Why can magnolia have brown leaves? Well, there are several reasons. Some are not worrisome, but others are because if we do not remedy them, it could end up without any leaves in less time than we think.
So if you have someone who starts to have a “bad face” and you would like to know what is wrong with them, let’s see below why this has happened to them and what to do to recover.
Those leaves have reached the end of their lives
I start the article by talking to you about the reason that should worry you the least. The leaves of the magnolia or magnolia (they are the same), although the species in question is evergreen, that does not mean that the same foliage lives forever. In fact, the leaves have a limited life expectancy, which can be from a few weeks to a few months (rarely exceed the year).
For this reason, the magnolia grandiflorawhich is evergreen, drops the older leaves throughout the year; while the deciduous ones run out of them throughout the autumn-winter. This is something completely normal and, as I said, we don’t have to give it importance.
You receive more or less water than you need
The magnolia is a tree, or a shrub depending on the species, that cannot be without receiving a drop of water for a long time. But its roots can’t stand excess water either, let alone flooding. Thus, if the leaves start to turn brown we will have to ask ourselves if we are watering it with the right frequency.
And, suppose that we are watering it less than it touches. In this case, the leaves that will turn brown first will be the oldest.that is, the lower ones, since they are the first to receive that water; but if, on the contrary, it is experiencing thirst, it will be the newest ones that get sick before. What to do in each case?
- Excess of water: if the magnolia is receiving a lot of water, we will see that the earth is very humid, something that we can verify if we introduce a thin wooden stick, since when we remove it immediately we will be able to observe that it is humid, with adhered earth. Well, to recover our plant, what we will do is stop watering -temporarily- until the earth is dry. In addition, we will apply systemic fungicide so that fungi do not spoil it. And if it is in a pot, it is highly recommended to make sure that said container has holes at its base, otherwise if we want to save it we would have to remove it from there and plant it in one that does.
- Lack of water: in the event that it is going thirsty, it will be much easier to recover it, since it will only be necessary to water. But be careful, you have to pour water on the ground, making sure that it is well soaked.
And from then on, we will have to make changes in the frequency of watering (that is, water less or more depending on what the problem was) so that it does not happen again.
Problems with the pH of the water and/or soil
The pH, or hydrogen potential, is a value that indicates the degree of alkalinity that things have (water, earth, soap, skin, etc.). On planet earth, the pH of the soil is different depending on where we are: for example, in East Asia acid soils are common, while in the Mediterranean region we find mostly alkaline or clayey soils.
Plants that live in an acid, for example, cannot grow in an alkaline one. because they would lack iron or manganese; and vice versa either: calcareous plants would have many problems in an acid soil, since they would lack calcium.
The importance of pH, in water and in the substrate
Starting from this, it is necessary to know that magnolias are acid soil plants. This type of land has a low pH, between 3 and 6.5. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that this pH can go down or up depending on the pH of the water you receive. Thus, if the water has a pH of 7, for example, and the soil a pH of 5, the pH of the latter will rise over time; on the other hand, if both (soil and water) have more or less the same pH, there will be no changes or they will be so subtle that the plants will not notice it.
Our protagonists They need a soil with a pH that is between 4 and 6. When it is higher, the leaves will first become chlorotic (yellowish with green veins) and then brown.
How to recover them? For it What you have to do first is check the pH of the irrigation water and the soilsomething that is done with a pH meter such as this. If one of the two is not between 4 and 6, we will have to raise or lower it -depending on the case-. For example, to lower it we can use lemon or vinegar; but to climb it we will need ground limestone. Also, to ensure that the magnolia receives all the nutrients it needs, I recommend fertilizing them in spring and in summer with a fertilizer for acidic plants and this or one for green plants (for sale here!).
Another possible cause of magnolia having brown leaves is none other than high summer temperatures. And it is that If the highs stay above 30ºC and the lows stay above 20ºC for many days in a row, the leaves can turn brown very quickly.. This is something that I have been able to verify with deciduous magnolias, since they do not tolerate heat as well as evergreens.
To do? The ideal is put it in the shade, in a cool corner (or at least, cooler than where it is now). You also have to keep it well hydrated, watering it from time to time. And wait.
I hope your magnolia can recover soon.