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Why Does Philodendron Have Yellow, Brown, or White Spots?

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There are many different types of philodendrons and some are easier to take care of compared to others. When you get a philodendron, if you do not take proper care of it then you might end up noticing yellow, brown, or white spots on them. 

With low maintenance philodendrons you might not face such problems but with more exotic ones there are higher chances of facing this. 

This is why you should know the detailed reasons such spots may occur to help prevent them and also know the solutions if such spots start appearing to take care of them quickly. 

Why does philodendron have yellow, brown, or white spots?

Even if most philodendrons are easy to take care of, it does not mean they are invincible to diseases. You can treat such spots easily if you are able to notice them early. 

Yellow spots: 

The most common reasons for yellow spots on philodendrons are due to fungal or bacterial diseases on the leaves. Besides that, direct exposure to harsh sun rays can also upset the leaves and cause yellow spots to appear on them. Improper humidity can also be the culprit behind these spots. 


Philodendrons are known for needing a lot of sunlight, however, if your plant is getting direct sunlight then it will do more harm than good. If your plant is exposed to direct sunlight it will end up harming the foliage and turning it yellow. 

Increased or decreased humidity can also be a reason that your plant’s leaves droop and start turning yellow. 

If your plant is not getting the proper care, it will be susceptible to pests and bacteria which will result in tiny yellow dots on your philodendron’s leaves. Such diseases will drain the nutrients from your plant and result in the whole leaf turning yellow. 

A cold injury meaning any temperature below ten degrees Celsius will harm your plant and cause frosting of leaves. Your leaves will turn yellow and fall off and your plant will barely recover from this. 


You have to ensure to keep your plant healthy. You must not expose it to direct sunlight and instead opt for filtered and indirect sunlight. You can do so by keeping your plant near a window. 

You should also use pebble trays or consider investing in a humidifier to boost humidity around your plant. Philodendrons are tropical plants and thus prefer higher levels of humidity, but do make sure to check the levels constantly as too much humidity can also be harmful. 

You should use practical methods and use pesticides or insecticides to keep your plant away from toxins and bacteria. 

Brown spots:

Brown spots can occur due to fungal infection or overexposure to harsh sunlight. The delicate foliage of the leaves gets burnt and ends up in such unattractive spots. In addition, over-watering and low humidity are also common causes for this problem.


Excess harsh sunlight can scorch your plant’s leaves and end up turning them yellow. Besides that, even though they like to be moist they also require to be dried out between each watering session. 

Too much water can upset them and cause the leaves to start showing brown spots alongside droopiness. Another cause can be your roots rotting so you must ensure to check it out. You must also check out for spider mists which can cause the foliage to turn brown. 


You must keep your plant in indirect sunlight and mist it occasionally. You should check that the soil is at least two inches dry on top before watering it to prevent water logging of the soil. 

Pesticides are a good way to keep your plant healthy but if you notice spider mists then make sure to wipe them off with water. 

White spots: 

The most common cause can be the plant not getting enough sunlight. As a result, there is not enough chlorophyll to give the plant its beautiful green color. Besides that, if you notice a white element, then it can be due to a common disease known as powdery mildew.


If your plant is not getting adequate sunlight it cannot produce chlorophyll and as a result, it can start forming white spots. If you see white dots then it can also be a common result of pest infection. 

Besides that, powdery mildew is a common fungus that thrives in humid environments just like your plant and causes white spots. 


Move your plant to an area where it gets enough filtered sunlight. Give it pesticide during the growing season to avoid any pest infection. If your plant has little powdery mildew then you can just remove the affected leaves. 

However, if it is severe then make sure to treat it with fungicide. 

Black spots: 

The most common reason that your plant may start showing black spots is due to a disease called leaf spot. This unattractive disease is caused by bacteria and it happens if you are not taking proper care of your plant and giving it the fungicide it needs during the growing season. 


The disease called leaf spot is due to an invasion of fungus or bacteria. It causes black or dark brown spots to show up on your plant’s leaves. It can vary in shapes and sizes and you must take immediate action before it starts spreading. 


