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Why Is My Chinese Evergreen Losing Leaves? (Possible Problems+Fix)

Chinese evergreens are mainly known for their beautiful foliage. It is pretty upsetting to see your Chinese evergreen losing leaves even if you are taking care of them properly.

So, in this article, we shall understand why is my Chinese evergreen losing leaves and how you can fix the same.

Chinese evergreens lose their leaves due to unfavorable conditions or improper care. Natural aging, watering issues, temperature changes, and low light are a few possible reasons behind the loss of leaves in Chinese evergreens. Providing a balanced condition can help prevent the loss of leaves.

This article will explain why your Chinese evergreen is losing leaves and how to recover them from each problem.

Chinese evergreen losing leaves

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Why do Chinese evergreens drop leaves?

It is heartbreaking to see Chinese evergreens losing all their leaves and diminishing their charm. Sometimes, we may fail to notice the underlying problems that the plant might be undergoing.

At first, we should identify the natural causes that can lead to the loss of leaves.

In some cases, the leaves start to fall out one at a time or otherwise in a bundle. Let’s look at the possible causes listed below, which can help your plant identify the exact problem and cure them accordingly. 

  • Sudden shock
  • Watering problems
  • Low light issues
  • Temperature stress
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Low humidity
  • Lack of space
  • Pest problems
  • Physical injury
  • Natural aging

Now let us discuss each cause in detail along with the possible cure.

Chinese evergreen losing leaves: Sudden shock

Chinese evergreen root bound

If your Chinese evergreen got a sudden shock due to any reason, it could result in the loss of leaves. Your plant can get a sudden shock if you have just brought it home or recently repotted or divided it.

If you have brought a new Chinese evergreen plant away from the perfect growing condition in your house, it becomes difficult for the plant to adjust, leading to a loss of leaves.

You have to properly take care of your Chinese evergreen to recover from shock and stress. Yellowing and browning of leaves are also the signs through which you can identify whether the leaves are going to fall off or not.

In the case of repotting, the environment for Chinese evergreen becomes utterly new like the soil, space, temperature, etc. After repotting, you need to provide proper care to prevent the plant from getting stressed. 

Dividing is also the same as repotting, so the solution applies to both problems.

For resolving this problem, all you can do is take care of your Chinese evergreen. When recently moved, repotted, or divided, you need to provide extra care and attention.

Sometimes, the shock is not permanent, and the plant recovers automatically after adjusting to the new environment.

Also read: Why is my Chinese evergreen dying?


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Chinese evergreen losing leaves due to watering problems

Here comes the most typical problem your plant might face. All kinds of houseplants need the correct amount of water to keep them in good condition.

Watering the Chinese evergreen too much or too little can cause leaves to fall in the Chinese evergreen. Let us see how watering can affect the health of a plant.

Overwatering leading to loss of leaves in Chinese evergreen

If you notice that the leaves turn yellow and droopy, it may be because of overwatering. Don’t ignore them as soon as you see such things and resolve this issue.

When you excessively water your plant, the roots suffocate, and they face trouble breathing. When the roots get injured, they can no longer absorb water and nutrients. Because of this reason, these plants start losing leaves.

Because of overwatering, root rot can also occur as various fungi infections grow due to damp conditions that might kill your plant.

Solution
  • If you see water build-up on the soil surface, tilt your pot downward to let the extra water come out.
  • Keep your Chinese evergreen in a spot that receives good air circulation and indirect sunlight. Wait for the soil surface to get dry.
  • If the situation is complicated, take the plant from the soil and remove all the decaying roots by cutting them off. After that, provide indirect sunlight to the roots until they dry and plant them back in the pot.
  • Ensure you don’t use an oversized pot as it can hold water in a significant quantity, increasing the chances of overwatering.
  • Keep the moisture level in check. You can do this by placing the finger inside the soil. If the topsoil is still wet, hold up until it gets dry.
  • You can also add sandy soil, peat moss, organic matter, and manure compost to improve soil drainage.
  • The drainage system plays a crucial role, so use a pot with drainage holes. 

Can an underwatered Chinese evergreen drop leaves?

