plant can be grown in containers or as a ground cover.
Do you see yellow foliage on your Pansies? There could be a number of reasons why this happens. Let’s explore the reasons and find the solutions.
Overwatering causes yellow leaves in Pansy
Overwatering causes yellow leaves in Pansies. Overwatering leads to root rot, which wilts the leaves and turns them yellow.
Pansies need water but they don’t like to sit in waterlogged conditions. Waterlogged conditions pave way for a variety of fungal infections.
What do overwatered Pansies look like?
Overwatered Pansy will look pale and yellow. The leaves will become wilted and start curling up. Excess water causes Edema in Pansies.
Your Pansy becomes lifeless, this is when you need to act quickly to save the plant. Stop watering the plant immediately if you suspect overwatering is the issue.
How to treat an overwatered Pansy?
Follow the below instructions to treat an overwatered Pansy.
- Water your Pansies according to their requirement. Pansy plant needs 1-inch of water weekly. Don’t water your Pansies when there’s rain.
- Water your Pansies in the morning so the excess evaporates during the day.
- Prune away any infected parts of the shoot to prevent a full-blown infection.
- Improve soil drainage by adding perlite to the soil around Pansies. Add perlite to the compost for the best results.
- Stick a bare finger into the soil, if the top layer feels dry it’s time to water the Pansies. Don’t water if the top layer feels moist.
Note: Underwatering also leads to yellow foliage in Pansies. Crispy, yellow leaves are seen when Pansies get less water than required.
Excess sunlight turns Pansy leaves yellow. Pansies also fail to bloom if they get more sunlight than required.
Pansies need 6 hours of sunlight per day to thrive. If they get sun for a longer period or get intense light, the foliage turns yellow.
See if the plant gets too much direct sunlight during the day. The sunlight will scorch the foliage and turn them yellow.
Place your Pansy so that it gets indirect sunlight, at least in the afternoon. Move the plant gradually to such a location.
Pansy foliage turns yellow when the plant doesn’t get sufficient nutrients. You need to provide your pansies with the right fertilizer for the best results.
They get the nutrients naturally when they grow in the wild, but require fertilizer when they’re grown in the garden.
Nourish the soil around the Pansies with a fertilizer that has Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous, and other nutrients.
Lack of Nitrogen stunts plant growth, the lower leaves will turn yellow due to chlorosis if the plant is left unattended.
The older, lower leaves also turn yellow when the plant lacks Magnesium. The leaves turn yellow between the veins due to Mg deficiency.
Pansy foliage could also turn yellow due to pest infestations. Aphids and Spider mites feed on the plant sap of Pansies.
Sap-sucking insects feed on Pansies through the leaves. Their feeding habits wilt the leaves and turn them yellow.
Pest infestations can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked. Cut off the affected branches of the plant as soon as you notice the pests.
You can get rid of most insects using Horticulture oil or Insecticidal soap as detailed in this article about Pansy pests.
Downy Mildew on Pansies
Downy Mildew is seen on winter-flowering Pansies in cool, wet weather. This disease is caused by a fungus-like organism called oomycete.
The disease is firstly seen on the undersides of the foliage, which is why it is called ‘Downy’ Mildew. The chlorotic spots are seen later on the upper sides of the foliage.
A light gray-brown, felt-like growth appears on the lower sides of the leaves. Infected tissue eventually dies. The plant becomes stunted.
The leaves turn pale green or yellow in color and curl downwards. The disease also interferes with blossom production.
Inspect the foliage regularly to identify any diseases early. Early diagnosis helps prevent a full-blown infection.
Ways to control Downy Mildew on Pansies
- Cut off the infected leaves as soon as you see them.
- Do not soak the foliage when watering, damp conditions help the growth of Downy Mildew.
- Do not overcrowd your Pansies. Overcrowding increases humidity among the plants, which increases the possibility of this disease.
- Destroy infected plant parts/plants properly. Grow only resistant cultivars.
Leaf spot diseases
Alternaria leaf spot disease and Cercospora leaf spot disease are seen in Pansies. These diseases are usually a result of poor cultural practices.
Alternaria leaf spot
Alternaria leaf spot diseases turn the foliage yellow in Pansies. Yellow or dark-brown spots form on the leaves which turn darker eventually.
The lesion centers fall out, giving the leaf spots a shot-hole appearance. These individual spots coalesce into large necrotic areas.
Leaf drop is seen if the plant is severely affected by the disease. The lesions that form on the stem enlarge and kill the plant.
The disease spreads via wind and enters the plant through wounds or natural openings. Spray fungicides that are labeled for Alternaria to control this disease.
Cercospora leaf spot
Cercospora leaf spot disease starts as small, yellow spots on the older leaves. Eventually, the number of these yellow spots increases dramatically.
The yellow spots become necrotic and enlarge. The spots might look circular or irregular. The lesions have reddish-purplish borders.
The heavily infected yellow-colored leaves eventually turn brown. The fungal spores spread through the water splashes to the neighboring plants.
This is why it’s crucial to water your plants carefully. Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to water the garden plants.
High humidity provides suitable conditions for disease growth. Don’t wet your plants in the evening. It’s a bad cultural practice.
Apply fungicides that contain chlorothalonil, myclobutanil, or thiophanate-methyl as soon as you see the first symptoms.
Happy Gardening 🙂