Plumeria is a genus of popular plants that has small trees with a pretty and aesthetically pleasing design. They’re commonly grown as a decorative plant in the backyard of households in warm regions.
The leaves of the plumeria plant are unique and pretty, with vibrant green color. However, due to some issues, the leaves can turn yellowish or brownish color and start to fall off, even in the everblooming species.
So, if you’re asking, “why are my plumeria leaves turning yellow?” This article has got the answer!
In today’s post, we’ll answer your question and provide you with a thorough guide on how to take proper care of your plumeria plant to prevent its leaves from becoming yellow again. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Why Are My Plumeria Leaves Turning Yellow?
Plumeria leaves will turn yellow for many reasons. The most common one is the water supply, whether it’s too much or too little water.
Seasonal changes and exposure to very cold weather can also force the plant into winter dormancy, which drives the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Besides natural causes, certain diseases and pest infections can be the culprit.
Factors that Can Make Plumeria Leaves Turn Yellow and Fall off
Here’s a brief overview of the different factors that can cause your plumeria leaves to turn yellow and fall off:
Lack of Water Supply
The first and most obvious reason why plumeria leaves turn yellow is the lack of proper water. Plumeria needs regular and even amounts of water to stay hydrated and keep the leaves vibrant.
However, if you forget to water them for some time, you’ll notice that the plant’s leaves start to show a yellowish tinge. The inadequate supply simply forces them into dormancy in the wrong season.
One of the most obvious signs that the plant doesn’t get enough supply is that the leaves of the plant start turning yellow from the ground up.
Supplying It with More Water Than It Needs
Since plumeria grows in hot weather, it usually needs large amounts of water to overcome dehydration.
However, overwater might put the roots at the risk of drowning. Yes, plants can suffocate on excessive water!
Plumeria is one of the plants that are highly sensitive to the amount of moisture in the roots, so you have to make sure that the soil has good drainage to avoid root rot.
Since plumeria is essentially endemic to Central America and the Caribbean region, they’re well adapted to hot weather.
If you’re growing the plumeria in an area where the temperature falls below 50 °F (10 °C), the plant will enter a state of winter dormancy.
The leaves of the entire plant will start to turn yellow rapidly and fall until it becomes fully leafless.
This is a natural process that helps them conserve their energy, and they should bloom again when the weather is warm again in the Spring.
In addition to various natural reasons, certain diseases can cause the leaves of the plumeria to turn yellow. One of the most common issues is a fungal disease known as “Plumeria Rust.”
In that case, you’ll notice small yellowish or orange flecks that start mainly on the upper side of the leaves, which corresponds to the lesions that hold the fungus spores on the underside of the leaf.
These points will later coalesce into a dark brown necrotic area as the leaves start to fall. You can prevent the rust by clearing the leaves from under the plant and water the roots directly while keeping the foliage dry
Other Pest Infections
In addition to plumeria rust, your plumeria could be suffering from a microscopic parasite or an insect, as some types of plumeria, especially the indoor types, are prone to different pest infestations.
The most common insects that can affect the plant are spider mites and mealybugs. These insects will form ultra-fine webbings on the plant that deforms the leaves and turn them yellow, which is the confirming sign that your plant is suffering from them.
The best way to control them is by spraying the entire plate with insecticidal soap or organic neem oil.
How Often Should You Water Plumeria Plants?
Ideally, you should water plumeria plants in an average of 1 inch per week. However, the amount of water should be adjusted to the size of your plant.
Make sure that the potting soil has adequate drainage to avoid overwatering, such as cactus potting soil.
What Should You Do if Your Plumeria Leaves are Turning Yellow?
If you suspect overwatering, the first thing you need to do is check the soil. You can do that by digging a few inches down and see if the soil isn’t too wet.
Using a weather thermometer, check the temperature and make sure that it’s warm enough. If the plant is left outside in the cold, consider taking it inside, if possible.
Lastly, check thoroughly for signs of infection and contact a gardening professional if you’re still unsure about the cause.