If you notice that the leaves of Chinese evergreen are curly, dry, yellow, and droopy, the plant might be underwatered.

When the plant remains thirsty for too long, it fails to absorb nutrients from the roots that provide energy. Due to a lack of energy, the plant becomes pale and loses leaves.

The moment you notice dry leaves, you should immediately take action. Otherwise, the leaves will continue to fall off, and the plant can die.

Solution

If the Chinese evergreen is underwatered:

  • Prune all the damaged and dry leaves and water your plant continuously for 6-7 days straight. Check the soil’s moisture and water it accordingly.
  • Avoid too bright places for some days until the plant recovers.
  • To increase the soil’s moisture retention, you can add compost and clayey soil. It helps the soil improve the loose texture by holding moisture for a long time.

You should make a proper watering schedule and water it accordingly. This will help you to keep the records without causing any issues.

Also read: How Much Water Does A Chinese Evergreen Need? (How Often+Summer & Winter)

Chinese evergreen dropping leaves: Low light issues

Chinese evergreen low light

Light provides energy to the plant as it helps perform one of the essential processes for growth, photosynthesis.

Chinese evergreen needs an adequate amount of light to function correctly. It can survive in low-light environments, but that doesn’t imply that the plant doesn’t need any light at all.

Due to low light, the plant will fail to get any energy as photosynthesis starts to slow down, which can cause weakness to the plant, and they will start losing their leaves.

Due to low light, the plant will not receive heat from the sun. Because of this, the soil will remain wet for a longer period which can invite numerous kinds of fungal infections, and leaf loss issues will eventually increase.

The problem of low light mostly happens during the winter season, and during that time, the plant requires special attention. Lower leaves mostly fall first due to low light, so it gets easy to identify the problem.

Solution

  • Move your Chinese evergreen to the area where it will get adequate indirect sunlight every day.
  • It isn’t easy to provide light inside your house during the winter months, so move the plant outside for some time but only in the morning.
  • If there is any shortage of natural light, you can use artificial light inside your house. Artificial light works the same as natural light but keep the lights 12 inches away.

Also read: How Much Light Does A Chinese Evergreen Need? (Light Requirements)

Temperature stress making leaves fall off the Chinese evergreen

Chinese evergreen temperature and humidity

This plant needs warm temperatures (68-77°F) to thrive. If you don’t provide them with favorable temperatures, they can lose their leaves.

Not even a single houseplant can tolerate drafts. Exposing the plant to cold or hot drafts will cause problems for your Chinese evergreen. 

Exposing the Chinese evergreen to too much heat or cold can weaken the plant, leading to loss of leaves.

Placing the plant near a window with cold air or keeping the plant in an air-conditioned room for several hours cause stress. On the other hand, when the plants are exposed to direct sunlight or placed near a heater or a radiator, they can dehydrate them.

If you have recently moved your Chinese evergreen from outdoor to indoor, the sudden temperature change can shock your plant and cause stress.

Solution

  • Avoid keeping your Chinese evergreen near heaters or air conditioners. The air coming out of all these devices is harmful to Chinese evergreen as it directly affects it.
  • Don’t place your Chinese evergreen near a door or a window that opens and shuts frequently. Due to the frequent opening and shutting, the temperature fluctuates inside the room, and it becomes difficult for Chinese evergreen to adjust themselves in such situations.
  • In scorching weather, don’t place your Chinese evergreen near a window. The warm air can harm your plant. Provide a shade by using curtains or bringing the plant a few feet away from the window.
  • When the weather is freezing during the winter months, keep your Chinese evergreen away from the windows or doors.
  • Don’t change the position of your plant frequently. If you suddenly take your plant outdoors for too long, it will not be able to adapt fast.
  • If you want to keep it outside, do it slowly. Once the plant has adjusted to the outside temperature, you can permanently change its spot.

Also read: How Cold Can Chinese Evergreens Tolerate? (Chinese Evergreen Cold Tolerance)

Chinese evergreen losing leaves: Lack of humidity

Most tropical houseplants love to stay in humid conditions. Chinese evergreen needs humidity between 60% and 70%. The exact humidity is never possible inside the house.

