Breadfruit is a hardy, relatively low-maintenance tree that provides great beauty and flavorful fruit in a relatively short time. However, the tree is subject to soft rot, a fungal disease that may cause yellow or brown breadfruit leaves. This fungal disease is moisture-related, but conversely, excessively dry soil can also cause yellow or brown breadfruit leaves. Keep reading for tips on treatment and prevention of soft rot and brown breadfruit leaves.
Discolored Breadfruit Leaves
Soft rot is a fungal disease that causes wilting and yellowing of breadfruit leaves. It is especially common after long rainstorms when the soil is starved of oxygen. The water-borne spores are spread by rain splash, often occurring during windy, wet weather.
Fungicides containing copper may be effective when breadfruit leaves are yellowing. Otherwise, prune the lowest branches to prevent disease spores from splashing on the tree during heavy rain. Remove discolored breadfruit leaves from low on the tree to prevent spread to the upper foliage.
Preventing Yellow or Brown Breadfruit Leaves
Plant breadfruit trees in well-drained soil, as waterlogged soil promotes mold and rot. If soil is poor, it’s a good idea to plant breadfruit in raised beds or mounds to enhance drainage.
Ensure breadfruit trees are sited in full sunlight for at least half of every day, preferably where the tree is in shade during the hottest part of the afternoon.
Never plant breadfruit in soil where soft rot or other diseases have existed previously.
Rake fallen fruit and plant debris immediately after harvest to prevent conditions that may cause breadfruit trees with yellow leaves.
Water breadfruit when the top 1 or 2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) of soil feels dry to the touch. Although yellow or brown breadfruit leaves are often caused by excessive water, the soil should not become completely dry.