Why is My Horsetail Plant Turning Yellow? – Easiest Way to Solve it

Last day, I was talking to my neighbor lady about our gardens. She was disappointed with her horsetail plant. “Why is my horsetail plant turning yellow?”, She asked.

In her reply, I found some causes that I also went through in the first year of my gardening. Basically, natural yellowing, too-shade conditions, nutrient deficiency, dry soil, too-low temperature and less watering- are the causes of horsetail plants turning yellow.

According to the causes, some regulating processes may save your plant from turning yellow. Let’s have a glance at them. Before the description, you can get ideas about them from the below table.



Natural yellowing Let them fall for new growth. No action is required
Too shade conditions Provide plenty of sunlight to your plant
Deficiency of nutrients Provide enough fertilizer to the plant once a year
Dry soilWater enough for the plant when the soil gets dry
Too low temperature Keep your plant safe from the cold area
Low humidity Increase the soil humidity with a humidifier 

6 Common Reasons for Horsetail Plant Turning Yellow With Precise Solutions

1. Natural Yellowing

Yellowing is not always a problem for a horsetail plant. Even if it is a natural body action of their life cycle. A horsetail plant doesn’t show lively growth in fall. As a result, the old leaves become yellow and fall after a certain time.

If you find yellowing of older leaves at this time, don’t take it as a stress. It won’t hurt your plant. In spring, new leaves will make your plant more vibrant and attractive. Since the plant does not need to waste nutrients in aged leaves, the nutrition quality and quantity will be adequate for growing new leaves. 

Control Measure

Let the plant continue its natural way. You should not think of stopping this yellowing and don’t provide extra fertilizers or water. Otherwise, these excessive things will demolish your plant and it will die.

2. Too Shade Conditions

The actual problem list starts from here. Before starting the description, let me ask you one thing. Don’t you feel inertia or uneasiness in darkness? In the same way, shade or dark places also disturb the horsetail plant’s activities. 

Besides, you know that sunlight is mandatory for plants to complete their photosynthesis process in the presence of carbon-di-oxide. Then, how can they fulfill their need without enough presence of light?

They become a sloth in chlorophyll production. Consequently, the whole plant becomes weak and the leaves start to show yellow as an indication of their problem.

Control Measure

Horsetail plants have an affection for sunlight. They require full sun intensity for a moderate time of the day like 4-5 hours. Make sure they can this hour from the morning sun rays. Otherwise, the afternoon scorching light will burn them. That’s why try to keep them in partial shade at that time from where they can gain indirect light. 

3. Deficiency of Nutrients Specially Nitrogen

After that, let’s learn something about nutrition deficiency. Here, I will clear up confusion about fertilizing time. Remind me, I prohibited you from fertilizing your plant excessively in the fall due to their natural yellowing. 

But if you observe yellow patches or color in young leaves too or yellowing of any leaf apart from fall time, you should apply fertilizers. Especially nitrogen deficiency causes yellow leaves. Besides, the need for potassium or phosphorus may also cause yellow leaves.

Control Measure

Apply liquid fertilizers to your plant once a spring and once a summer. During the growth period, fertilizers are essential. Liquid fertilizers become slowly active in the plant and help it grow better. You can apply them diluting in water.

If you use solid fertilizers, dip them in the edges of the pot rather than dipping them in the root zone directly. It may burn your plant root and destroy your plant.

4. Dry Soil

Next, let me mention the problems caused by dry soil. Plants always love moist soil. According to their body characteristics, the moisture range varies. But no plant can adapt to completely dry soil except desert plants. Horsetail plants also can’t and so they need moist soil.

Dry soil prohibits the plant root from taking water. Else, water doesn’t enter alone in the plant body rather taking nutrients and diluted minerals. In the absence of water, the plant lacks all these things and finally the plant wilts.

Control Measure

Always keep your plant moist with water. You can check the soil dryness by pinching your finger in the soil. If the topsoil becomes hard, water it immediately. (Our Pick: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter)

But, keep in mind that water should not be excessive. As too much watering can lead to root rot, the drainage system should be perfectly established.  

5. Low Humidity

Following that, one more problem you can face similar to dry soil is the low humidity range. It may seem the same, but this is not so. Though they are related, the mechanism is a little different. The humidity of soil as well as environmental humidity also matters for the plant.

As you know, environmental humidity is the amount of water present in the air. If the soil is dry, it will snatch more water from the leaf cells. At this time, the leaves will be dry and they won’t take part in the production of chlorophyll as well as food. Soon, the leaves will be yellow because of this problem. 

Control Measure

Always keep the moisture percentage of the soil near 60% or more. For this purpose, you can check the moisture with a moisture meter. If it gets low, you can use a humidifier to increase it. 

Else, you can sprinkle water on the leaves in hot weather. You can also try transferring the plant to a humidity tray for increasing humidity. 

6. Too Low Temperature

Finally, I am going to fulfill this list with the problem of too low temperature. Like other elements of the environment, too low a temperature is detrimental to the horsetail plant. At this temperature, the plant system freezes and all activities are hampered. 

The water remaining in low temperatures becomes unavailable to the plant due to being frozen. Such a situation creates a physiological drought for the plant and plant leaves start to become yellow due to disorganized situations. 

Control Measures

A horsetail plant thrives in 70-80°F temperatures. Most importantly, the temperature remaining below 5°F may cause the death of the plant. That’s why water your plant regularly at such a temperature. Try to provide enough shade to them. If possible, it is better to keep them inside the home during frost.

Is Reviving a Horsetail Plant Possible?

Yeah! Reviving horsetail plant leaves are possible if the leaves have just started to become yellow. In this case, the plant mechanisms can revive the damaged situation. 

If necessary elements like water, temperature, humidity, sunlight and soil condition are preferably perfect for the plant, the plants can easily survive and make new growth. Cutting back also helps to get a new look at the plant.

But if the plant leaves become yellow and the plant starts to wilt, the plant can’t come back without any injury.

Caring Tips For Your Horsetail Plant

SoilSoil should be sandy loam and nutritious 
ClimateClimatic conditions should be warm and humid 
Humidity 60% or more
Temperature The optimum temperature range is 70-80°F 
WateringRegular watering is needed to keep the soil moist 
Sunlight Full sunlight or partial shade


What is the best time for planting a horsetail plant?

After the fall, planting a horsetail may be beneficial. Horsetail plants do not grow well in winter. That’s why if you plant it just after the winter, it will grow best in the whole spring and the summer

Can a horsetail plant grow inside?

Yeah, but a horsetail plant grows better outside than inside. As it consumes more nutrition than many other houseplants, ground soil can meet the need more than potted soil. Besides, humidity consumption also benefits outside.

How much does a horsetail plant grow?

A horsetail plant can grow almost 3-4 feet its whole time. As it is a fast-growing plant, favorable conditions help the plant to grow at a satisfying rate.

Final Words

Why is my horsetail plant turning yellow? It is always a stretching question for gardeners. But believe me, if you can prevent the plant leaves from turning yellow, it will be more refreshing and attractive. For this purpose, follow the caring rules that I mentioned if you find them useful.

On the other hand, if your plant has already started to become yellow due to any imbalanced situation, you may suffer much to get the old look back. Take intensive care of your plant. Undoubtedly, your plant will remain healthy and beautiful. 

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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