Morning glory leaves turning yellow always spell trouble for this plant as it is a distress signal sent by your plant that something is not right. If you are facing this problem, don’t worry as we have the solutions in this article.

close look of morning glory leaves


We have compiled a comprehensive list so you can identify the root cause of the problem and treat it accordingly.

Why Are Your Morning Glory Leaves Turning Yellow?

Morning glory leaves are turning yellow due to lack of sunshine, exposure to very cold temperatures, unnecessary fertilization, or nutrient deficiency. The morning glory leaves turning yellow is an indication that this plant is under some kind of stress.

This can be either because their care needs like sunshine, temperature, nutrients, etc. are not being fulfilled or because they are under attack by pests and fungi.

Continue reading to learn about all these in detail.

– Lack of Adequate Sunshine

If this plant doesn’t get at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, not only will it be unable to bloom but its leaves will also turn yellow and start wilting. Check to see whether your plant is receiving this much light or not.

– Low Temperatures

The appearance of yellow leaves on morning glory can also be an indication of exposure to lower than average temperatures. This phenomenon occurs mostly during fall and winter when the plant is left outside, near open windows, or exposed to cold drafts of air.

Remember that morning glory is a plant that is temperature-hardy. It can tolerate lower temperatures quite well, but sudden exposure to cold will definitely have a negative impact on them.

– Too Much Fertilizer

Yellow morning glory foliage will most definitely occur whenever you fertilize this plant in the winters. Even in summers, these leaves will turn yellow if they are even slightly over-fertilized.

This is because morning glory is not a plant that really needs to be fertilized. Unless your soil seriously lacks certain nutrients, this plant will grow and thrive even without fertilizer.

– Lack of Nutrients

Your yellow morning glory plant might be suffering from a deficiency of certain nutrients like Nitrogen, Potassium and Magnesium. The deficiencies of all these nutrients can be observed with different tell-tale symptoms so you can treat them by using a fertilizer with that required nutrient.

Reasons for Glory Leaves Turning Yellow

– Nitrogen Deficiency

Lack of adequate nitrogen in the soil presents as general chlorosis of the leaves. The older leaves near the base of the stem will start turning yellow first. If left untreated, even the younger leaves will turn yellow.

– Potassium Deficiency

Potassium deficiency also appears on the older leaves first. The edges of your morning glory leaves will start to turn yellow. Eventually, these edges will turn brown, and leaves will begin to fall off.

– Iron Deficiency

Iron is essential for the production of chlorophyll, the structure that gives leaves their green color. Iron deficiency will affect younger leaves first and produce a generalized yellowing in them.

– Magnesium Deficiency

A magnesium nutrient deficiency manifests in older leaves first. The veins on the leaves stay green but the leaf part in between will start to turn yellow. This yellowing gradually moves outwards, turning the edges yellow last.

– Disease: Rust

Rust is the most common disease that leads to a yellow morning glory vine or plant. It is a fungal infection that needs immediate action when spotted.

– Signs and Symptoms

Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Yellow-colored spots will appear on the leaves of your morning glory plant. They will eventually grow into pustules that contain fungal spores.
  • Most of these pustules will be found on the lower surface of the leaves.
  • Eventually, all the leaves will start to fall off and the plant will begin to die.

– Pests

Cotton aphids and leafminers are the most common pests to attack morning glory and cause yellowing of the leaves.

– Cotton Aphids

Cotton aphids are common plant pests that attack the morning glory plant and feed on its nutrient-rich sap. Eventually, they weaken the plant and it will start dying.

A clear-cut sign of aphid infestation is a morning glory with yellow leaves and puncture wounds. You will also see a cluster of these bugs hiding under leaf nodes and stem sheaths.

– Leafminer

The second most common pest to attack the morning glory plant is the leafminer. They are black-color flies that lay larvae on the leaves of your plant. These larvae feed on the leaves, turning them yellow and weak.

You can identify the presence of leafminers by the appearance of yellow-colored squiggly lines on the leaves. Tunnel-like puncture marks also appear on the said leaves as the larvae literally bore into them.



