Laurel plants are a beautiful addition to any garden or indoor space. However, nothing is more frustrating than seeing their once lush green leaves turn yellow and wilt. If you’re experiencing this, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Many gardeners and plant enthusiasts have asked the same question: what causes yellowing leaves on laurel plants? The answer is multifaceted and can vary depending on the type of laurel plant.
One common cause of yellowing leaves is improper watering. Over or under-watering can lead to stress on the plant, causing leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Another possible cause is nutrient deficiency. If the plant is not receiving enough nutrients, it can affect the health of the leaves. Additionally, pests such as spider mites or aphids can cause yellow leaves.
With proper care, you can help prevent yellowing leaves and keep your laurel plant looking healthy and vibrant. In this article, we will look at the causes of yellowing leaves and preventive measures to take.
5 Causes Of Yellowing Leaves On Laurel Plant.
Here are the causes of yellow leaves on your plant;
Improper watering can affect your plant by either overwatering or underwatering.
Over-watering affects the plant when you give it excess water. When the soil is consistently wet, the roots can become waterlogged and begin to rot. This can cause the plant to lose its ability to take up water and nutrients, resulting in yellowing leaves and the plant’s eventual death. Over-watering can also create a favorable environment for root pathogens, further exacerbating the problem.
Under-watering can also cause yellowing leaves in laurel plants. When the soil is too dry, the plant can become stressed and unable to absorb nutrients. This can lead to yellowing of leaves and eventual shedding of leaves. In severe cases, the plant may not recover from under-watering.
Check the soil moisture level to determine if the yellowing leaves are due to improper watering. Over-watering can cause the soil to be consistently wet, while under-watering can cause the soil to be dry.
Use your finger or a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture level. If the soil is consistently wet, it may be overwatered. If the soil is dry or very dry, it may be under-watered.
How to fix
To fix over-watering, you should ensure the plant is not sitting in water for prolonged periods. Ensure the pot or container has proper drainage and is not sitting in a water-filled saucer. If the soil is consistently wet, allow it to dry before watering again.
To fix under-watering, ensure that the plant is getting enough water. Water the plant thoroughly, ensuring it reaches the roots, and check the soil regularly to ensure it does not dry out completely.
Generally, it’s best to thoroughly water the plant when the top inch of soil is dry when you touch it. This will ensure that the roots receive sufficient water without becoming waterlogged.
Laurel plants require bright, indirect light to thrive. If they do not receive enough light, the leaves may turn yellow, and the plant may become weak and spindly. On the other hand, the leaves may become scorched and yellow if the plant receives too much direct sunlight. Factors that can cause improper lighting include:
- Low light levels: If the plant is placed in a room that receives low light levels or if it is placed too far from a window, it may not receive enough light to photosynthesize properly.
- Direct sunlight: If the plant is placed in a window that receives direct sunlight for too many hours a day, or if it is placed too close to a window, it may receive too much direct sunlight, which can cause the leaves to scorch and turn yellow.
To determine if the yellowing leaves are due to improper lighting, you can observe the plant’s placement and the color and pattern of the yellowing leaves. If the plant is placed in a low-light area or too far from a window, the leaves may turn yellow uniformly. If the plant is placed in an area with too much direct sunlight, the leaves may turn yellow with scorched spots.
Fixing the Issue
To fix improper lighting, you can take a few steps:
- If the plant does not receive enough light, move it closer to a window or a brighter location in the room.
- If the plant receives too much direct sunlight, move it away from the window or place a sheer curtain between the plant and the window to filter the light.
- If the plant receives light from only one direction, rotate it regularly to ensure that all sides of the plant receive equal light.
Laurel plants require a balance of nutrients to stay healthy and grow properly. Nitrogen is important for foliage growth, while magnesium and iron are necessary for healthy leaf coloration. If the plant is not receiving enough of these nutrients, it can lead to yellowing of leaves.
Nutrient deficiencies can be caused by several factors, including:
- Poor soil quality: If the soil does not contain enough nutrients or is too acidic or alkaline, the plant may not be able to absorb the necessary nutrients. Magnesium deficiency can occur in acidic soils or soils with low magnesium levels. Iron deficiency can occur in alkaline soils or soils with high phosphorus levels.
- Over-fertilization: Over-fertilization can cause nutrient imbalances and may even lead to nutrient toxicity, which can also cause yellowing leaves.
- pH imbalances: If the soil pH is too high or too low, the plant may not be able to absorb certain nutrients, which can lead to deficiencies.
To determine if the yellowing leaves are due to a nutrient deficiency, you can observe the plant’s overall health and the color and pattern of the yellowing leaves. If the plant appears weak or stunted, or if the yellowing leaves are accompanied by browning or spotting, it may be a sign of a nutrient deficiency.
How to fix.
To fix a nutrient deficiency problem, you can take a few steps:
- Test the soil to determine if there are any nutrient imbalances or pH issues. This will help you determine which nutrients the plant may be lacking.
- If the soil pH is too high or too low, adjust it with the appropriate soil amendments to ensure the plant can absorb the required nutrients.
- Fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer or a fertilizer specific to the nutrient deficiency. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can cause further issues.
- Provide additional nutrients if the plant lacks specific nutrients through foliar sprays or slow-release fertilizers.
If you overfertilize the soil, you must flush it with water to remove the excess fertilizer or change it with fresh soil.
You can read how to flush the soil without overwatering the plant.
Laurel plants are susceptible to a number of pests, including aphids, mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests can cause yellowing leaves by feeding on the plant’s sap, weakening the plant and disrupting its ability to photosynthesize properly. Pest infestations can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Poor plant health: Weak or stressed plants may be more susceptible to pest infestations.
- Overcrowding: Plants that are crowded together may be more prone to pest infestations, as pests can easily spread from one plant to another.
- Environmental conditions: Certain conditions, such as high humidity or warm temperatures, may encourage pest infestations.
To determine if the yellowing leaves are due to a pest infestation, you can observe the plant for signs of pest activity, such as small insects, webbing, or sticky residue on the leaves. You can also inspect the undersides of the leaves for signs of egg sacs or feeding damage. In addition, you may notice that the yellowing leaves are accompanied by stunted growth or curled or distorted leaves.
Fixing the Issue:
To fix a pest infestation, you can take a few steps:
- Identify the specific pest causing the issue, as different pests may require different treatment methods.
- If the infestation is localized, you can remove and dispose of the affected leaves to prevent the infestation from spreading.
- Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to the plant to control the pest population. Follow the instructions carefully and apply the treatment at the appropriate time.
- Introduce natural predators, such as ladybugs or lacewings, to the area to help control the pest population.
- Improve the plant’s overall health by providing proper care, including regular watering and fertilization, to help it recover from the infestation.
As you have seen, there are many causes of yellowing leaves on laurel plants, including improper watering, lighting, nutrient deficiency, and pests. When these factors affect your plant, they cause plant stress; when they are stressed, they become weak and vulnerable.
So, ensure that you take appropriate measures to fix these problems before they affect the whole plant. You can take appropriate steps, such as adjusting watering, improving soil conditions, providing proper lighting, and protecting from pests and extreme temperatures, to help the plant recover from yellowing leaves.
Proper care and attention to a laurel plant can ensure that it remains a beautiful and vibrant addition to your garden or landscape for years to come.