11 Causes of Yellow or Brown Leaves on Norfolk Island Pines

Whether or not it’s serving you as a dwelling Christmas tree or a long run houseplant, you need your Norfolk Island pine’s foliage to stay evergreen, not displaying a show of unhappy, yellow or brown leaves.

In the event you’ve seen discolored, yellow or brown needles in your houseplant, chances are you’ll be questioning for those who let it go too lengthy with out water.

However there are different causes the foliage of those conifer timber can flip ugly hues!

A close up vertical image of a Norfolk Island pine aka living Christmas tree with yellowing, browning foliage pictured on a soft focus background. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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On this article you’ll find out about 11 causes of yellow or brown leaves on Norfolk Island pines.

By understanding these completely different causes for discoloration, you’ll be able to then select the fitting answer to assist your tree flip inexperienced once more.

Able to discover ways to return your tree to its former inexperienced glory? Right here’s a sneak peek on the listing of potential causes of yellow or brown needles:

Discolored Foliage on Norfolk Pines

However earlier than we get began, for those who’d prefer to evaluate rising necessities for these houseplants, you should definitely learn our full information to caring for Norfolk Island pines.

1. Anthracnose

Whereas not the most typical motive for brown leaves on Norfolk pines, anthracnose is a fungal illness, attributable to Colletotrichum derridis, that may have an effect on these timber resulting in discolored foliage.

Along with inflicting brown needles, additionally, you will discover black specks on foliage if anthracnose is the issue.

Whereas a definitive analysis of anthracnose can solely be carried out by way of evaluation in a laboratory, for those who suppose your plant’s brown needles could have been initiated by this fungal organism, there are a number of steps you’ll be able to take.

If potential, take away contaminated foliage and get rid of it – it will possibly both be buried, or added to a compost bin, so long as the pile heats as much as a minimum of 140°F.

You may also apply neem oil to the plant to stop the unfold of the fungus to unaffected branches.

Neem oil is a fungicide, insecticide, and miticide that’s secure to be used round people, canines, and cats.

A close up of a bottle of Monterey Neem Oil isolated on a white background.

Monterey Neem Oil

Monterey neem oil is obtainable for buy as a focus or prepared to make use of in a number of completely different sizes from Arbico Organics.

Be certain that to comply with the producer’s instructions for software and hold crops out of direct solar for a number of days after making use of this product – oil on the plant’s leaves could cause scorching.

As a last step to stop the unfold of anthracnose, keep away from watering crops from overhead since damp situations are favorable for the event of the illness.

2. Direct Daylight

Norfolk pines can actually develop open air underneath the direct rays of the solar – as they do of their native atmosphere, and in areas the place they’ve naturalized or are grown as ornamentals.

But, for houseplants grown indoors, a sudden shift to full solar could be an excessive amount of of a superb factor, too quick.

A close up vertical image of Norfolk Island pines growing in pots displaying yellowing foliage.
An excessive amount of direct solar could cause brown leaves.

Susceptible specimens can react to sudden direct solar publicity with scorched brown needles which will have reddish undertones.

To forestall brown leaves attributable to solar scorching, regularly introduce the conifer to brighter, extra direct mild, if that’s your aim.

Nevertheless, direct solar isn’t a requirement for these timber. Brilliant, oblique mild will present for his or her wants simply wonderful, and may encourage slower development, a boon for houseplant mother and father hoping to maintain these crops from bumping up towards their ceilings.

3. Chilly Temperatures or Drafts

Did you permit your dwelling Christmas tree open air on a deck or patio when temperatures dropped in autumn, or maybe you transferred it open air too early in spring?

If that’s the case, being uncovered to chilly climate could have brought on the tree’s brown needles.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of a Norfolk Island pine that has turned completely brown and died.
Brown needles are typically attributable to chilly publicity.

These conifers desire temperatures above 50°F, and could be killed by temperatures 35°F or decrease. When uncovered to temperatures approaching freezing, brown leaves can seem.

But when publicity to chilly out of doors climate isn’t the offender, examine your tree’s location for chilly drafts too.

Chimneys can create colder microclimates inside properties, and places close to home windows and doorways can be drafty.

One of the best temperature vary for these timber is 60 to 72°F, so hold that as your aim and relocate your conifer if wanted.

4. Sizzling Temperatures

Are you summering your houseplant outdoor?

If that’s the case, be cautious of warmth waves since temperatures over 95°F can injury the crops, inflicting department ideas and rising tricks to react to scorching situations by turning brown.

A close up horizontal image of a Norfolk Island pine with foliage turning yellow and brown pictured on a blue sky background.
Warmth could cause brown leaves on Norfolk pines.

For that reason, it may be finest to maintain your Norfolk Island pine indoors all 12 months spherical – which may additionally assist forestall it from outgrowing your own home too rapidly.

