help please - yellow leaves to dead

johnoccaApril 16, 2008


I planted a potted 24" tree (It's in the ground about 4 feet from a west-facing wall and receives direct sunlight from about 11am, on) three weeks ago, and now the leaves are turning yellow and dying. What should I do?

Initially, I thought that the yellowing was due to overwatering. then, I thought it was hot weather that turned the leaves yellow, but I am not sure. About a week ago, we had a few hot, dry days (low 90's). I watered the leaves lightly once a day thinking it would help. However, the leaves began to turn yellow, and after a moderate watering yesterday, several turned to brown and began to get a bit crispy. I had checked the moisture of the soil by hand, and it seemed just barely moist.

To top things off, I am also wondering whether I need to fertilize the tree.

Any ideas/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Here is a photo I took today.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 11:49PM
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They look burnt to me. I'd put the water on the soil and not on the leaves. That west sun can be brutal some times!
As far as fertlizer, I'm not to sure at this point. Hopefully someone a lot brighter than me will give you some advice. Anyway you could shade them a little until they become more accustomed to the sun/heat? Good luck with your plumeria.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 6:23AM
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Well, I haven't had a lot of luck with my plummies lately, however, my thoughts on the watering is that if the soil feels moist I wouldn't water. As far as fertilizer, I would certainly give it a dose the next time you water. Give it a bit of an booster. And I have read on the board here that rainwater is excellent.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 7:10AM
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Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful to a newbie like me.

I read in another post here that you can put up a reed fence to dissipate heat if your plants are close to a west-facing wall. Mine plumeria is about 4 feet from a block wall. Should I think about buying a reed fence?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:36AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

This is not abnormal. The new leaves are coming in green and your older leaves are being rejected like a late dormancy. Pay attention to the new leaves. Pick off all the little black stubs and early leaves that are black as well as the yellow ones. Your stem does not show heat problems and I would just relax and wait for the new leaves to come. A tablespoon of epsoms salts watered in will help green up your new leaves. Give it some fertilizer after you water and keep granular types away from the stem. mist the stem and new leaves and keep it warm. Your plants look ok to me. Bill

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:53PM
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mikeod(Z9 FL)

Where was the potted plant before you put it in the ground? If the sun exposure was significantly different when potted than now, you are seeing the plant trying to adjust to the new conditions. I see this frequently when I move rooted cuttings from my heat pad and grow light to outside sunlight too fast. The leaves will turn brown and fall off, but new ones will develop fairly quickly.

If the plant was already outside, I find it best to put the pot where I am going to plant it for a few days or so, then put it in the ground. It gives the plant time to adjust to the new environment without the added stress of transplanting.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Thanks again for the replies!

I've got the epsom salts ready to go next time I water. Most of the brown leaves fell off on their own, and I removed the black stubs.

I also bought a moisture meter to help me determine whether or not I should water. The meter measures "wet", so I haven't watered this weekend.

I purchased the plumeria from a local tropicals nursery where it was shaded by other plants during part of the day. I believe it is getting much more sunlight now.

I also bought a hotbiscus, and the leaves on that one began turning yellow after I watered (as indicated in the narrative above.) With the meter reading and the yellowing leaves on both plants, does anyone think I am watering too much?

Thanks for helping me out. It's tough to know what to do when yellow leaves can mean several different problems.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 6:20PM
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It looks like I may have been overwatering. It is very easy to do with clay type soil. My plumeria is beginning to recover and is beginning to show new growth. I also have a hibiscus that reacted negatively; many leaves turned yellow and then dropped. Now it seems that both plants are doing okay. When should I feed my new plants, the next time I water, or sooner?


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:12PM
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I use a 9-59-9 fertilizer and spray leaves with spray and grow. The photo up top the leaves are burnt water the roots not leaves to keep from getting sunburnt. My leaves started yellowing after transplant due to stress. I use B1 to help strenthen the root and lessen the stress from transplant. Epsom salt mixed 1tbsp to a gallon is great for the plumeria the magnesium keeps leaves nice and green.This site has alot of usefull info.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 2:02PM
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