Why Are My Lotus Leaves Turning Yellow? [How to Prevent]

Lotus plants are majestic, water-loving plants that produce gorgeous blooms and striking leaves.

You may think that these plants are daunting to grow, but they are fairly simple if you provide them with an environment in which they can thrive.

However, if you start seeing yellow leaves, you may be worried that your lotus is not doing well. Luckily, with a bit of knowledge, you can determine the cause and hopefully correct the issue.

Here is everything you need to know about lotus health and what may be causing yellow leaves. 

Bonsai Lotus Seeds,Water Lily Flower Plant,20PCS Finest Viable Mixed Colors Aquatic Water Features Seeds,Home Garden Yard Decor

Why Are My Lotus Leaves Turning Yellow?

In some cases, lotus leaves turning yellow are just a normal part of the life cycle of the plant. The leaves may yellow after the bloom on the plant dies.

If you determine that no external factors are causing yellow leaves, simply remove the yellow leaves once you notice them helping the plant retain its energy.

However, there are also times that yellow leaves can indicate that your lotus is unhappy. For example, if you notice all the leaves turning yellow persistently, your lotus may lack nutrients.

The easiest way to fix this issue is by trying fertilizer. A lack of magnesium and nitrogen leads to entirely yellow leaves if a nutrient is deficient. 

If you have been using plenty of fertilizer, you may need to reduce the amount. Yellow leaves can happen due to too much or little fertilizer because balance is key to plant health.  

In some cases, the whole leaf may not turn yellow. Instead, you may start to see small patches of yellow across the green leaf. Providing too much fertilizer can be a cause of the spots.

Chalily Aquatic Plant Fertilizer for Water Lily and Lotus | Great for Use in a Pond & Aquarium | Perfect Plant Food (60 Count)

Spots can also be the result of deficiencies in particular nutrients. For example, a lack of iron can lead to patches of yellow and white that will spread.

If your plant lacks manganese, you will likely see yellow spots close to the veins of the leaves. You can recognize a potassium deficiency by the edges of the leaves turning yellow.

You may also see some spots appearing on the leaf that leads to dead plant material.

While a lack of nutrients is the most likely cause of yellow leaves, anything that negatively impacts the balance of the plant can also contribute to yellow leaves.

A lack of sun, too much sun, compacted roots, difficult temperatures, and a pH imbalance can all hurt the health of a lotus. 

That is why a lotus needs to get several hours of sun a day, plenty of fertilization, good soil, and an environment with a good temperature.

You should also divide your lotus’ rhizomatous roots every few years to prevent them from getting compacted.

If nothing else works, keep track of the temperature your lotus is growing at and see if that information indicates a temperature issue. 

Read Why Are My Lotus Plant’s Leaves Turning Brown?

How Can I Prevent Yellow Lotus Leaves?

The key to preventing yellow lotus leaves is proper fertilization. Be sure to press your fertilizer tablets into the soil around the lotus, which will prevent the fertilizer from diffusing into the water.

Fertilizer in the water will affect the proper fertilization of the plants. Still, it will also change the pH of the water, which can harm any other plants or animals present in the water environment.

Trenton 10Pcs Water Lotus Flower Plant Bowl Pond Bonsai Seeds for Home Garden Yard Decor (Mixed Color)

Pick a fertilizer that works specifically with aquatic plants and has 10-14-8, which means they contain 10% total nitrogen, 14% phosphate, and 8% potash or potassium.

A 10-10-10 mix may also work well. Some other mixes will help but make sure that they will do well with lotuses and that they can be applied directly into the soil.

Each of these nutrients makes a big difference in the health of all plants:

  • Nitrogen encourages green growth in plants.
  • Phosphorus encourages the growth of the roots and overall bloom growth.
  • Potassium takes care of the plant in general.

So, if your yellow leaves are the result of a nutritional deficiency, you may be missing some nitrogen or potassium levels, specifically.

The amount you fertilize your plants will depend on a few factors, including the size of the plant and its environment.

In general, lotuses need a lot of nutrients which means they should be fertilized about once a month.

You should also look at the overall environment in which your lotuses live. Other plants and animals can contribute to the nutritional makeup of the environment.

Fish waste can be very beneficial to your lotuses due to the nutrients that the feces contain.

It is also vital to help your plants conserve their energy. Each bloom from a lotus lasts a few days, and then a seed pod appears.

