Magnolia Leaves Turning White: Reasons and Solutions

If you have a magnolia tree in your yard, you may have noticed that the leaves are starting to turn white. This can be alarming, especially if you don’t know why it’s happening. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why magnolia leaves turn white and how to solve the problem!

Why Are My Magnolia Leaves Turning White?

Magnolia leaves turn white for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is called powdery mildew, which is caused by a fungus that grows in humid or wet conditions.

This fungus can cause the leaves to turn white, as well as brown and yellow spots. If you think your tree has powdery mildew, it’s important to treat it immediately!

There’s also a chance that pests and iron deficiency could be causing your magnolia leaves to turn white. If you notice any pests on the leaves, be sure to remove them and treat the area with an insecticide.

As for iron deficiency, you can solve this problem by adding iron sulfate to the soil around your magnolia tree.

Once you’ve determined the cause of your magnolia leaves turning white, you can take the necessary steps to solve the problem!

How to Treat White Spots on Magnolia Leaves?

It’s important to tackle the problem as soon as possible. The earlier you catch it and treat it, the better chance you have of saving your tree! I will now provide an in-depth guide on how to treat each problem:

1. Powdery mildew

If powdery mildew is the cause of your magnolia leaves turning white, you’ll need to treat it with a fungicide as soon as possible.

I love using neem oil as a fungicide for powdery mildew because it’s all-natural, incredibly effective, and safe to use around pets and children. I’ve used it on roses, vegetables, fruit trees, and even in the garden, and it always does a great job of preventing and treating powdery mildew.

To use neem oil as a fungicide, mix it with water and spray it onto the affected leaves. Be sure to treat all of the leaves, even if they don’t all have powdery mildew!

As powdery mildew thrives in moist conditions, it’s also important to make sure your magnolia tree is getting enough airflow. Prune any branches that are blocking airflow and make sure the leaves are dry before nightfall.

You should also avoid watering your magnolia tree from above, as this can cause the leaves to stay wet and promote the growth of powdery mildew. Water the roots directly or use a soaker hose to water the tree.

2. Pests

Take a closer look at the affected leaves and see if you can spot any pests or holes in the leaves. The most common pests that affect magnolia trees are aphids, scale insects, and mites.

If you find any pests on the leaves, be sure to remove them by hand or with a hose. You can also treat the area with an insecticide to prevent further infestation.

I like to use a mixture of neem oil and water in a spray bottle to keep my plants healthy and free of pests. Simply shake the bottle well before each use, and be sure to apply the mixture to the undersides of leaves as well as the stems and flowers.

Make sure no pests travel to other plants as well! Be sure to check your other plants for signs of pests, and treat them accordingly.

3. Iron deficiency

Plants need nutrients to thrive, and one of the most important nutrients is iron. Iron helps the plant to produce chlorophyll, which gives the plant its green color.

If your magnolia tree is lacking iron, you may notice that the leaves are turning white or yellow. This problem can be solved by adding iron sulfate to the soil around your tree.

You can find iron sulfate at your local nursery or garden center. Simply add the recommended amount to the soil around your magnolia tree and water it in well.

Be sure to check the packaging for specific instructions on how much iron sulfate to use. You should also have your soil tested periodically to make sure it’s not lacking in any other nutrients.

How to Prevent Magnolia Leaves Turning White?

Prevention is always the best cure! Here are a few tips to prevent your magnolia leaves from turning white:

  • Water the roots directly or use a soaker hose to water the tree
  • Prune any branches that are blocking airflow
  • Make sure the leaves are dry before nightfall
  • Have your soil tested periodically and add iron sulfate if necessary
  • Avoid overwatering
  • Treat any pests or diseases as soon as possible

By following these tips, you can keep your magnolia tree healthy and prevent the leaves from turning white in the first place.

Care Tips

Stressed magnolia plants are more susceptible to problems like powdery mildew, pests, and nutrient deficiencies. So, it’s important to give your magnolia tree the care it needs to stay healthy.

Here are a few tips for caring for your magnolia tree:

  • Fertilize your tree regularly with an all-purpose fertilizer or a fertilizer made specifically for magnolia trees
  • Water your tree deeply and regularly during the growing season
  • Mulch around the base of your tree to help retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing
  • Prune your tree annually to remove any dead or diseased branches
  • Provide enough sunlight for your tree to thrive

By following these care tips, you can keep your magnolia tree healthy and prevent problems like powdery


In conclusion, there are several reasons why magnolia leaves may turn white. These include powdery mildew, pests, nutrient deficiencies, and stress. By taking preventative measures and providing proper care for your tree, you can prevent white leaves from forming.

Do you have any tips for preventing or treating white leaves on magnolia trees? Share them in the comments below!

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