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I have a new laurel plant whose leaves have turned half brown. Is this caused by heat?

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A

Without seeing your plant it is very difficult to give you an exact reason why you have browning leaves and there may be several different culprits, which alone or in some combination may be the cause of the damage.  Heat may be a factor and some plants can have browning leaves especially if they are planted where they receive full sun all day.  If you think this may be the problem then adding a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant will help the plant retain water and should help reduce the amount of browning leaves.

Another reason you may have browning leaves may fertilizer damage.  This type of damage usually shows at the tips of the leaves.  Pesticide damage can also cause browning.

Lastly, a water issue may be causing the browning leaves.  This may be either over or under watering.  To check to see how much water your laurel is receiving take a long screwdriver, at least six inches long, and push it into the ground around the base of your laurel plant.  If it is hard to push the screwdriver into the soil then there is not a lot of water in the soil; however, if it is really easy to push the screwdriver down into the ground there is water in the soil.  This quick test can give you a baseline idea as to how much water your plant is receiving. 

If you would like, you can also bring a sample of your plant to our office where we can look at your plant and try to determine what is going on. 

USU Extension
2001 S. State Street  #S1200
SLC, UT

Posted on 10 Oct 2008

Heidi Wayman
Horticulture Intern, Salt Lake County

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