Ivy Turning Yellow: Reasons For Yellowing Leaves On Ivy Plants

Ivy Leaves Turning Yellow
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(Image credit: sundec88)

Ivies fill the gaps in both interior and exterior spaces with their flowing, textured leaves and won't die attitudes, but even the hardiest of ivies may succumb to the occasional problem and develop yellow leaves. Ivy plant leaves turning yellow are rarely serious, though you should make some changes to improve your plant's health.

Yellow Leaves on Ivy Plant

There are many causes of ivy turning yellow, including pests, disease and environmental stressors. Fortunately, these problems are simple to correct if they're promptly identified. When your ivy leaves turn yellow, look for signs of these problems on your plant:

Environmental Stress

Yellowing leaves on ivy are often caused by a shock to the plant's system. Leaves may yellow following transplantation or when exposed to drafts, dry air or when there are high levels of fertilizer salts in the soil. Check that your plant isn't standing in water, move it from windows that receive direct sunlight and away from heating vents when you first notice yellow leaves. If the surface of the soil has white crystals on it, you may need to leach the salts from the planter by adding water equal to double the pot's volume and allowing it to run out the bottom, taking the salts with it. Misting can help if dry air is the culprit, but don't allow standing water on the leaves or you'll encourage other diseases.


Mites are tiny arachnids, hardly detectable with the naked eye. These little guys literally suck the life out of plant cells, causing yellow dots to appear on leaf surfaces. As they spread out, the yellow dots grow together, resulting in widespread yellowing. Other signs include puckered or distorted leaves, leaves that drop easily and fine, silk threads near damage. Regular misting and treatment with insecticidal soap will destroy mites in no time. Whiteflies look like tiny, white moths, but suck the juices right out of plants, much like mites. They're far easier to see, and fly up a short distance when disturbed. They tend to congregate on the undersides of leaves in groups, spilling sticky honeydew on leaves and objects below. Whiteflies drown easily and frequent sprays with a garden hose or kitchen sprayer will send them packing.


Bacterial spot erupts when the humidity is high. Bacteria enter the leaf through stomas or areas of damage, causing brown to black lesions surrounded by yellow halos or widespread speckling and deformity. Prune out severely diseased areas and treat the rest with a copper fungicide. In the future, avoid overhead watering or heavy misting that results in standing water on leaves.

Kristi Waterworth

Kristi Waterworth was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for many years, answering countless queries on plant pests and diseases.