Why Are Watermelon Leaves Turning Yellow? (Discover the Causes and Solutions)

Watermelons are one of the biggest summertime delights. They’re juicy, delicious, and full of vitamins. But if something goes wrong with your watermelon plant, it can cause a lot more than just a little annoyance for you. Watermelon leaves turning yellow is one of the problems that a plant may suffer, but fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent this from happening and make watermelon plants grow healthy.

Watermelon Leaves Turning Yellow

Lacking Nitrogen

Nitrogen is important for watermelon leaves to stay green and healthy. When watermelons are lacking nitrogen it can cause the leaves to turn yellow. Nitrogen helps the production of chlorophyll in the leaves which makes them green so it is an important element in watermelons’ growth.

Checking the soil quality is needed to know how much nitrogen is needed to add to the soil. In that way, you can prevent adding too much nitrogen. There are many kinds of fertilizers that commonly have nitrogen.

When the soil is rich in nitrogen the leaves of watermelons will grow healthy and the yellowing of the leaves will be prevented.

Iron Deficiencies

Iron is also important for watermelons to make leaves healthy and green. Chlorosis can happen when the plant is lacking iron or nitrogen.

You need to improve the iron in the soil to prevent chlorosis and keep watermelons growing well. When the leaves are healthy the plants can make a good amount of food with the help of the sun.

Because of iron and nitrogen, there is enough chlorophyll in the leaves which helps to convert sunlight into food.

Watering Problems

Water is essential in watermelons’ growth but when the plants are overwater or lack water it can affect their leaves which can make them yellow.

You need to make a watering schedule. In that way, you are aware of when to and not to water your watermelons. Overwatering can be prevented when you have the schedule but even if you have this schedule you still need to be careful in giving water to the plants.

You can also check the soil moisture to know if you need to water your watermelons. Observe the soil or you can press your finger in the soil around two inches deep and feel if the soil is dry or still wet.

When rainfall is available you don’t need to water your watermelons as this can make plants overwater. The rainfall is enough for them to grow. Too much water can cause rot roots and when roots are damaged it will affect plants’ growth which can make leaves yellow.

For example, if you are watering your watermelons three times per week and one of those days it rains, that amount of water is enough for the plants to thrive. Making a schedule for watering is helpful in caring for your plants and problems like overwatering can be prevented.

Just give the right amount of water per plant and each plant needs around 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water per week. Watermelons are somewhat drought tolerant and they are fine even if you forget to water them for a few days.

But lacking water can cause yellow leaves to watermelons so they must get enough water. Don’t let a few days pass by without the plants getting any amount of water. They will be dehydrated when you don’t water them.

Fusarium Wilt

Another reason why watermelon leaves turn yellow is because of fusarium wilt. Fusarium wilt is a disease that can make watermelon plants stunted and make leaves turn yellow.

When the plants are affected by this disease it’s nearly untreatable so you need to remove those affected plants so that they will not affect other plants. Also, soil fungicides can somewhat help to control the disease.

Crop rotation is one good way to control fusarium wilt. There are also many benefits of crop rotation so it is good to implement it in your garden.

Transplant Shock

Transplanting watermelon is done when the seeds are not directly planted in the ground. Usually, watermelon seedlings are transplanted but when they are not properly moved they can suffer transplant shock which can make leaves turn yellow.

The good thing is transplant shock is not common for seedlings. Usually, established and mature plants suffer from this.

So if you just move your watermelon seedlings to a new location they will just be fine as long as they are watered after transplanting.

But if you move mature plants you need to be very careful as it’s hard to move those plants and they can suffer shock which causes yellow leaves.


Overfertilization can also somewhat happen in growing watermelons and if it happens it can cause yellow leaves on the plant and other problems. Being careful in the application of fertilizer is the best thing to do to prevent adding too much fertilizer to the soil. Also, there are instructions on the products so it is good to follow them.

Conclusion: Watermelon Leaves Turning Yellow

If your watermelon leaves are turning yellow, you may have a problem with the plant. Yellowing leaves on a watermelon plant can be caused by several things like overwatering, nutrient deficiency, and diseases like Fusarium wilt. Watermelons need nitrogen so if you’re not fertilizing properly then this could be why the leaves are turning yellow.