– Lack of Adequate Sunshine

Move your plant to a location where it can soak up direct sunlight for at least 8 hours a day. Make sure that the majority of this light is either early morning or late evening sunshine. Light at these times of the day is usually safe enough not to cause sunburn.

If you are growing morning glory indoors, then select an eastern or a western-facing window for it to keep near. These windows will let indirect light in only for a few hours. You will have to compensate for the rest of the time by using artificial grow lights.

– Low Temperatures

Whenever temperatures start falling below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, move your potted morning glory plants indoors. Make sure that your indoor plants are not kept near an open window at night time.

Save Morning Glory Leaves Turning Yellow

Check whether cold drafts of air from a vent or air-conditioning unit are falling directly on the plant or not. As for the plants that cannot be moved indoors, don’t forget to wrap them in plastic during very harsh and cold winters.

– Too Much Fertilizer

First of all, only fertilize this plant in the summer when it is undergoing its growth period. Use liquid fertilizer and dilute it to one-quarter of its recommended strength. Fertilizing once per month should be enough.

Stop using any kind of fertilizer at all during the fall and frost periods. Water your plant generously each time you fertilize it. This prevents it from developing fertilization burns.

If some of your leaves have begun to turn yellow, simply prune them off. New, healthier leaves will soon replace it.

– Disease: Rust

First of all, inspect your plant to see if it can even be salvaged. A severely-affected plant will need to be discarded and burned as it cannot be used for composting. If the plant can still be saved, then start by cutting off its infected parts using shears or scissors. Don’t forget to disinfect and sterilize these tools after using.

Afterward, spray the plant using a strong anti-fungal agent every day as recommended by the manufacturer.

– Pests

Here are some effective ways to get rid of pests in your morning glory plant.

– Cotton Aphids

Manually remove them from the plant using a water spray or jet. You can also scrub them off using a soft bristle toothbrush, then wash the plant thoroughly using soap and water. An easy method is to soak the plant in a bucket full of soapy water.

You can also use vinegar to kill aphids. Mix 20 percent household vinegar with 80 percent water and spray your plant with it. Don’t use vinegar of a higher concentration as it can also destroy your plant along with the pests.

– Leafminer

The most effective method to get rid of these pests is to spray the plant with a non-specific pesticide. The pesticide will be most effective when sprayed at night time. This way, it will reach the larvae most easily and carry out its killing action.

If you want to go for a more natural approach to killing these pests, then neem oil is your best solution. It naturally kills the larvae without harming the plant in any way. Simply apply a few drops of neem oil to the affected leaves using a cotton roll or a Q-tip.

morning glory leaves


Can yellowing Morning Glory Leaves turn green again?

No, yellowing Morning Glory leaves cannot turn green again. Once the chlorophyll is gone, the leaf cannot produce it again.

When should I cut off Morning Glory Leaves?

Cut off Morning Glory leaves as soon as they start to yellow or when they are no longer needed for the plant’s growth.

Does an iron deficiency cause Morning Glory Leaves to yellow?

Yes, iron deficiency can cause Morning Glory leaves to yellow because iron is essential for chlorophyll production.


You have now learned the various causes of morning glory leaves turning yellow and what to do about it. Here is a brief recap of the points we discussed above:

  • The leaves of the morning glory plant turn yellow when it doesn’t get its daily quota of eight hours of direct sunlight.
  • A sudden and severe drop in temperature will also turn the foliage of your morning glory plant yellow. Keep this plant away from cold drafts of air and open windows at night.
  • This plant can grow and thrive even without fertilizing. It gets fertilizer burned pretty easily. Only fertilize it during the growing season, and make sure you do it only once a week with diluted liquid fertilizer.
  • The morning glory plant will also turn yellow when its nutrient needs are not being fulfilled. These nutrients include nitrogen, potassium, magnesium and iron. 
  • Rust is a common fungal disease affecting a morning glory plant that is being overwatered. The leaves of the diseased plant will turn yellow and begin to fall off. Pests like mealybugs and leafminer will also turn the leaves yellow. Treat this issue with an effective pesticide.

Both lack of care and outside factors can turn the leaves of the morning glory plant yellow in color. With this new knowledge at hand, you will have no issue identifying the problem and implementing an effective solution.

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