Lettuce Leaves Turning Yellow : Causes & How to Revive

Most vegetable plants including lettuce turn yellow when you leave them to dry or overwatered.

No need to panic every time you see yellow foliage. In most cases older leaves turn yellow as a normal growing process.

But, when you notice more leaves are turning yellow, its a matter of concern.

Initially check, are you giving essential elements to your lettuce plant?

What are they?

Water, well-drained soil, adequate sunlight and fertilizer.

In most cases, new gardeners overwater the plant out of extra curiosity. Lettuce plant don’t like to stand in soggy soil. Likewise, it can’t survive in bone dry soil.

In a nutshell, lettuce leaves turn yellow when you fail to provide enough water or overwater the plant. Choosing wrong growing medium (soil), low levels of nutrients and extreme weather conditions can result in discoloured foliage.

Before you skip, I highly recommend knowing growing conditions of lettuce plant.

Check this article: How Long Does it Take to Grow Spinach?

Lettuce Plant: Soil, Water and Sunlight

Rich in vitamins and renowned for its delicious taste, lettuce is cool-season crop that can be easily grown in your backyard or container.

This leafy green vegetable plant grows rapidly, only thing on your side is to supply enough water. Lettuce plants are preferably grown in raised beds or containers if you’ve little space.

  • Soil must be well-drained, loose and must have ability to retain moisture.
  • 6 hours of sunlight does well to grow healthy lettuce plant.
  • As cool-season crop, lettuce does well if you shade them when temperature soar.
  • Water lettuce twice in a week or when you notice the soil is dry by 1 inch. You can check this by inserting your index finger.
  • Fertilize your lettuce plant prior to planting and twice in a month.
  • Organic fertilizers that gradually releases nitrogen will benefit the plant.

Why Are My Lettuce Leaves Turning Yellow?

If your lettuce leaves are turning yellow, then it is the sign that indicates that your plant has a problem.

  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Soggy or sandy soil
  • Pests
  • Low levels of nutrients
  • and Extreme weather conditions can leave lettuce leaves discolored.

Yellow leaves, stunted growth and algae layer of surface of the soil are signs of overwatering.

To revive the plant, stop watering and allow the soil to dry for a couple of days. Set the watering frequency and avoid overwatering.

Drooping leaves, yellow foliage and stunted growth are signs of underwatering.

To revive your plant from underwatering, start watering regularly.

If these two aren’t culprits, then may be you must recheck your growing medium. Soil that fail to drain excess water from container will result in overwatering and root rot.

Transplant the lettuce to well-drained loose soil.

Sunlight, this is a cool-season crop that can’t tolerate too hot days. At the same time, like other vegetable plants lettuce needs sunlight to prepare its food. Without sufficient sunlight, leaves turn yellow.

To revive, shift the plant container to a better location that gets at-least 6 to 7 hours of sunlight.

Fertilizers, lettuce needs to be fertilized once after 3 weeks. A balanced organic fertilizer will help plants to grow healthy foliage.

Pests and diseases can turn leaves yellow and if left unnoticed may result in death of plant.

Use pesticide to control the infestation and regularly inspect underneath of plant leaves for pests or bugs.

This may also lead to fungal infections that are even more dangerous than changes in texture, as these can affect the plant severely and make the root rot quickly.

Turing yellow is the sign of a dying plant, so we have listed some simple remedies to help people recover their lettuce plant.

Also Read: How Often to Water Lettuce?

Trimming the yellow-colored leaf is the only way to save the plant. Watering is one of the main reasons for the change in texture; other than this, several reasons can change the color of the plant, which are as follows.

  • When you grow your plant in indoor conditions, you will be placing an artificial light to make them achieve growth. So in this situation, the light must be placed 3 to 4 inches higher than the plant, and if the distance exceeds, there are higher possibilities for change in texture.
  • If it’s time for fertilization, your plant may show signs like a change in color or dropping some leaves, so people should understand that and add some essential nutrients for their plant to achieve proper growth.
  • Make sure that you add sufficient water for them just to thrive, as top watering may lead to root rot and make your plant die.

Also Read: How Long After Flowering Do Tomatoes Appear?

Problems that Gardner’s face while growing a Lettuce plant:

Germination may fail

Some lettuce varieties will tolerate hot weather conditions and can achieve a 99% germination rate even in summer seasons; some of them are Black seeded Simpson, progress Lettuce, great lake lettuce, and imperial 615. But some variants can achieve a 99% germination rate only in 77 degrees F.


If the heat increases; the germination rates may decrease so that people can prefer to add organic mulch to reduce the temperature of the soil and make the plant grow well even in hot weather conditions.

