Whether or not it’s serving you as a dwelling Christmas tree or a long run houseplant, you need your Norfolk Island pine’s foliage to stay evergreen, not displaying a show of unhappy, yellow or brown leaves.

In case you’ve seen discolored, yellow or brown needles in your houseplant, you could be questioning should you let it go too lengthy with out water.

However there are different causes the foliage of those conifer timber can flip unpleasant hues!

A close up vertical image of a Norfolk Island pine aka living Christmas tree with yellowing, browning foliage pictured on a soft focus background. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

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On this article you’ll study 11 causes of yellow or brown leaves on Norfolk Island pines.

By understanding these completely different causes for discoloration, you’ll be able to then select the best answer to assist your tree flip inexperienced once more.

Able to learn to return your tree to its former inexperienced glory? Right here’s a sneak peek on the checklist of potential causes of yellow or brown needles:

However earlier than we get began, should you’d wish to evaluate rising necessities for these houseplants, remember to learn our full information to caring for Norfolk Island pines.

1. Anthracnose

Whereas not the most typical motive for brown leaves on Norfolk pines, anthracnose is a fungal illness, brought on by Colletotrichum derridis, that may have an effect on these timber resulting in discolored foliage.

Along with inflicting brown needles, additionally, you will discover black specks on foliage if anthracnose is the issue.

Whereas a definitive prognosis of anthracnose can solely be carried out through evaluation in a laboratory, should you assume your plant’s brown needles might have been initiated by this fungal organism, there are a couple of steps you’ll be able to take.

If doable, take away contaminated foliage and eliminate it – it could both be buried, or added to a compost bin, so long as the pile heats as much as at the very least 140°F.

You may as well apply neem oil to the plant to stop the unfold of the fungus to unaffected branches.

Neem oil is a fungicide, insecticide, and miticide that’s secure to be used round people, canine, and cats.

A close up of a bottle of Monterey Neem Oil isolated on a white background.

Monterey Neem Oil

Monterey neem oil is out there for buy as a focus or prepared to make use of in a number of completely different sizes from Arbico Organics.

Be certain to observe the producer’s instructions for utility and maintain vegetation out of direct solar for a couple of days after making use of this product – oil on the plant’s leaves could cause scorching.

As a ultimate step to stop the unfold of anthracnose, keep away from watering vegetation from overhead since damp circumstances are favorable for the event of the illness.

2. Direct Daylight

Norfolk pines can definitely develop outside below the direct rays of the solar – as they do of their native atmosphere, and in areas the place they’ve naturalized or are grown as ornamentals.

But, for houseplants grown indoors, a sudden shift to full solar could be an excessive amount of of a great factor, too quick.

A close up vertical image of Norfolk Island pines growing in pots displaying yellowing foliage.
An excessive amount of direct solar could cause brown leaves.

Susceptible specimens can react to sudden direct solar publicity with scorched brown needles that will have reddish undertones.

To forestall brown leaves brought on by solar scorching, steadily introduce the conifer to brighter, extra direct gentle, if that’s your aim.

Nevertheless, direct solar isn’t a requirement for these timber. Brilliant, oblique gentle will present for his or her wants simply tremendous, and might encourage slower development, a boon for houseplant mother and father hoping to maintain these vegetation from bumping up towards their ceilings.

3. Chilly Temperatures or Drafts

Did you permit your dwelling Christmas tree outside on a deck or patio when temperatures dropped in autumn, or maybe you transferred it outside too early in spring?

If that’s the case, being uncovered to chilly climate might have induced the tree’s brown needles.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of a Norfolk Island pine that has turned completely brown and died.
Brown needles are generally brought on by chilly publicity.

These conifers favor temperatures above 50°F, and could be killed by temperatures 35°F or decrease. When uncovered to temperatures approaching freezing, brown leaves can seem.

But when publicity to chilly out of doors climate isn’t the perpetrator, test your tree’s location for chilly drafts too.

