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Why are the leaves of my potted little gem magnolia turning brown?

My magnolia is in a pot facing east and we live in Blackett in NSW. The leaves at the bottom of the tree have gone brown and I have been removing these leaves. One flower has come out and has opened only in the last two to three days but the outer petals have now gone brown. Since we repotted the tree in August 2013, this is the first flower we have had appear and it doesn't look right. Please refer to the attached picture We have been only watering the plant about 2 to 3 times a week with me checking the soil to ensure it is moist enough. This doesn't take any rain into account either.

Flowers and Ornamentals • Physical Damage

Hi Mike,

Thank you for attaching the photo. Even though Magnolia 'Little Gem' flower during the summer/autumn months, the fact that you repotted the tree in August last year, it would have taken time for the tree to respond to its new location, and establish a new root system before flowering again. The flowers, as you so rightly point out, do not look healthy. Even though the plant is in a pot and should drain well, I am wondering if the root system is holding too much water. Could you check to see if the holes in the pot are not blocked and the water is draining through properly. If you find the soil is too wet, you will need to lessen the number of times you water the pot. At this time of year, depending upon the weather of course, you may only need to water once a week. Always check the moisture level in the soil before automatically watering. Ensure that the plant is not sitting in a saucer of water as this is not ideal. Look over the plant and check for the presence of insects such as aphids and mites. Mites are usually associated with a fine webbing. If there are any insects present, spray with a Yates product called Yates Nature's Way Vegie & Herb Spray Concentrate . Hopefully your tree will respond well by next summer and reward you with lots of beautiful blooms.



Answered: 20 May, 2014

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