Podocarpus are an evergreen shrub or tree that is native to East Asia and Australasia. The leaves are simple and linear, with a dense arrangement of needles along the branchlets. The cones are berry-like, and the fruit is eaten by birds.
Podocarpus are generally low-maintenance plants, but they can sometimes experience problems, such as yellowing leaves. But why does yellowing happen and what can you do about it? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the possible causes of yellowing leaves on your podocarpus, as well as some tips on how to fix the problem.
What Causes Podocarpus To Turn Yellow?
Watering issues, nutritional deficiencies, disease, lack of light, and pests are some of the most common reasons why podocarpus leaves turn yellow. Each cause has its own unique set of symptoms, so it’s important to be able to identify the cause in order to treat the problem effectively.
I will now go over each of these causes in more detail:
Podocarpus Turning Yellow from Watering Issues
Yellowing leaves on your podocarpus can be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. If you’re seeing yellow leaves and stems, along with wilting, drooping, or browning leaves, then it’s likely that your plant is not getting enough water.
On the other hand, if the leaves are yellow and soggy or have brown or black spots, then your plant is probably getting too much water.
To fix an overwatering problem, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. If you’re still having trouble with yellow leaves, try using a well-draining potting mix and adding some perlite or sand to the mix.
For underwatering, water your plant deeply and regularly, making sure that the soil is moist but not soggy. You may also need to increase the frequency of watering if the weather is hot or dry.
As podocarpus are drought-tolerant plants, they can also tolerate periods of drought without too much harm. However, if the leaves start to turn yellow, it’s a good idea to water your plant deeply and regularly until the leaves return to their normal color.
Podocarpus Turning Yellow from Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies are another common cause of yellowing leaves, especially if the yellowing is appearing on the edges. In this case, a lack of potassium, magnesium, or iron is usually to blame.
To correct a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium-rich fertilizer to the soil around your plant. For magnesium deficiencies, Epsom salt can be added to the soil or sprayed on the leaves. And for an iron deficiency, you can use an iron chelate fertilizer or spray iron sulfate on the leaves.
A good 6-6-6 or 12-12-12 fertilizer can also be used to provide a general boost of nutrients to your plant. Apply the fertilizer to the soil around your plant according to the package directions.
If you’re not sure what’s causing the nutrient deficiency, a soil test can be done to determine which nutrients are lacking. You can then add the appropriate fertilizer to correct the problem.
Podocarpus Turning Yellow from Disease
Fungal diseases, such as root rot or Verticillium wilt, can also cause yellowing leaves. These diseases are often caused by overwatering or poor drainage, so it’s important to make sure that your plant is getting the right amount of water.
In the case of root rot, you may also see brown or black spots on the leaves, as well as wilting or drooping. For Verticillium wilt, the leaves may yellow and drop off the plant.
Powdery mildew is another fungal disease that can cause discoloration and yellowing of the leaves. Powdery mildew looks like a white or gray powder on the leaves, which can look yellow when it’s dense.
If your plant is suffering from a fungal disease, you’ll need to treat it with a fungicide. Be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully. You may also need to remove and destroy any infected leaves or branches.
Podocarpus Turning Yellow from Lack of Light
Sunlight is essential for podocarpus plant to grow healthy and strong. In fact, too little sunlight can cause the leaves to turn yellow. If your plant is not getting enough light, you may see pale or yellow leaves, as well as stunted growth.
If you think lack of light may be the problem, move your plant to a brighter location. You may need to give it some time to adjust to the new location before the leaves return to their normal color.
If you can’t move your plant, you may need to supplement the natural sunlight with artificial lighting. Fluorescent bulbs are a good option for providing additional light for your plant. I use artificial lighting on most of my plants during the winter months here in the UK.
Podocarpus Turning Yellow from Pests
Finally, pests can also cause yellowing leaves. Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are all common pests that can infest podocarpus plants.
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause discoloration and distortion of the leaves, as well as stunted growth.
Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause yellowing and wilting of the leaves, as well as black sooty mold growth.
Spider mites are small spider-like pests that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause yellowing and stippling of the leaves, as well as webbing.
If your plant is infested with pests, you’ll need to treat it with an insecticide. I love using neem oil to control pests on my plants. Neem oil is a natural insecticide that is made from the seeds of the neem tree. It’s safe to use on most plants, and it’s very effective at controlling pests.
As you can see, there are several reasons why your podocarpus plant may be turning yellow, but the most common causes are incorrect watering, nutrient deficiencies, lack of light, diseases, and pests.
Look out for these signs and symptoms to help you determine the cause of the problem. Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, you can take steps to correct it and get your plant back in good health. Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful.