Reasons Why Your Podocarpus Might Be Turning Brown

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Do you have a podocarpus that is turning brown? If so, don’t worry โ€“ you’re not alone. This is a common problem with these plants, and there are several things that you can do to remedy the situation. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why your podocarpus might be turning brown, and we will also provide some tips on how to fix the problem.

What kind of plant is podocarpus?

What kind of plant is podocarpus?
Photo from @floriculturamaosdaterra

Podocarpus is a genus of evergreen conifers. They are native to the southern hemisphere and are usually found in tropical and subtropical regions. Trees in the genus Podocarpus are characterized by their long, thin leaves and berry-like cones. These trees can grow quite large. They are also toxic.

Reasons why podocarpus leaves turn brown

Fungal infection

One of the most common reasons podocarpus leaves turn brown is a fungal infection. Fungi thrive in warm, humid environments, and they can easily infect podocarpus plants that are not properly cared for. If you think your plant may be infected with the fungus, you should treat the tree with a fungicide. Proper watering and general care is also very important.ย Also effective will be the use of neem oil, which should be mixed with water and sprayed on the affected areas. Such a treatment should be carried out for a couple of days, but you should have patience, because the fungus will die completely only after a few weeks.

Excessive watering

Excessive watering
Photo from @floriculturamaosdaterra

Another common cause of brown podocarpus leaves is overwatering. These plants do not like to sit in moist soil, and they will quickly begin to show signs of stress if they are over-watered. If you think your plant is being over-watered, try to let the soil dry out completely between waterings. The soil should be dry to within an inch of the surface, and then you can safely water your tree. When you cut back on watering, check the tree’s roots after a couple of days. Gently dig it up and look at the roots and smell them. If you smell rotting, then the root rot process has begun. If the problem is not corrected, the tree may die. To fix the problem, cut off all dead and rotting parts of the roots and cut off watering for a while until the soil dries out If your soil itself is very wet, then it is worth replanting the tree elsewhere.

When watering, be sure to take the rainy season into account. Watch the weather so that you don’t water the tree too much than it needs.

Infertile soil

Infertile soil can cause the leaves to turn brown. Podocarpus needs iron very much for healthy development. Without iron, the tree becomes stressed, which is primarily reflected in its leaves. The easiest way for the tree to absorb chelated iron, which is widely available in horticultural stores. In addition to iron, the tree needs increased amounts of magnesium. So you don’t have to guess what’s missing from your soil, you can do a soil test to determine exactly what kind of fertilizer to use.

Lots of sunshine

Lots of sunshine
Photo from @blairs.plants

Podocarpus trees love full sun, but too much sun can cause the leaves to turn brown. If you think this might be the problem, try moving the tree to a more shaded location. Sunburn usually shows up on the tips of the leaves, which turn brown. You can cover it partially from the sun with burlap, or spray the leaves with fresh water, during the sun’s most active hours. The water will help cool the leaves and keep the sun from burning them.

Pests

Pests can also cause your podocarpus leaves to turn brown. Aphids, mites, and scales are all common pests that attack this tree. If you see small brown spots on the leaves, it’s probably one of these pests. You can get rid of them by spraying the tree with an insecticide. Podocarpus also loves mealybugs. All pests drink the life-giving sap from the leaves, causing them to turn brown and then die off. In such cases, the tree should be treated with a soap solution or garden soap and insecticide from a horticultural store.

Transplant Shock

Transplant Shock
Photo from @hawaii_island_trees

Transplanting can also cause the leaves to turn brown. When you transplant a tree, it is a shock to its system. The roots are disturbed and the tree has to adjust to the new location. This stress can cause the leaves to turn brown. To prevent this, try to transplant the tree in cooler weather in the spring or fall. Try to plant the tree properly in the soil, not too deep and in a place with fertile soil. After replanting, you should water the tree very well straight away. It is worth having patience in such cases, because brown leaves will not soon return to their green color. It may take up to 1 year or more for the tree to return to a healthy state.

Cold or dry winds

The podocarpus tree is very sensitive to cold or dry winds. Under such conditions, the leaves can turn brown. If you live in a region with harsh winters, it is best to plant the tree in a sheltered location, such as next to the house. You should also mulch the soil around the base of the tree for protection. During storms, be sure to cover the tree with a protective shade or burlap. This will help keep its leaves from the cold.

Temperature variations

Temperature variations
Photo from @ideal_flora

Temperature fluctuations can also cause the leaves to turn brown. If the tree is exposed to extreme cold or heat, this can damage its leaves. In winter, try to keep the tree in a warm, sheltered location. In summer, try to protect it from the hot sun. If you live in a region with very hot summers and cold winters, you need to think about temporarily protecting the tree during certain periods of sun or frost activity.

Dirty soil

Dirty soil
Photo from @viverosregionales

If the tree is in dirty soil, it can cause its leaves to turn brown. Make sure that you clean the area around the base of the tree regularly. You should also add fresh mulch to the soil every year. This will help improve drainage and prevent toxins from building up in the soil. You should also avoid planting the tree near a road where cars frequently drive.

Nicolas Wayne

Gardening and lawn care enthusiast

Nicolaslawn
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