If you have pittosporum plants in your garden, you may have noticed that the leaves are turning brown. This can be a cause for concern, as it may mean that the plant is dying. However, there are several reasons why this may happen, and fortunately, there are also several solutions.
In this blog post, we will discuss the possible causes of brown leaves on pittosporum plants and how to address them.
Why Are My Podocarpus Leaves Turning Brown?
Fungal infections, insects, overwatering, leaf burn, and nutritional inadequacies are all common causes of brown leaves on podocarpus trees. The exact browning will depend on the cause. For example, brown, crispy patches appear on the leaves if they are exposed to too much sunlight, while fungal infections produce brown spots.
To gain a better understanding of why your podocarpus leaves are turning brown, it is important to take a closer look at the tree. Examine the bark, trunk, and leaves for any signs of pests or disease. If you see anything out of the ordinary, make a note of it. This information will be helpful when trying to determine the cause of the problem.
Once you have a better understanding of the problem, it is time to start looking for solutions. In most cases, brown leaves on podocarpus trees can be fixed with a little extra care. Keep reading to learn more about how to address each problem.
Browning Podocarpus Leaves from Fungal Infection
The most common cause of brown leaves on podocarpus trees is a fungal infection. These infections are often caused by overwatering or poor drainage. If the soil around your tree is constantly wet, it creates the perfect environment for fungi to grow.
To prevent fungal infections, make sure you are watering your tree properly. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and make sure the tree has good drainage. If the problem persists, you can treat the tree with a fungicide.
I recommend using neem oil (Amazon link), which is a natural and effective fungicide. Simply mix it with water according to the instructions on the bottle, and then spray it on the affected areas of your tree.
Keep applying the neem oil every few days until the problem clears up. It may take a week or two for the infection to go away and the spore count to decrease.
You can also prune all infected branches to stop the fungal infection from spreading to all areas of the plant. This sounds extreme, but it’s a good way to save your podocarpus.
Browning Podocarpus Leaves from Incorrect Watering
We tend to think more is better when it comes to watering our plants. However, overwatering is one of the most common reasons for brown leaves on podocarpus trees.
If you suspect your tree is being overwatered, take a look at the soil around it. If the soil is constantly wet or soggy, that’s a good sign that you’re watering too much. To fix the problem, cut back on watering and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
It’s a good idea to monitor the roots of your tree as well. If the roots are waterlogged, they will start to rot. This can be fatal for the tree. To check the roots, carefully dig around the base of the tree. If you see any signs of rotting, cut back on watering immediately.
It may take a week or two for the leaves to start looking better. If they don’t, check the roots again. If they are still waterlogged, you may need to replant the tree in a different location.
Browning Podocarpus Leaves from Pests
Pests are another common cause of brown leaves on podocarpus trees. Aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs are all common pests that attack these trees. These pests suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to turn brown and eventually die.
The best way to tackle pests on your podocarpus tree is through the use of neem oil (Amazon link), which is a natural and effective insecticide.
Simply mix it with water according to the instructions on the bottle, and then spray it on the affected areas of your tree. Keep applying the neem oil every few days until the problem clears up.
You can also try using horticultural oil or soapy water. These solutions will kill the pests on contact. Just be sure to reapply them every few days to prevent the pests from coming back.
Browning Podocarpus Leaves from Leaf Burn
Leaf burn is another common problem that can cause brown leaves on podocarpus trees. This usually happens when the tree is exposed to too much direct sunlight. The leaves get sunburned and turn brown as a result, especially on the edges.
To prevent leaf burn, make sure your tree is getting enough light but not too much. If the leaves are starting to turn brown, you can move the tree to a shadier location. You can also block some of the sunlight with a piece of cloth or burlap.
Another solution is to mist the leaves with water. This will help keep them cool and prevent them from getting sunburned. Just be sure not to overwater the tree, as this can lead to other problems like fungal infections.
Browning Podocarpus Leaves from Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies are another common problem that can cause brown leaves on podocarpus trees. These trees need a balanced fertilizer to stay healthy. If they don’t get enough of certain nutrients, they will start to show signs of stress.
The most common nutrient deficiency in podocarpus trees is iron deficiency. This usually manifests itself as yellow podocarpus leaves with green veins. If you see this, you can try fertilizing your tree with an iron-rich fertilizer. You can also try using chelated iron, which is easier for the tree to absorb.
Another common nutrient deficiency is magnesium deficiency. This manifests itself as brown spots on the leaves. If you see this, you can try fertilizing your tree with a magnesium-rich fertilizer. You can also try using Epsom salt, which is rich in magnesium.
Will Brown Podocarpus Leaves Turn Green Again?
It is unlikely that brown leaves on a podocarpus tree will turn green again. Once the leaves have been damaged, they will usually stay brown. However, if the damage is not too severe, the leaves may eventually turn yellow or brownish-green.
The good news is that brown leaves will not kill your tree. The tree will continue to grow and produce new leaves, so don’t worry if some of the leaves start to turn brown. Just be sure to address the underlying problem so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Should I Remove Brown Leaves from My Podocarpus?
It is not needed to remove brown leaves from your podocarpus tree. The tree will eventually drop them on its own. However, if you want to tidy up the appearance of your tree, you can go ahead and remove the brown leaves.
To remove brown leaves, simply use your hands or a pair of pruning shears to cut them off the tree. Be sure to make the cuts clean so that you don’t damage the tree.
After you have removed the brown leaves, it is important to dispose of them properly. Brown leaves can harbor pests and diseases, so you don’t want to leave them lying around your yard.
In conclusion, there are several reasons why podocarpus leaves may turn brown. The most common causes are pests, leaf burn, incorrect watering, and nutrient deficiencies. Most of these problems can be easily fixed with the right solution.
If you have a podocarpus tree that is starting to show signs of stress, don’t hesitate to reach out to professional tree service. They will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action. Taking care of your tree now will help it stay healthy for many years to come.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.