What’s Causing Magnolia Tree Leaves Turning Brown

Does your Magnolia tree’s leaves turn brown and fall off? Is this normal for the plant? If not, read on to find out what could be the cause.

Generally, a Magnolia tree has no problems with leaves turning brown and falling off. This occurs naturally when the time is right for them to shed. However, suppose you notice that your magnolias are having issues with their leaves turning brown and falling off without any natural shedding process. In that case, there may be a problem or various problems that need to be addressed.

The Magnolia tree has two types of leaves: the younger ones and the older ones. The older leaves could be several years old. When it is time for them to drop, they usually turn brown and fall off in masses. However, if they are still green and there are no indications of them turning brown, then the tree may have a problem with its root system or overall health. This article will discuss the causes and solutions for magnolia tree leaves turning brown and falling off without natural shedding.

Planting Magnolia Tree

While it is true that you should not remove the old leaves, the older leaves can either grow to be too plentiful, or they can be full of nutrients. If so, they are causing harm to the tree by blocking light and preventing it from gaining enough nutrients, water, and sunlight to thrive. While removing some of the older leaves might help, there are other steps you can take in planting a magnolia tree to grow healthy and thrive.

  • Selecting a Healthy Magnolia Tree
    If it is really necessary to remove the old ones blocking the light, then you will want to choose a healthy Magnolia tree. This means that you should select a Magnolia tree with plenty of leaves on it so that they can all drop off simultaneously. Also, look for leaves that are dark green in color and shiny. The leaves should also appear to be full and not flat. In addition, the Magnolia tree’s trunk should be smooth with no cracks.

  • Planting a Magnolia Tree Soil
    The soil in which you plant a magnolia tree is very important because it can either help or hinder the tree. If the soil is too loose or heavy, your magnolia tree may have difficulty getting enough sunlight and may become unhealthy. The problem with overly moist soil is that too much of the root system is exposed to air which can cause fungus, rot, and rotting. If the soil is too dry, it could also cause the plant to get attacked by fungus and rot, causing infection.

    To ensure that your magnolia tree will stay healthy, you should always plant it in well-drained soil. This means the soil should be loose with a mixture of sand, peat moss, organic matter, and fertilizer. A good way to test the drainage capabilities of the soil is to dig a hole about 6 inches deep. Fill it with water and let it drain for about 2 hours. If the soil is good, there will be no runoff or standing water.

  • Pruning a Magnolia Tree Properly
    To properly prune a magnolia tree, you should wait until it is three years old. This way, you can ensure that the tree has adjusted well to its environment and can handle any pruning process. The best time of year to prune is early spring when new growth has emerged, and the temperature outside is not too hot or cold.

    If you decide to remove the older leaves, it is best to gather them up in a bag or basket and leave them by the tree. If you do not, the leaves will continue to grow over time and could eventually block out all of the sunlight from your magnolia tree. Once the leaves have fallen off naturally and completely, it is time for you to replant your magnolia tree.

  • Magnolia Tree Care
    Once you have planted your magnolia tree and ensured that you had picked a healthy specimen, you will want to care for it properly so that it can grow as large and healthy as possible. First, ensure you always water it at least once per week during the spring and summer months. This can be done through an automatic system or by hand. You may also want to add fertilizer to the water every time you water your magnolia tree. This can be done either by using a product designed to feed the magnolia tree or can use a liquid fertilizer.

In addition to these measures, you will also want to wait until the tree has grown enough that it can support itself. You will know this because the roots will have burrowed deep into the soil and may have weakened considerably. Once the magnolia tree has become sturdy enough, you can remove and brush the old shade.

Why Does a Magnolia Tree Drop So Many Leaves?

The Magnolia tree sheds its leaves throughout the year. The only difference is that it sheds all its leaves in fall without any natural shedding process. However, if you notice that there are too many leaves dead on the ground or if you notice a pattern of them dropping off without any natural shedding process, then it is possible that there could be a problem with your magnolia tree’s root system and trunk.

The Problem With Your Magnolia Tree’s Leaves Turning Brown and Falling Off

Several different problems could be causing your Magnolia tree’s leaves to turn brown and fall off. Some may be easy to fix, while others may take more time or be very difficult to correct. The reasons for the leaves turning brown will help determine the problem, so you can figure out a way to correct it before it gets worse. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Pests
    Some common pest that attacks Magnolia trees is scale, spider mites, and whiteflies. You may notice a sticky residue on the leaves or their branches. The presence of these pests will cause the leaves to be brown prematurely and drop off without any natural shedding process.

