Eucalyptus Leaves Turning Brown: Causes and Fixes

Why Eucalyptus Leaves Turning Brown

Have you noticed that your eucalyptus leaves are turning brown one by one? Don’t worry because it’s not entirely your fault; you’re not alone. 

Browning eucalyptus leaves is a common problem for this plant, and it’s caused by many factors, from environmental conditions to diseases. We’re here to help you understand the most common causes of browning eucalyptus leaves and how to fix them.

Keep reading to learn why eucalyptus leaves turn brown and how to save them!

Why are my eucalyptus leaves turning brown?

Why are my eucalyptus leaves turning brown
Image: Hardy Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves turn brown because of irregular watering, poor soil drainage, pests, and diseases. The leaves develop brown spots that take over the whole foliage because of a chemical called terpinene-4-ol. 

Let’s look at the causes and solutions of browning eucalyptus leaves. 

1. Irregular Watering

Irregular Watering
Image: Gardening Know How

How To Fix: Water the plant deeply.

Underwatering prevents the roots of the eucalyptus plant from absorbing enough water to support the plant. As a result, the leaves wilt, turn brown and eventually fall off the plant. 

On the other hand, overwatering causes root rot, where the soil is waterlogged, and the roots are suffocated from not getting enough oxygen from the soil. It causes the leaves to turn brown, making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. 

Solution: Water the plant deeply.

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
SpeedSlow-acting
Things You NeedWatering can

To prevent eucalyptus leaves from turning brown, the key is to water the plant deeply, regularly and evenly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. 

A good practice is allowing the soil to dry out between watering and water when the top two inches of soil are dry. 

We recommend watering directly at the base of the stem and avoiding the leaves of the eucalyptus plant once every four days or more often during hot, dry weather. You can limit watering to once a month if the soil is moist during fall or winter. 

2. Poor Soil Drainage

Poor Soil Drainage
Image: Gardening Know How

How To Fix: Amend the soil.

When the soil is moist and well-drained, it helps the eucalyptus plant absorb the nutrients needed for proper growth and development. 

A well-drained soil helps the roots get the oxygen they need to survive. Conversely, poor soil drainage restricts oxygen flow to the roots of the eucalyptus plant, leading to root rot and leaves turning brown and falling off. 

When soil is poorly drained, the waterlogged conditions and splashing of water on the low-lying leaves become a breeding ground for fungi, bacteria and viruses that cause plant diseases. Most of these diseases also cause leaves to wilt and turn brown.

Solution: Amend the soil. 

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
SpeedSlow-acting
Things You NeedSand or gravel
Compost or manure
Shovel
Rake
Water hose
Shovel

Materials like sand, gravel, compost or manure help improve soil drainage by creating larger pores. They allow water to flow more freely and even add nutrients to the soil when mixed. 

How To Do
1. Identify the areas with poor soil drainage.
2. Look for areas where water pools after rain. 
3. Test the soil by digging a hole 12 inches deep. 
4. Fill the hole with water and observe how fast the soil absorbs the water.
5. If the water drains slowly, then it is poorly drained soil. 
6. Add sand or gravel to the soil.
7. Mix them using a rake. 
8. Water the soil thoroughly.

3. Diseases

Diseases
Image: Gardening Know How

How To Fix: Treat the infected spot with fungicide. 

The most common diseases for eucalyptus plants are root rot and fungal or bacterial rots. Their most visible symptoms are the brown spots forming on the leaves and stems of the plant. 

For instance, the leaf spot disease infects the leaves and spreads until the whole plant dies. There’s also the stem rot disease, which feeds off the nutrients and sugar content of the leaves and stems of the plant, causing it to turn brown and die. 

Solution: Treat the infected spot with fungicide. 

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
SpeedSlow-acting
Things You NeedCopper fungicide
Water
Spray bottle
Gloves

Leaf or stem spots or other fungal or bacterial rots can be treated by copper fungicide. This fungicide kills the pathogen upon contact, making it a fast and effective way to treat the eucalyptus leaves that have turned brown. 

How To Do
1. Remove the infected leaves, stems or other parts of the eucalyptus plant.
2. Mix copper fungicide and water according to the product label.
3. Pour the copper fungicide mixture into a spray bottle. 
4. Wear gloves for protection. 
5. Spray the fungicide on the roots and soil around the eucalyptus plant. 
6. Repeat the treatment every 7 to 10 days or until the plant has recovered from the disease.

What do you do when eucalyptus leaves turn brown?

