What to do when Magnolia tree leaves turn yellow & fall off

The leaves of magnolia trees can turn yellow and brown for reasons within or beyond your control. Here are the most common causes and steps you can take to make the foliage of the magnolia tree look green and healthy again.

Underwatering or overwatering is bad for Magnolia trees

Improper watering is usually the main culprit when yellow or brown leaves start to develop on Magnolia trees. As plants that originate from Southern China and the South of the US, magnolia trees do enjoy frequent but light watering. A puddle of water, however, shouldn’t remain on the soil after the plant gets watered as that could encourage root rot to develop and this, in turn, can cause yellow leaves. How often you water the magnolia tree will depend on factors such as whether you are growing it indoors or outdoors and the general humidity, temperature, and light intensity.

On the flip side, underwatering may cause magnolia trees to develop yellow leaves as it may cause interference to the chlorophyll (the pigment that gives leaves their green color) and, in turn, start the discoloration process.

As a general rule of thumb, it should be okay to water magnolia trees once a week. Adjust the watering accordingly as the season changes.

Proper drainage of water from soil

You won’t be able to properly gauge the frequency of watering the magnolia tree needs if it is being grown in soil that doesn’t drain well. Compacted soil can cause a number of issues for magnolia trees such as preventing root growth, reducing nutrient absorption, and preventing oxygen absorption. All of this can cause leaves to turn yellow and fall off. you will know if the soil is waterlogged by creating a tiny hole on the soil surface and filling it with water. If the water hasn’t drained after a few hours then you are dealing with clogged soil problems.

To stop more leaves of the magnolia tree from turning yellow, you will need to try divert as much water away from the plant. Also, clear away any debris or mulch around the Magnolia tree that may help hold the excessive moisture in the soil.

Excessive sunlight or lack of sunlight

Yellow leaves can also form on magnolia trees due to changes in sunlight conditions. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, for example, can harm plants because it can result in sunburn and the scorching of leaves. Lack of sunlight could have the same negative effect on magnolia trees as it would result in the leaves not getting enough light to drive photosynthesis. Lack of energy would then cause the leaves to wilt and gradually become discolored.

Try to position the magnolia tree or provide it enough cover or exposure so that it receives an optimal amount of sunlight, which is about six hours of sunlight per day.

Leave a Reply