Likewise, when your houseplant is indoors, brown leaves could point out the plant is in a scorching microclimate inside your own home.

Whereas a dwelling Christmas tree may look cozy subsequent to the fireside, a hearth can radiate warmth that could be too toasty for the tree, so prioritize a special location for this houseplant.

5. Low Humidity

Some indoor gardeners could discover brown needles on the rising ideas of their dwelling Christmas timber because of low humidity.

Questioning what the very best air moisture stage is for these houseplants? A relative humidity of roughly 50 % is right.

Whereas these in desert places could expertise low humidity ranges year-round, inhabitants of different climates can undergo from dry air throughout winter when heating methods are turned on, inflicting brown leaves on Norfolk pines.

In the event you suspect low humidity is a matter in your house, make sure that that is the case earlier than utilizing a humidifier, since including humidity to an already moist atmosphere may trigger mildew issues.

To check your indoor humidity, you should use a cheap humidity meter, also called a hygrometer, akin to this one, which is analog and doesn’t require any batteries or charging:

Mini Analog Hygrometer and Thermometer Combo

You should purchase a two-pack of mini analog hygrometer and thermometer combos from the Wacool Retailer by way of Amazon.

In the event you decide that your indoor humidity ranges are decrease than 50 %, chances are you’ll wish to use a humidifier close to the plant to assist increase the moisture ranges within the air.

1.2 Gallon Massive Black Humidifier

This massive, black humidifier is quiet throughout operation and holds simply over one gallon of water, providing 40 hours of humidification. It’s out there for buy from Rosekm by way of Amazon.

6. Low Mild

Are the branches in your dwelling Christmas tree turning yellow and drooping?

This mixture of signs signifies that mild publicity is simply too low for the quantity of water the plant is being provided.

When these crops are stored as houseplants, shiny oblique mild with a number of hours of direct morning daylight is right.

In the event you’re unsure whether or not the sunshine you might be offering to your conifer is adequate, a light-weight meter is a useful instrument that may give you goal information about mild publicity.

Study extra about utilizing and selecting a light-weight meter in our article.

Norfolk Island pines want a minimum of 400 foot candles of sunshine to thrive, whereas 200 foot candles will enable them to easily survive. If yours isn’t receiving sufficient mild, strive transferring it nearer to a window, or think about supplementing with a develop mild.

In the event you’re holding your tree in medium or low mild, chances are you’ll want to cut back the quantity of water you present. Purpose to water solely when the highest inch of the plant’s rising medium is dry.

Protecting a houseplant wholesome is primarily about discovering the fitting stability between mild publicity and water – when mild depth is decrease, watering frequency may also should be much less usually.

7. Pure Leaf Shedding

That is one motive for brown leaves that isn’t a trigger for concern: pure leaf shedding.

It’s utterly regular for a Norfolk Island pine to lose a few of its needles.

This course of ought to occur slowly among the many oldest branches on the plant.

A close up horizontal image of the brown, dead fallen foliage of a Norfolk Island pine.

Pure leaf shedding causes brown needles on older branches.

However, if needles flip brown extra rapidly or the highest branches are affected, it’s possible attributable to a special subject.

8. Nutrient Deficiency

In case your Norfolk Island pine is taking up an total yellowish solid and is being grown in very shiny mild or full solar, it might be turning yellow as a result of it’s missing macronutrients and desires extra fertilizer. Intense mild can improve the plant’s want for vitamins.

To assist with this, feed the dwelling Christmas tree with a 3-1-2 (NPK) fertilizer.

However, if solely the department ideas and rising tip of your Norfolk Island pine have turned yellow, a micronutrient deficiency could also be the issue.

This could be a drawback significantly when these conifers are planted in rising medium with a pH above 7.0.

Most houseplant rising mediums could have a pH of lower than 7.0, however for those who’re unsure it doesn’t damage to check it and discover out.

Learn our article to be taught extra about the very best soil check kits.

If evidently a nutrient deficiency might be an issue in your houseplant, chances are you’ll wish to feed your houseplant some macronutrients, some micronutrients – and even each.

Fortunately, there are merchandise that provide each macronutrients and micronutrients, akin to Develop from Mission Fertilizer.

Mission Natural Develop 3-1-2 Fertilizer

Mission Natural Develop 3-1-2 Fertilizer is wealthy in micronutrients and is obtainable in quart or gallon jugs from Mission Fertilizer by way of Amazon.

9. Root Rot

Does your houseplant appear like it’s dehydrated whereas its rising medium remains to be moist? The issue could also be root rot.

Root rot could cause yellow or brown leaves on dwelling Christmas timber.