What do you do when eucalyptus leaves turn brown
Image: Plant Gardener

When you notice browning eucalyptus leaves, remove them immediately to prevent the carotenoid terpinen-4-ol from turning the whole foliage into brown. 

Always look for the area around the center of the leaves that are darker than the rest, and remove them using scissors or tweezers. 

How to Restore the Color of Eucalyptus Leaves

How to Restore the Color of Eucalyptus Leaves
Image: Saje Natural Wellness

Tea tree oil is a natural and essential oil that is effective in restoring brown eucalyptus leaves by killing pests and diseases and healing the damaged leaves. 

Tea tree oil is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. They can kill pests and diseases that infect eucalyptus plants, such as scale, spider mites, leaf spots and other fungal infections. 

They also promote the healing of the eucalyptus leaves damaged by pests, diseases or other environmental stressors. 

Here are steps to apply tea tree oil to restore brown eucalyptus leaves.

DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
DurationApplication: 30 minutes
Recovery: at least two weeks
Things You NeedTea tree oil
Water
Spray bottle
Gloves
Eye protection
Tarp

How To Do
1. Mix one tablespoon of tea tree oil and two cups of water in a container.
2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
3. Wear gloves and eye protection. 
4. Spray the tea tree oil solution on the affected leaves. 
5. Cover the leaves with a tarp to prevent wind from blowing them away. 
6. Re-apply the tea tree oil solution every two days until the leaves turn back to green.

Why is my eucalyptus tree growing slowly?

Why is my eucalyptus tree growing slowly
Image: Dudek

Eucalyptus trees grow slowly because of poor soil conditions, irregular watering, pests and diseases and lack of sunlight. 

They need well-drained soil and those rich in organic matter. So, if the soil lacks nutrients, the tree will not grow properly. 

This also happens when you cut back on fertilizer for the tree because it deprives the plant of the nutrients and energy it needs to grow fast. 

Irregular watering also causes eucalyptus trees to grow slowly because it suffocates, damages the roots, and prevents the tree from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. 

Pests and diseases also prevent eucalyptus trees from growing fast because they damage the tree’s stem, roots and leaves, which disrupts the tree from creating its food via photosynthesis, leading to slow growth. 

Finally, you should also check the location of the eucalyptus tree, as it needs full sun to grow properly. Otherwise, if they’re located in a shaded area, they’re more likely to grow slowly than those under full sun. 

FAQs on Eucalyptus Plant Leaves Brown

FAQs on Eucalyptus Plant Leaves Brown
Image: Dreams Time
How can you tell a eucalyptus tree is about to die?


Eucalyptus trees are about to die when their branches turn brittle, bend and break while the bark starts to crack and peel. On the other hand, the leaves will turn brown, wilt and eventually drop to the ground. 

What does overwatered eucalyptus look like?


Overwatered eucalyptus has yellowing, browning and wilting leaves because of the disruption of the transport of water and nutrients from the roots to leaves due to suffocation and damage leading to root rot. 

Why does my eucalyptus have brown spots?


Eucalyptus trees develop brown spots because of pests and diseases, irregular watering, nutrient deficiency and cold stress. These factors prevent the plant from getting enough nutrients from the roots, causing brown spots on leaves and stems.

Can brown leaves turn green again?


Brown leaves cannot turn green again because once leaves lose chlorophyll, the plant abandons it and absorbs all the other leftover nutrients, leaving nothing to the leaves. 

How often should I water eucalyptus?


Eucalyptus plants require watering once a week for young trees and 7 to 21 days for older trees. They need moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter to grow fast and healthy. 

Why are my eucalyptus leaves curling?


Eucalyptus leaves curl because of underwatering. When there is not enough water to absorb, or low humidity or transplant shock, the roots do not absorb enough water and delay their delivery to leaves, causing them to curl over time. 

Why do eucalyptus trees drop leaves?


Eucalyptus trees usually drop leaves after hard frost, but these will regrow during spring. However, when the tree leaves in the summer, it is a sign of environmental stressors like pests and diseases, which should be addressed immediately.

What exactly is the white powder on the eucalyptus leaves?


The white powder on eucalyptus leaves is the fungus powdery mildew. They usually grow on the stems, leaves, flowers and fruits of plants, and cause their stunted growth, yellowing and dropping leaves. 

What is the best way to keep eucalyptus branches fresh?


The best way to keep eucalyptus branches fresh is to spread them in warm and dry areas with plenty of air movement for three to five days. 

How long do eucalyptus branches keep their freshness?


Eucalyptus branches remain fresh for up to three weeks in ideal conditions.

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