Sick Magnolia: curly brown & yellow leaves

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Eva Corinna, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Eva Corinna

    Eva Corinna Member

    Likes Received:
    Tampa, Florida

    I have a magnolia grandiflora in my front yard. I have lived here 5 years and the previous owner said the tree was about 15 yrs old. It has always been sick despite different attempts at helping it...but my knowledge is limited.

    New growth is dark green and curly. Within a 2-3 leaves down the branch they begin to yellow and brown as if burnt. It does flower every year with 50-100 blooms of varying size. What is wrong?

    I watered it the first year. Another year, I had a tree doctor tell me to fertilize it with tree stakes and heavy granules. I once took all the yellowing leaves off by hand (took for ever) and capped all the buds before it bloomed thinking it would give it an off season to rejuvinate itself. And yet here here it is with curly yellow/brown leaves. I have poor sandy soil here in St Petersburg... and have no idea what could be done about it if this is the problem.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Need to find out what the specific problem is before applying chemicals will fix it. See if you can get an identification from Florida Cooperative Extension.
  3. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    From my experience these particular Magnolias can be quite tempermental to their environment, much like Rhodos. Like Ron says I wouldn't treat it with any fungicides or insecticides unless you have a definate target.

    Lack of water, too much wind, ocean air, poor drainage, there are several natural enviromental issues that can effect the health of your tree. Regular checks for moisture may be a good start to see if it is receiving enough or too much water. pH around the base is something to look into.

    Often with environmental issues leaves come out green and healthy then slowly turn discolored. If yours are starting off green but curled, might look to see if there is some sort of sucking insect pest either as a minor inside the leave or on the outside. It's a long shot but you never know if you don't inspect.

    Another possibility could be a bacterial blight of one name or another. Which could be restricting the sap/moisture flow through the plant. This would need to be examined by a pathologist with lab work.

    I would feel that if fertlizer is not helping, I would sway away from visual diagnosis and look to have some samples inspected by your local plant lab.

    Thats my thoughts anyway,, good luck and I hope you find the problem, Jim.
    Nina cunningham likes this.

Share This Page