Owners of loquat trees know they are gorgeous subtropical trees with large, dark green, shiny leaves that are invaluable for providing shade in warmer climates. These tropical beauties are prone to a few issues, namely loquat leaf drop. Don’t panic if the leaves are falling off your loquat. Read on to find out why the loquat is losing leaves and what to do if your loquat is dropping leaves.
Why is My Loquat Tree Dropping Leaves?
There are a couple of reasons for loquat leaf loss. Since they are subtropical, loquats do not respond favorably to drops in temperature, specifically in the spring when Mother Nature tends to be rather moody. When there is a sudden dip in temps, the loquat may respond by losing leaves. With regard to temperature, loquat trees will tolerate temperatures down to 12 degrees F. (-11 C.), which means that they can be grown in USDA zones 8a through 11. Further dips in temperature will damage flower buds, kill mature flowers, and may even result in leaves falling off a loquat. Cold temperatures aren’t the only culprit, however. Loquat leaf loss may be the result of high temperatures as well. Dry, hot winds combined with summer heat will scorch the foliage, resulting in leaves falling off the loquat.
Additional Reasons for Loquat Leaf Loss
Loquat leaf loss might be the result of insects, either due to feeding or in the case of aphids, the sticky honeydew left behind that attracts fungal disease. Damage due to insect infestations most often afflicts fruit rather than foliage though. Both fungal and bacterial diseases may cause foliage loss. Loquats are particularly susceptible to fire blight, which is spread by bees. Fire blight is most common in regions with high humidity or where there is significant late spring and summer rains. This disease attacks young shoots and kills their leaves. Preventative bactericides will help control fire blight but, once it is infected, shoots must be trimmed back into healthy green tissue. Then the infected portions must be bagged and removed or burned. Other diseases such as pear blight, cankers, and crown rot may all also afflict loquat trees. Lastly, misapplication of fertilizer or lack thereof can result in defoliation to a certain extent. Loquat trees should have regular, light applications of a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Giving the trees too much fertilizer can open them up to fire blight. The basic recommendation for trees that are 8 to 10 feet (2-3 m.) in height is about a pound (0.45 kg) of 6-6-6 three times per year during active growth.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.
15 Garden Trends To Avoid in 2024: Experts Warn Against These Outdated Designs
Garden trends come and go. We asked gardening experts to share the outdated trends that should be retired – and what you can do instead.
By Melanie Griffiths Last updated
How To Overwinter Ollas For Years Of Use: Get More From Irrigation Pots
If you overwinter ollas properly, you'll keep these unique watering pots from cracking. Here's how to protect them in erratic winter temperatures so they last longer.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Published
Fire Blight Of Loquats – Learn How To Treat Fire Blight In Loquat Trees
In order to control loquat fire blight, it is crucial to learn how to identify fire blight of loquats. The following information will help to identify the disease and provide tips on how to treat fire blight in loquat plants. Click here to learn more.
By Amy Grant Last updated
My Loquat Tree Is Dropping Fruit – Why Are Loquats Dropping Off Tree
It is particularly sad when you notice premature loquat fruit drop. Why is my loquat tree dropping fruit, you may ask? For information about loquats dropping off trees in your orchard, click on the article that follows.
By Teo Spengler Last updated
Growing Loquat Seeds – Learn About Loquat Seed Germination
Planting loquat from seeds is easy, although because of grafting you can't expect to get a tree that produces the same fruit. If you're growing loquat seeds for ornamental purposes, though, you should be fine. Learn more about loquat seed germination here.
By Liz Baessler Last updated
Fruitless Loquat Tree: Getting A Loquat Tree To Bloom And Fruit
As with any fruiting tree, there may be a year of a fruitless loquat tree. Often this coincides with a loquat tree that won't flower. No loquat blossoms equals no fruit. Why is the loquat not blooming and are there any tricks to help? Find out in this article.
By Amy Grant Last updated
Loquat Tree Planting: Learning About Growing Loquat Fruit Trees
Ornamental as well as practical, loquat trees make excellent lawn specimen trees. Large clusters of attractive fruit stand out against the dark green, tropical-looking foliage. Learn more about growing them here.
By Jackie Carroll Last updated