Live to Plant

Why Are My Lions Tail Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?

Updated: July 2, 2023


The Lions Tail plant, also known as Leonotis leonurus, is a stunning and unique addition to any garden or indoor space. With its vibrant orange flowers and unusual lion’s tail-shaped leaves, this plant is sure to catch the eye. However, if you notice that the leaves of your Lions Tail plant are turning yellow, it may be a cause for concern. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this issue and provide some helpful tips to restore your plant’s health.

Lack of Sunlight

One common reason for yellowing leaves in Lions Tail plants is a lack of sunlight. These plants thrive in full sun conditions, meaning they require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If your plant is not receiving enough light, it may start to show signs of stress by turning yellow.

To remedy this issue, try relocating your plant to a sunnier spot. If you have it indoors, place it near a south-facing window where it can receive ample sunlight throughout the day. Alternatively, if you have it outdoors, consider moving it to a spot with more exposure to direct sunlight.


Overwatering is another frequent cause of yellowing leaves in Lions Tail plants. These plants prefer well-draining soil and can suffer if their roots are constantly sitting in waterlogged conditions. When the roots are deprived of oxygen due to excess moisture, the plant can develop root rot, leading to yellowing leaves.

To prevent overwatering, make sure that your Lions Tail plant is potted in a well-draining soil mix. When watering, allow the top inch of soil to dry out before giving it another drink. Be sure to empty any excess water from the saucer or tray underneath the pot to avoid water accumulation.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Yellowing leaves can also be an indication of nutrient deficiencies in Lions Tail plants. These plants require regular fertilization to maintain their vibrant colors and overall health. If your plant is lacking essential nutrients, it may start to display yellow or pale leaves.

Consider feeding your Lions Tail plant with a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully, as over-fertilizing can also cause harm to the plant. Applying a slow-release fertilizer every few months or using a diluted liquid fertilizer once a month should provide the necessary nutrients for your plant’s optimal growth.

Pest Infestation

Pest infestations can also lead to yellowing leaves in Lions Tail plants. Common pests that attack these plants include aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. These pests feed on the plant sap, causing damage to the leaves and draining the plant of its vital nutrients.

To combat pests, inspect your plant regularly for any signs of infestation such as webbing, sticky residue, or visible insects. If you notice any pests, you can use organic insecticidal soap or neem oil to control their population. Follow the instructions on the product label and ensure that you treat both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves for effective pest control.

Environmental Stress

Lions Tail plants are native to South Africa and are adapted to hot and dry conditions. When exposed to extreme temperatures or sudden changes in environmental conditions, these plants can become stressed, leading to yellowing leaves.

To prevent environmental stress, make sure to keep your Lions Tail plant away from drafts or heating vents indoors. If you have it outdoors, consider providing some shade during the hottest part of the day to protect it from excessive heat. Additionally, avoid placing it near air conditioning units or any other sources of cold air.


Yellowing leaves in Lions Tail plants can be a sign of various issues ranging from lack of sunlight to nutrient deficiencies or pest infestations. By identifying the underlying cause and taking appropriate measures, you can help your plant regain its health and vibrant appearance.

Remember to provide adequate sunlight, avoid overwatering, fertilize regularly, address pest infestations promptly, and create a suitable environment for your Lions Tail plant. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty of this unique plant for years to come.