These rare Alocasia plants have some of the most incredible foliage which almost makes it worse when one or more of their leaves start to turn yellow. As long as you have caught the issue early, you should be able to bring your Alocasia Dragon Scale back to full health. There are quite a few reasons why these plants develop yellow leaves, some are more worrying than others, some easier to fix than others but all need to be diagnosed before they damage your Alocasia Dragon Scale beyond repair.
Below you’ll find a detailed guide to all the different causes of yellow Alocasia Dragon Scale leaves, as well as how to fix the issue and prevent it from reoccurring in future.
Overwatering is the most common cause of yellow leaves
If the leaves on your Alocasia Dragon Scale have turned yellow there is a good chance you are overwatering your plant, and have been doing for some time. This is one of the most common problems plant parents face with all houseplants because it can often be difficult to know exactly how much water to give them as the problem is buried in the soil for a while before you start noticing things on the leaves. Alocasia Dragon Scale plants don’t really like to be sitting in soggy soil for too long as this can lead the root system to start to rot which makes the entire plant unstable and it’ll begin to die.
If you think that the yellow leaves on your Alocasia Dragon Scale are caused by too much moisture in the soil, take your plant out of its pot, replace the potting mix if waterlogged and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. At the same time as switching out the potting mix, trim away the rotten roots and any yellow leaves so that your Alocasia Dragon Scale can focus on producing new healthy growth.
Too much fertiliser
Although Alocasia Dragon Scale plants do really well when fertilised throughout the warmer months of summer and spring, too much fertiliser can very quickly cause scorched leaves and yellow patches.
To stop the issue from progressing any further, remove any fertiliser spikes or replace the entire potting mix if the pellets are mixed in. If you’ve been using a water-soluble fertiliser, either replace the potting mix as well or rinse it through properly in the shower. Hold off on fertiliser for a while. You can even stop fertilising altogether and with the right environment, you’ll still have super healthy growth.
Low humidity in the air
If the yellow leaves on your Alocasia Dragon Scale plant started out as dry brown edges, tips and spots on the leaf, then dry air may be the reason behind it. Alocasia Dragon Scales prefer a humid environment as they originate from tropical forests. They will struggle in homes with dry air. Particularly in winter when we tend to have the heating on for a lot of the day and open our windows less which causes dry stagnant air.
There are a few really simple techniques to keep the humidity higher than normal for your Alocasia Dragon Scale; firstly, you can spray down the leaves with a mist bottle every few days (this is also a great way to get rid of dust), sit your plant in a tray with water and some pebbles or put your Alocasia Dragon Scale in the bathroom and leave the shower on hot for 5 minutes. You can pick up a cheap humidity monitor to keep track of everything if you’re more concerned. Make sure to also move your Alocasia Dragon Scale away from any air conditioning units or radiators as these create very dry air!
If your Alocasia Dragon Scale is receiving too much bright direct sunlight each day you may start to notice yellow patches forming on the leaves. This is where the leaves are becoming sunburnt from the direct intense light. This is a lot more common during summer so watch out for how close your plant is to the window.
If your Alocasia Dragon Scale is receiving too much light then make sure to move it to a slightly shadier spot in your home immediately. You may be able to move it closer to the window in winter when the sun isn’t as strong so keep an eye on lighting changes throughout the year.
A pest infestation
A slightly rarer (but more worrying) issue that might be the reason behind the yellow leaves on your Alocasia Dragon Scale is a pest infestation. The uninvited bugs will suck on the leaves, exhausting them f nutrients which causes them to turn yellow, droop down and fall off your plant.
Most pests are visible to the human eye but using a magnifying glass can help spot them. It’s a good idea to regularly check in on your plant, regardless of whether or not there seem to be any issues as this gives you the best chance at catching the problem early. It’s vital that you look at the undersides of the leaves on your Alocasia Dragon Scale as this is where the pests like to live.
If there are pests making a home on your Alocasia Dragon Scale the first thing to do is isolate your plant to prevent the infestation from spreading throughout your other houseplants. The next step is to trim off the worst affected leaves and stems to reduce the overall number of insects. Then give your plant a wash down in the shower (make sure the water pressure is low so you don’t damage your plant further) and treat with an insecticide/neem oil.
It’s important when going through each of the issues above that you take a good in-depth look at your plant, its soil and the environment in which it’s growing. This will give you the best indication of what is causing the yellow leaves and help you fix the issue. It’s important that you act quickly once you’ve determined what the cause is as if the issue progresses any further than yellow leaves, you risk plant death.
To learn more about how to care for your plant, check out our Alocasia Dragon Scale care guide!
Written by Joanna Turner