What to Do About Yellowing Spots of My Elephant Ear Plant?

Yellow spots on your elephant ear plant can indicate a variety of problems, so it is important to know what you should do about it if you see them. Nancy Ingstrom, from the Boston Fern in Aberdeen, South Dakota, says that elephant ear plants often take years to grow, so they can be an investment of your time and energy. If you notice yellow spots, you will want to be sure to take measures to fix them, as they might cause your plant to eventually die.


Yellow spots on your elephant ear plant can indicate a problem with watering, says Ingstrom. Unfortunately, the spots can indicate either too much water, or too little water, so the first thing you need to do is keep track of your watering structures. If you are watering your elephant ear plant once a week or more, your problem is probably too much water. Try cutting back on your watering and see if your yellow spots dissipate. However, if you are watering your elephant ear plant less often than every two weeks, your yellow spots can indicate not enough water, so you should water it more. Ingstrom says the difference is usually in the size of the spots. Very large yellow spots at the edges of the leaves indicate lack of water, but smaller yellow spots closer to the roots of the plants indicate too much water.

Planting Problems

Ingstom says that if yellow spots encompass the entire leaf, and take over the edges of leafs first, they probably indicate that the root structure is stuck in the pot and doesn't have enough room to grow. If your pot is too small for the root structure, the leafs that are at the edges of the plant will turn yellow, die, and fall off. If you have yellow spots, even if you think it might be a watering problem, Ingstrom says that you should pick up the plant and peek into the bottom tray. If you can see roots, and especially if the roots are sticking out from the bottom of the pot, you have an issue with the size of the pot, and it should be repotted.