Satirically, an excessive amount of water is often the basis explanation for this illness – pun supposed. The surplus water starves roots of oxygen, inflicting them to rot and permitting pathogenic organisms to flourish.

Lifeless roots fail to take up any water, and the plant begins to dry out, as indicated by its yellow or brown needles.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of a Norfolk Island pine that is turning pale and yellowish.
Root rot lies behind yellow or brown leaves on overwatered houseplants.

There are completely different ways in which this conifer’s roots can undergo from an excessive amount of water.

Probably the most easy manner is when a houseplant mum or dad is overzealous with their watering can, not allowing the soil to dry out sufficient between waterings.

Be certain that to permit the highest inch of the rising medium to dry between waterings. For smaller specimens, make that the highest half-inch.

In the event you aren’t the one member in your family, make sure that everybody is aware of the foundations about watering houseplants – some well-intended people are likely to empty their half-finished glasses of water in houseplant pots, with out realizing this may result in overwatering.

One other pink flag is a pot with out drainage holes. Drainage holes assist hold the rising medium well-aerated, permitting water to move via however not stagnate.

In case your houseplant’s pot lacks drainage holes, go forward and repot it, and alter out the rising medium whilst you’re at it.

Want a rising medium suggestion? One among my favorites is De La Tank’s Home Plant Combine.

A close up of a bag of De La Tank's Houseplant Soil isolated on a white background.

De La Tank’s Home Plant Combine

You should purchase De La Tank’s Home Plant Combine from Tank’s Inexperienced Stuff by way of Arbico Organics.

Lastly, if the Norfolk Island pine is in a pot that’s too giant, this may result in a moist, stagnant rising medium. For the reason that plant’s roots don’t lengthen far into the soil, the medium is way slower to dry.

If root rot appears to be the issue, simply so you understand, it may be tough to convey a plant again from this illness, but it surely’s all the time price a strive!

First decide the explanation the soil is staying too moist, then unpot the plant and trim any lifeless, rotting roots, and transplant it into the fitting sized pot with a well-draining rising medium.

10. Spider Mites

Spider mites are pests that may feed on these conifers, inflicting brown leaves with an orangish tone.

Laborious to identify because of their small dimension, infestations of spider mites usually go unnoticed till webs are fashioned on the crops.

A highly magnified image of a spider mite infestation on the surface of a leaf.

In the event you detect spider mites in your Norfolk Island pine, don’t fear, there’s a non-toxic answer that’s secure to make use of inside your own home – neem oil, the identical product I really useful to stop the unfold of anthracnose.

Neem oil doesn’t kill spider mites straight, as an alternative it interrupts their development cycle, so that you’ll have to reapply this product periodically till the pests are gone.

Make sure you spray your complete plant with the product, and hold the tree out of direct solar for a number of days, as talked about above.

As all the time, learn the producer’s instructions earlier than making use of.

Study extra about take care of spider mites in our information.

11. Underwatering

Lastly, one of the vital widespread causes for brown needles on Norfolk Island pines is underwatering.

If this houseplant is uncared for for lengthy sufficient, it would begin to sacrifice its decrease branches and ultimately the rising tip may also flip brown and die.

Whereas mature specimens can typically get well from such sick therapy, youthful ones are extra susceptible and are much less prone to survive.

A close up horizontal image of a Norfolk pine with brown foliage pictured on a soft focus background.
Older brown needles and new inexperienced department tip on a tree that recovered from underwatering. Picture by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

In case your conifer has had a few of its branches flip brown because of lack of water, trim them off and get the plant again on a superb watering routine. Some crops are in a position to get well and can put out new inexperienced department ideas and rising ideas.

Whereas some timber will get well from underwatering, it’s not an ideal thought to check your houseplant’s resilience time and again.

So make sure that to water your Norfolk Island pine tree when the highest inch of rising medium is dry.

An Ever Inexperienced Dwelling Christmas Tree

If this information has helped you determine the reason for yellow or brown needles in your Norfolk Island pine, hopefully you’ll now have the ability to deal with the issue and return your conifer to its former inexperienced glory!

A close up top-down image of a Norfolk Island pine aka living Christmas tree growing in a pot indoors.

As for these yellow or brown leaves, so long as your complete plant isn’t affected, you’ll be able to prune off the ugly ideas or branches and permit your houseplant to develop new inexperienced ones.

Nevertheless, keep away from eradicating the rising tip on the highest of the plant until it’s brown.

Did this text make it easier to? If that’s the case we’d like to know – simply depart us a be aware within the feedback part beneath. And for those who nonetheless need assistance troubleshooting a dwelling Christmas tree drawback, you should definitely add photographs of your houseplant in order that we are able to see what’s occurring.

In fact you wish to provide the absolute best care to your tree, so hold studying about Norfolk pines, proper right here:

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