Skip to Content

Why Are My Philodendron Atom Leaves Yellow? Answered

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Philodendron Atom leaves may be ruffled, but there’s no need to get ruffled either if they start to turn yellow. Fixing the problem is easy when you know what to do. However, you need to establish the reason behind the color change first.

Here are the most common causes for yellow Philodendron Atom leaves:

Philodendron Atom plant
  • Overwatering
  • Too much light
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • Natural aging

Other causes include underwatering and lack of both light and humidity.

There are over 489 Philodendron species. In this article, we will discuss what might cause your Philodendron Atom leaves to turn yellow and what you need to do about it. We will also answer some FAQs about Philodendron Atoms.

Common Causes for Yellow Philodendron Atom Leaves

Many factors and elements can play into the leaf health of your plant. That said, here are the most common causes for Philodendron Atoms leaves turning yellow:


Overwatering is one of the most common causes for your Philodendron Atom’s leaves to turn squishy and yellow. Overwatering affects photosynthesis and can prevent the roots from properly absorbing oxygen.

Wet soil also gives fungi and microorganisms room to grow. These can negatively affect your Philodendron Atom.

Too Much Light

In the wild, Philodendron Atoms are plants that grow under the shady canopies of the forest. So, they don’t need much light. Your Philodendron Atom best enjoys bright, indirect light.

Placing your Philodendron Atom under direct sunlight will burn the leaves. They’ll start to turn yellow before changing to brown and crisping altogether. Therefore, your windowsill isn’t the best place to put your Philodendron.

However, you can use blinds to control how much sunlight your plant gets.

Another workable solution is to use frosted glass. Fortunately, you don’t need to change your glass panes to frosted glass. You can spray your glass with Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Spray Paint. It dries in a mere 10 minutes and you can apply a new coat if the glass doesn’t look frosty enough.

Nutrient Deficiency

Chlorosis is the yellowing of leaves due to a lack of chlorophyll. This can be caused by a lack of nutrients in the soil of your potted Philodendron Atom.

Different nutrients play different roles in your plant’s leaf health. Iron plays a crucial role in keeping your plant’s leaves green. Other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and zinc are essential for plant leaf development.

Different nutrient deficiencies can affect which leaves turn yellow first:

  • Iron: Yellowing starts between leaf veins, affecting younger leaves first.
  • Magnesium: Yellowing also occurs between leaf veins, affecting older leaves. The yellowing starts from the center of the leaf, moving outward.
  • Nitrogen: Older leaves are the first to turn yellow before moving outward to younger leaves.
  • Potassium: Older leaves start turning yellow at their edges while the center of the leaf remains green. After a while, the yellow edges begin to turn brown.
  • Sulfur: The leaves turn entirely yellow. This deficiency starts with the youngest leaves.

This Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food is formulated to help prevent the formation of brown spots and yellowing on your leaves.

Natural Aging

As your Philodendron Atom gets along in age, older leaves will begin to turn yellow and fall off.

Yellowing can also be part of your plant’s natural life cycle. Still, don’t just assume old age is the cause.

Double-check if there are no other possible causes like those listed in this article.

Other Causes for Yellow Leaves


Though overwatering is the more common issue with Philodendrons turning yellow, it’s still possible to underwater your plant.

Leaves will usually turn brown and wrinkly when you’re not giving your Philodendron Atom enough water. However, older leaves located at the outer portion of the plant can also turn yellow and start falling off.

You’ll need to give your Philodendron Atom a good watering if this happens. Parched soil usually doesn’t absorb water at first, so it will be alright to allow an inch or two of water to pool above the soil at first. The water will slowly soak into the dirt.

Once the soil is well moistened, though, pour out any excess water if you have to. Otherwise, you’ll end up drowning your Philodendron after you’ve just given it a good drink.

Lack of Light

Philodendron Atoms are plants that enjoy bright but indirect light. It may also turn out that you don’t give your plant enough sunlight.

When this happens, your Philodendron’s initial reaction would be for its leaves to turn darker and more vibrant. Don’t be fooled, though. If your Philodendron Atom doesn’t get enough light for a continued period, the leaves will start to turn pale and yellow.

Lack of Humidity

Philodendrons are happy when their environment is at least 55% humid. They’ll really shine when the humidity is 60% and above.

Air conditioners and heaters can cause the air to become dryer, so be wary of that.

If it’s not humid enough for your Philodendron Atom, the edges of the leaves will start to turn brown. After a while, the entire leaf turns yellow.

To ensure that your Philodendron Atom is in a humid enough environment, you can mist your plant. Unfortunately, this humidifying method has the drawback of providing moisture for bacteria to grow.

An alternative to misting is using a humidifying tray. The DIY option for this is making your own by placing pebbles on a tray. Pour some water on it and put your plant pot on top of the stones.