    Scales are small insects commonly found on tree trunks, branches, twigs, and even leaves. They can be difficult to see because they blend well into their surroundings. They can also move from leaf to leaf by creating a small slit to travel from one to another. You may notice them as small white, yellow, or brown bumps on the leaves.

    Spider mites are very small and red. When you view them through a magnifying lens, they may look like tiny red dots. They cause the leaves to turn yellow and brown and fall off prematurely.

    Whiteflies are similar to scales in that they are also hard to see with the naked eye, but you can often see them flying by when you look closely. Their main goal is to suck the fluids out of your Magnolia trees. This can cause yellowing of your tree’s leaves and eventual death if left untreated for too long.

    The best way to stop pests such as scales, spider mites, and whiteflies is to attack them at the source. Once you have identified these pests attacking your Magnolia trees, use an insecticidal soap spray or horticultural oil regularly to kill the pests and prevent any future attacks.

  • Soil Problems
    One of the biggest issues with Magnolia trees is that their roots are very shallow and do not penetrate very deep into the ground. Therefore, soil conditions around them make it easy for them to be affected. The best way to provide a good environment for your Magnolia tree is to create rich soil with plenty of nutrients. This will help them thrive and survive against potential threats such as drought and insects.

    When you see that your Magnolia tree’s leaves are turning brown inside, there may be problems with the soil or other root problems that need to be addressed.

    It is very important to create rich soil for your Magnolia trees by adding organic matter to the existing soil. This will not only make your tree happy but also create a healthy environment for it in terms of moisture and nutrients. You can either add organic matter directly to the soil or sprinkle some around the tree’s base near its roots to get it into the ground quickly.

  • Low Humidity
    Another common problem that your Magnolia trees may have are issues with the soil’s humidity. Although the forest is a very good provider of humidity for you and your Magnolia tree, it may not be enough to make it thrive in your area. This is because different areas will have different humidity levels regularly. If you live in an area that does not get enough moisture, this can cause your Magnolia tree to rot or experience some other form of damage due to insufficient moisture.

    You may notice brown spots on the leaves as they begin turning brown and fall off prematurely. To fix this problem, you can do a few different things. You can either increase the humidity around your tree or move it to a different area with more humidity.

    Keeping your Magnolia tree indoors or in a protected area that is not directly affected by the elements may be enough to keep it healthy and happy. You can also place a water tray under the tree to help with humidity. The water will evaporate due to high heat or direct sunlight and will help keep the soil wetter and healthier for your tree.

  • Insecticides
    Some insecticides and pesticides can be harmful to your Magnolia trees. If you use insecticides to try and get rid of these pests, your tree may also be harmed. It is very important to know the correct type of insecticide and pesticide you should use if you have any pests on your Magnolia tree. It is also important to know that some plants are safe for use on some plants but not on others.

    Most reputable garden centers will have full information regarding the insects they can treat using specific products and how much of the product they should use in each treatment. It is important not to use too much of the product in any treatment, or else your Magnolia tree could suffer from damage. In most cases, it is better to use the more natural approach and keep pests off your Magnolia tree by spraying the soil around its roots with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

  • Other Causes
    There are other reasons your Magnolia tree’s leaves may turn brown and fall off prematurely. Still, these situations may require some specialized knowledge or equipment to correct the problem. Problems with roots, soil, and other factors such as weather conditions are very common reasons for this loss. Some of these reasons might only be present in certain conditions, so the presence of any of these issues will make it more likely that your tree will suffer from premature loss. Other times it will just take time for the issue to develop because the factors that affect a healthy tree are many and complex.

    It may be easiest to find a specialist in your area who can help you with your Magnolia tree. They can come over, inspect your tree and let you know the best way to treat it during the fall and throughout the winter. Some problems may require a bit of work to correct, which means that some areas with soil conditions that do not help Magnolia trees will not be able to correct their issues fully. You will want to carefully consider whether or not you should treat the issues at all or if it is better to wait for spring and hope for the best with your Magnolia tree.


Leaves falling off early can indicate an issue with your Magnolia’s health. If you notice this happening regularly, it will be best to get an expert opinion to ensure there are no larger issues, such as disease or infestation of insects. If any issues with the soil or your Magnolia tree’s environment could have contributed to this problem, then you should also consider addressing them. As always, it is best to take care of your Magnolia tree as much as possible and ensure that it receives all of the care it needs to thrive and survive against potential threats.