One of the best things about living in the warmer USDA hardiness zones is being able to grow things like pomegranate trees in the landscape. They’re excellent plants that produce delicious fruits with leathery tough hides when properly cared for. If you’ve noticed a pomegranate with yellow leaves in your landscape, however, you may have a tree with serious problems or it could be going through a regular seasonal change. Read on to find out more about what to do when pomegranate leaves turn yellow.
Why is My Pomegranate Tree Turning Yellow?
Pomegranates are trees that thrive on neglect, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely indestructible. Yellow leaves can give you hints about what might be wrong with your tree if you listen to it carefully. Watch for these common causes of yellowing leaves on pomegranate:
Cooling temperatures. Do pomegranate trees lose their leaves? Even though it might not happen until later in the fall than most of your deciduous plants, pomegranates follow the same seasonal pattern of their cousins. If you notice yellowing leaves as temperatures cool and see no other signs of stress, chances are good that your tree is just headed for its winter slumber.
Overwatering. After seasonal changes, the most common reason that leaves turn yellow on pomegranate is that homeowners overwater them. It’s natural to want to nurture fruit plants, but pomegranates, unlike most fruit-bearers, are native to dry, arid regions and don’t really do well with a lot of water. Let them dry out completely between waterings and limit the amount of compost or mulch you apply to the root zone.
Improper feeding. Feeding pomegranates can be tricky; there’s a fine line to walk there. Too much fertilizer can result in root burn and yellow leaves, but too little can cause nitrogen deficiency and light green to yellow leaves. Your best bet is to monitor your tree closely and if it starts to show a lightening of its leaf color, feed it. Right after bloom is a good time to feed to help the tree get through fruiting successfully.
Sap-sucking insects. Sap-sucking insects can also cause yellowing leaves, through unless the infestation is severe, it’ll usually appear spotty or splotchy. As soon as you notice yellowing leaves, especially if they curl or look otherwise distorted, check the underside of the leaves for aphids, mealybugs, whitefly and scale. Spider mites are more difficult to see, but will leave signature thread-like webs on your tree. Aphids, mealybugs, whitefly and spider mites can often be handled by spraying the plant regularly and thoroughly with water, but if scale are your problem you’ll need to break out the neem oil.