This humidifying tray from has a reinforced tray that makes it durable and prevents table scratches – 9GreenBox Bonsai Humidity Drip Tray.

The easiest way to make sure your Philodendron is in a humid environment is to place it in a room with higher humidity- like the kitchen or bathroom.

Rootbound Condition

The roots of your plant can grow so much that they become too closely packed in the plant pot.

If this happens, it may be difficult for the roots to properly absorb water, nutrients, and oxygen, making your plant’s leaves turn yellow.

The solution would be to prune some of the roots, especially if you want to keep your plant in the same pot or one of the same size.

You can also repot your plant in a bigger pot to give the roots more room to grow. offers this Homenote Plastic Planter in five different sizes per pack. So, you can decide which one is just right for your plant. You’ll also have a bigger pot on hand in case you want to repot.

Transplant Shock

Ironically, when you want to repot a plant because its leaves are yellowing, you can cause it additional stress, turning more leaves yellow.

The only thing you can do is keep it as healthy as possible while it acclimates to its new pot.

Don’t overwater or underwater. Remember to fertilize the soil and ensure that your plant gets the right amount of sunlight it needs.

It should recover once it’s been able to acclimate.

One thing to note is not to layer soil on top of the plant’s root ball when you repot it. Additional soil on top of the root ball increases the chances that you’ll end up overwatering your plant, making the leaves turn yellow.

What To Do With Yellow Philodendron Atom Leaves

What can you do about yellow Philodendron leaves? Let’s find out.

Can Yellow Leaves Turn Green Again?

Yellow leaves can turn green again if the yellowing is not severe and is caused by nutrient deficiency. In that case, it is still possible for them to recover and turn green again if the issue is immediately dealt with.

Even so, don’t get your hopes up. If your plant’s leaves turn yellow, they’re likely to stay that way.

Should You Remove Yellow Leaves?

You should only remove yellow leaves if they are easily plucked from your plant. Don’t try tearing the leaves off if they still resist your slight pull. This will only end up hurting or stressing out your plant.

If the yellow leaves aren’t easily plucked off, but you want to get rid of them for aesthetic purposes, you can cut off the yellow leaves close to the stem with a pair of sharp scissors.

You can also trim off the yellow part if the leaf is partially yellow.

Watering Your Philodendron

It’s important to know when and how to water your Philendon Atom.

When Should I Water My Philodendron Atom?

You only need to water your Philodendron Atom around 1-2 times a week, only if the soil is dry. Yes, you need to water your plant to keep it happy, but too much water will kill it.

To test if the soil is dry, stick your finger in the first one to two inches of soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water your Philodendron Atom.

After you water your Philodendron, you’ll need to give the soil time to dry before you need to water it again.

The Proper Way To Water Your Philodendron

Don’t put so much water in the pot that it pools on the soil. All you need to do is keep the root ball moist. If you have a plant plate under your pot, ensure that your pot doesn’t sit in a puddle of excess water.

Don’t water your Philodendron Atom from the top of the pot. This plant doesn’t absorb water through its leaves.

Instead, gently pour or spray water directly on the soil.

How To Propagate Philodendron Atom

You can propagate a Philodendron Atom through cuttings. Take a pair of garden snips or a clean knife to cut about 3-6 inches (8-16 cm) of the stem. You can then plant this in a cup with  moistened soil or place it directly in water until roots grow a few inches long.


Is Philodendron Atom Rare?

The Philodendron Atom is a rare subtropical plant. Though it is one of the rarer varieties of Philodendrons, its hardiness makes it perfect for beginners. Philodendron Atoms don’t require much light or water.

Although this plant doesn’t produce any flowers, its ruffled and glossy leaves are a beautiful and unique look for an indoor plant.

How Can You Properly Care for Your Philodendron Atom?

To give your philodendron Atom proper care, you need to water them correctly, provide ample but indirect light and maintain the right humidity levels.

Here are the main things to keep note of when caring for a Philodendron Atom:

  • Watering: Only water 1-2 times a week when the upper inch or two of soil is dry.
  • Lighting conditions: Bright but indirect light. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves.
  • Humidity: Keep it from 50%-65% humidity to keep your plant happy. You can also place it in your kitchen or bathroom. Use a humidity tray or DIY one to keep the humidity up.
  • Temperature: Philodendrons are subtropical plants, so they prefer warmer temperatures. Keep it at around 70 °F to 80 °F (21 °C to 26 °C) and don’t place your plant too close to heaters or air conditioners.

What Do Yellow Leaves on My Philodendron Atom Mean?

Yellow leaves are a sign that something is wrong. The yellow coloring could be due to overwatering, poor lighting conditions or even nutrient deficiency.