But if the humidity drops below 50%, the environment inside the room becomes too dry for this plant. Due to low humidity, the leaves start getting dehydrated as the transpiration increases, resulting in leaves’ loss.

This mostly happens during the winter months, and the plant needs proper attention in such hard times.

Solution

  • Misting your plant can increase humidity to some level. So start doing that regularly.
  • Keep all the other houseplants with Chinese evergreen, and it will help increase the humidity around them.
  • You can keep your plant in a humidity tray. You can create this by placing pebbles and water in a drip tray and keeping the plant on it. The humidity around them will increase due to water vapor.
  • If the humidity is very low inside your house, use a humidifier device inside your room.

Also read: Should I Mist My Chinese Evergreen? (+Humidity Guide)

Is your Chinese evergreen losing leaves due to lack of space?

Chinese evergreen repotting

If your Chinese evergreen is growing inside a small space, the problem of root-bound will arise. The roots start growing in circles and twist due to limited space.

If the pot size is small, it becomes difficult for the roots to grow appropriately and start coming out of the soil surface.

Due to this reason, roots will get damaged, and the plant will fail to get water and nutrients from the roots, and due to this reason, Chinese evergreens will start losing leaves.

Solution

The only way to resolve this is repotting. You should choose a pot at least 2 inches bigger than the previous one.

Take out your Chinese evergreen from its pot carefully and remove all the extra roots. Then replant Chinese evergreen into a new pot with fresh soil.

Pruning the roots is quite sensitive, and you need to be careful while doing that.

Also read: What Kind Of Pot For Chinese Evergreen? (Pot type, Size, Material & More)



Pest problems leading to loss of leaves

Pests that attack Chinese evergreens are aphids, mealybugs, scales, and spider mites. All these pests suck out the sap from the leaves and stems.

The sap contains all the nutrients required by the plants. If the pests suck out all the sap, the plant will be left with none and thus fall short on nutrition and energy.

Most pests get attracted to damp conditions. It happens when the plant has poor drainage or has been overwatered. But pests like spider mites will attack your Chinese evergreen if it is left dry.

Solution

  • If the plant loses its leaves even after you take good care of them, you should check whether any of the pests attack them or not.
  • You should wash your Chinese evergreen by giving them a good shower. It will help to wash away all the pests present in the plant.
  • Don’t wash your plant with plain water only. Try to use neem oil, Insecticidal soap, and dish wash soap with water to get rid of pests completely.
  • After washing, remove the remaining pests by using wet cotton balls. But dip the cotton balls in the isotropy alcohol and go ahead with the process.
  • Maintain proper airflow around the plant to not keep it in damp conditions.

Also read: Do Chinese Evergreen Get Bugs? (Common Bugs+How To Get Rid Of Them)

Physical injury in Chinese evergreen

Chinese evergreen sunburn 2

If your plant is physically injured for any reason, it can lose leaves. 

Physical damage can happen if the plant has bumped into something, got injured during transplantation, or got stems broken accidentally by pets or small kids.

Solution

  • Keep your plant in a safe place where the risk of getting knocked or bumped is less.
  • If you have pets, keep the Chinese evergreen away by keeping it on a height or keep the door closed where the plant has been kept.

Loss of leaves in Chinese evergreen due to natural aging

Sometimes, it is quite natural to see your Chinese evergreen losing leaves at the end of their lifecycle. It happens because the older leaves start to fall to grow new ones.

When the leaves become old, they no longer have the energy to hold water and nutrients, because of which they start to fall off.

If this is why your plants are losing their leaves, you don’t need to worry as it is not considered a problem.

To encourage your Chinese evergreen to grow new and healthy leaves, you can remove the old ones when they start turning brown or yellow.

Final words

Take immediate action if you notice that the leaves are fading away or changing their color to yellow and brown. Prune the already damaged leaves as you cannot recover them.

You can recover your plant only if the problem has been identified correctly. So, try to find out the actual cause as fast as possible and try to resolve that issue.

You don’t have to panic about your Chinese evergreen losing its leaves as each problem has a solution.


Reference: WikipediaNasa clean air studyMissouri Botanical GardenThe University of KansasNC State University.