Planting heat resistant variants

Avoid planting lettuce variants that are not resistant to heat in the summer; however, placing a natural Munich will reduce temperature, people cannot achieve the growth that occurs in cold climates.

So prefer growing only heat resistant variants in the summer season and plant other variants in the winter season to achieve maximum growth.


Anthracnose is the formation of watery spots in the outermost layer of the plant. It will damage your Lettuce and make it unfit for consumption. The infected plant will have large holes in it.

To avoid this, people can always use certified seeds that are free from diseases, and to rectify this, people can place a mulch layer in their plant to cure the disease.

How to Get Rid of Anthracnose ?

To avoid or if you want to rectify the mistake, water your plant from the bottom-most and make them consume water from the bottom and never overwater your plant because it will develop the infection and damage all the leaves.

In critical situations, remove the infected plant, which will help other plants to grow properly.

Pest’s can affect the growth of your plant

Earwig is a type of pest that generally feeds on plants and eats foliage. If they prefer to start eating your plants, then it will be a hectic task to eradicate them, so if the infestation is low, then the damage will be less, and we can surely recover the plant.

But if the infestation is high, you have to use some gadgets to eradicate them from your field.

Root nematodes are another kind of pest that always live in your garden and affect your plants by attacking your roots first.

Your plants may show signs of color change, having very little growth, or even they can die suddenly, so make sure that your garden is free from pests.

Check this: How to Save Tulsi Plant from Dying?

How to Control Pests?

Using rolled wet papers or pots completely covered with paper to trap these pests at night. To avoid pests, you can keep your land free from dead plants and spray good plants with pepper and garlic repellents.

To avoid nematodes, planters can spray some fertilizers in the soil and provide them with some energy to fight against root nematodes. Rotating your crops and placing the seeds in different places can help Lettuce to grow well and fight against root nematodes.


This infection starts when the plants start germinating, and it may be due to various factors.

There are many reasons for damping off, and people cannot find it easily without an expert; some of the common reasons are excessive humidity and excessive moisture; some microbes can also create damping off. This can affect any plant and does not have any specific reason.

If you witness a white spot or a dark brown mold on steam, it is a sign of damping off, and people can even find molds on the soil.

If the plant is infected, even an expert gardener cannot treat this disease, and hence you will be in a situation of removing the batch and planting the new batch.

The signs can start from the root, and hence the roots may also get damaged, and they will become black and brown.

How to Avoid?

Just give some fresh air to the young folks that grow in your fields and avoid covering the plants with plastic covers as it will block oxygen flow. Using a starting mix to grow your plants will be a better idea for making your plant attain some growth. Always plant your Lettuce in the soil in which it can grow well.

Lettuce leaf drop

This is the term used to denote two different kinds of fungal infections in plants, namely the sclerotinia minor and sclerotiniasclerotioru.

It will collapse the complete system and create rots in the stem, leaves, and roots, and make the plant die quickly.

If the infection is in the starting stage, you can see the plants growing slower than usual. Overwatering will be the main reason for the cause of this disease.

How to Avoid?

Never make your soil over moist, so to maintain your plant in average moisture, make sure that the soil has enough drainage holes through which the excessive moisture can be removed automatically.

If the plant is already affected by Lettuce, drop, dig up the setup, remove the affected part, and place the remaining plant in the soil to make your plant grow well again.

Crowding will affect the growth of the plant

Placing lettuce one after the other without giving them enough space will make them grow shorter, and the taste of the plant grown in crowded places will be bitter.

To avoid this, place your head-type Lettuce 12 to 14 inches away from each seed, and for normal Lettuce, plant place the seed 10 inches away from each seed to achieve proper growth.

Also Read: How Often to Water Pepper Plants?

How Much Water Does Lettuce Plant Need?

Maintaining a Lettuce plant is very simple; people can apply 1 to 2 inches of water every week depending upon the soil type and temperature to maintain them in fresh condition.

Other than this, the soil of the Lettuce plant must be maintained in moist conditions so that the plant can grow properly; if you receive plenty of rain in your area, then water your plant accordingly.

Also Read: How Much Water Does Broccoli Need?

Final words

Hence in this article, we have discussed the main draws that people face while growing a lettuce plant; people now can have a clear idea of how to grow lettuce plants without killing them.

Overwatering may fit some other plants, but if you overwater your lettuce plant, you will be in trouble as overwatering may kill your plant completely, or sometimes people can also witness root rots.

To maintain the lettuce plant in moderate moisture conditions to achieve all the nutrients present in the soil.

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