Creating a seed pod can sap up the plant’s energy, leaving it with less energy for maintaining its leaf health and future blooms.

Conserve energy by removing blooms and their stems as they die. You should also help your lotuses stay strong over the winter by pruning them back to their base.

Live Aquatic Hardy Water Lily Flower Plant Mixed Colors Bonsai Lotus Seeds 10+Seeds

Read Why My Lotus Plant Is Not Flowering?

How Can I Treat Yellow Lotus Leaves?

It is unfortunately not possible to transform yellow leaves back into green. The best thing that you can do at that point is to take care of the plant so that more yellow leaves do not occur.

Accomplish this by pruning back any yellow leaves to help the plant retain its energy. You should also keep it fertilized and look out for any other plant red flags.

Some of those red flags include an excess of dying leaves, rot, algae overgrowth, or apparent distress to other plants or animals.

If you notice any of those issues, along with persistent yellowing leaves, the issue may be beyond the lotus itself.

For instance, the location of the plant may not be ideal, or there may be too many nutrients present.

10 Lotus Seeds for Planting - Grow in a Bowl, Koi Pond, Outdoor Pond - Popular Indoor Aquatic Bonsai

Read Why Is My Lotus Plant Dying

How Can I Tell if My Remedies Are Working?

It may take a bit of time, but you should be able to tell if your remedies are working within a few weeks of starting treatment.

In some cases, it may take a month for the full results to appear. Keep track of any new growth and see how long those new leaves last.

If they seem to be surviving consistently well, then you likely solved the problem. You should still keep an eye on everything for a while, but keep doing what you are doing.

If you fertilized on a schedule, stick to that schedule. If you divided the roots or pruned them more regularly, stay consistent about those changes.

If you do not notice improvements after making some changes, consider trying some different changes.

In general, it is a good idea to attempt one change at a time so that you can try to diagnose the particular issue. You should try to test a few different lotus plants under a few circumstances.

In some cases, your changes may lead to a worse result than you had in the first place.

If this seems to be the case, you should try to reserve some of the rhizomes so that you can grow a new plant if the current plant dies.

15 Lotus Seeds - Grow in Koi Ponds, Ponds, Grow in a Bowl as Bonsai - Water Lily Grow Very Easy - Ships from Iowa, USA

Read Why Did My Lotus Stop Blooming?

What Else Do I Need to Know About Lotus Care?

The lotus is an herbaceous perennial that grows between three to six feet tall and wide. These plants do well with a neutral soil pH. A lotus needs plenty of sun for it to thrive.

They bloom in the summer, and they do best in zones four through ten in the United States. They thrive when the water is somewhere between 75 and 87 degrees Fahrenheit.

Compared to the closely related water lilies, lotuses have a slower growth rate and a longer time before initial bloom.

The lotus is rhizomatous, which means that it grows and spreads using tubers. Set your lotus up for success by planting the rhizomatous tubers well.

Place your tubers under a few inches of topsoil inside a pot or other vessel.

Next, add your water slowly to the vessel so that the tuber does not become upset. Continue to add water as leaves grow. You can later transplant the lotus into a pond.

It is vital to keep a pond balanced between water and plant material. Doing that will keep the nutrients and pH in a good balance.

Live Aquatic Hardy Water Lily | Pre-Grown, Pre-Rooted, Hardy Water Lily for Your Pond or Patio Water Garden | Drop-N-Grow Convenience -Red

The environment may naturally fall into balance, depending on the nutrients you make available.

You may also like:

  • Why my Lotus Seeds are not Germinating?
  • Why Are My Lotus Leaves Turning Black?
  • How to Germinate Blue Lotus Seeds
  • What Kind of Soil Is Best for a Lotus?
  • How Does a Lotus Plant Adapt Itself in Water

Final Thoughts

So, do not be alarmed if your lotus’ leaves turn yellow. This is a normal occurrence caused by poor fertilization. Luckily, the solution for yellow lotus leaves is straightforward.

Try fertilizing your lotus plants with 10-14-8 or 10-10-10 and take care of the overall environment in which the lotuses live.

These culturally and scientifically significant plants are fairly unique, and they may sometimes need special care as a result. However, by reading the signs of your lotus’ health and acting promptly, you can enjoy the beauty of your lotus plant for years to come.