Cut off the affected leaves immediately and put your plant in a dry location. If it is a leaf spot, then make sure to not mist your plant at all. Drain your soil properly and use a fungicide to treat the disease fully. 

Philodendron common diseases and how to treat them:

Even if philodendrons are low-maintenance plants in general, there are still some common diseases they are prone to. 

Bacterial Leaf Spot:

This is caused by a particular fungus which can lead to different shapes of black or brown spots spreading across your plant. 

This fungus thrives in damp areas and is more prone to harm plants and cause spots in philodendrons like Brasil and Mican. When you notice it you must cut off the affected leaves and provide extra care to your plant. 

You must give it fungicide and avoid misting them as well as ensure to keep it in a dry spot. 

Yellowing of leaves:

Even if you are suggested to give your plant a ton of sunlight, too much sunlight can often result in yellow spots. Plants such as Xanadu and Birkin are more prone to yellow spots because they have more sensitive leaves. 

This is because the harsh sunlight is harming their delicate foliage. You need to ensure to provide them with filtered and indirect sunlight to avoid this. 

Cold Injury:

Any temperature below ten degrees celsius can shock your philodendron. This results in dark green or brown spots appearing on your plant’s veins. 

Once your plant is shocked by the drop in temperature, it is very difficult to bring them back to normal. You must avoid placing them near air conditioners at all costs. 

Bacterial Blight of Philodendron Selloum:

These are caused by specific pathogens and cause dark green spots on the leaves. This expands throughout the plant very quickly and causes the leaves to rot and smell bad. 

You must avoid excess watering and remove infected leaves immediately. Keep the leaf surfaces dry to avoid it spreading. 

Leaf curl:

Too much fertilizer can cause the leaf margins to turn brown and the leaves to droop down. You must avoid excessive use of fertilizer because it can cause your plant to lose life. If excessive fertilizer was used then you should consider repotting your plant.

Why is my philodendron turning yellow and brown?

The main reason can be due to low humidity and intense sunlight. When your philodendron is exposed to harsh sunlight it harms the foliage and as a result, your leaves can start turning yellow followed by some browning. 

Alongside that, low humidity levels do not make philodendrons thrive. Instead, their leaves start to turn brown on the edges and droop down. It is also accompanied by the entire leaf turning yellow. 

Besides this, overwatering can also be a persistent cause. Your philodendron likes to be moist, not waterlogged. It is very important that you let the top two inches of your soil dry out before watering. 

High moisture levels can stress your plant out and cause the leaves to yellow and brown. You must also have a proper drainage system or else your plant roots may end up rotting in excess water. Rotting of roots can also result in yellow and brown leaves. 

Why does my philodendron have brown tips?

Inadequate moisture can be the culprit to your philodendron having brown tips. If your soil is way too dry your plant will not get proper nutrients. As a result, you will start seeing browning on the margins of your plant. 

Aside from that, harsh sunlight is also another culprit for the browning of tips. If your plant is receiving harsh sunlight then its foliage will get damaged. This in turn will cause the tips of your plants to scorch and turn brown in color. 

Why does my philodendron have holes?

The most common cause can be due to pesticides or insects. Due to insects, your philodendrons may end up having browned tips as well as holes in their leaves. 

You must watch out for the signs immediately to avoid the disease or pest spreading throughout your plant and harming it entirely. Cut off the affected leaves immediately and avoid giving your plant too much humidity as these diseases thrive in higher humidity levels. 

The key to having a healthy philodendron is giving it adequate and indirect sunlight with the right humidity level it thrives in. You must also ensure to provide correct moisture levels and avoid overwatering by making sure the top 25% of the soil dries out before you water again.

You should also feed your plant enough fertilizer and pesticides in growing seasons to avoid any form of the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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Do Philodendrons Climb?

Why are Philodendron Leaves Small?

Why Is My Philodendron Drooping?

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Do Philodendrons Like Humidity?

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