Chimneys can create colder microclimates inside properties, and areas close to home windows and doorways will also be drafty.

The perfect temperature vary for these timber is 60 to 72°F, so maintain that as your aim and relocate your conifer if wanted.

4. Sizzling Temperatures

Are you summering your houseplant outdoor?

If that’s the case, be cautious of warmth waves since temperatures over 95°F can injury the vegetation, inflicting department suggestions and rising tricks to react to sizzling circumstances by turning brown.

A close up horizontal image of a Norfolk Island pine with foliage turning yellow and brown pictured on a blue sky background.
Warmth could cause brown leaves on Norfolk pines.

Because of this, it is likely to be greatest to maintain your Norfolk Island pine indoors all 12 months spherical – which might additionally assist forestall it from outgrowing your own home too shortly.

Likewise, when your houseplant is indoors, brown leaves might point out the plant is in a sizzling microclimate inside your own home.

Whereas a dwelling Christmas tree may look cozy subsequent to the fireside, a fireplace can radiate warmth which may be too toasty for the tree, so prioritize a special location for this houseplant.

5. Low Humidity

Some indoor gardeners might discover brown needles on the rising suggestions of their dwelling Christmas timber on account of low humidity.

Questioning what the perfect air moisture degree is for these houseplants? A relative humidity of roughly 50 % is good.

Whereas these in desert areas might expertise low humidity ranges year-round, inhabitants of different climates can endure from dry air throughout winter when heating techniques are turned on, inflicting brown leaves on Norfolk pines.

In case you suspect low humidity is a matter in your house, ensure that that is the case earlier than utilizing a humidifier, since including humidity to an already moist atmosphere might trigger mildew issues.

To check your indoor humidity, you should use a cheap humidity meter, often known as a hygrometer, akin to this one, which is analog and doesn’t require any batteries or charging:

Mini Analog Hygrometer and Thermometer Combo

You should buy a two-pack of mini analog hygrometer and thermometer combos from the Wacool Retailer through Amazon.

In case you decide that your indoor humidity ranges are decrease than 50 %, you could need to use a humidifier close to the plant to assist elevate the moisture ranges within the air.

1.2 Gallon Massive Black Humidifier

This massive, black humidifier is quiet throughout operation and holds simply over one gallon of water, providing 40 hours of humidification. It’s accessible for buy from Rosekm through Amazon.

6. Low Gentle

Are the branches in your dwelling Christmas tree turning yellow and drooping?

This mix of signs signifies that gentle publicity is simply too low for the quantity of water the plant is being provided.

When these vegetation are saved as houseplants, shiny oblique gentle with a couple of hours of direct morning daylight is good.

In case you’re unsure whether or not the sunshine you’re offering to your conifer is adequate, a light-weight meter is a useful instrument that may offer you goal information about gentle publicity.

Be taught extra about utilizing and selecting a light-weight meter in our article.

Norfolk Island pines want at the very least 400 foot candles of sunshine to thrive, whereas 200 foot candles will enable them to easily survive. If yours isn’t receiving sufficient gentle, strive shifting it nearer to a window, or contemplate supplementing with a develop gentle.

In case you’re conserving your tree in medium or low gentle, you could want to cut back the quantity of water you present. Purpose to water solely when the highest inch of the plant’s rising medium is dry.

Preserving a houseplant wholesome is primarily about discovering the best steadiness between gentle publicity and water – when gentle depth is decrease, watering frequency will even must be much less typically.

7. Pure Leaf Shedding

That is one motive for brown leaves that isn’t a trigger for concern: pure leaf shedding.

It’s fully regular for a Norfolk Island pine to lose a few of its needles.

This course of ought to occur slowly among the many oldest branches on the plant.

A close up horizontal image of the brown, dead fallen foliage of a Norfolk Island pine.

Pure leaf shedding causes brown needles on older branches.

Alternatively, if needles flip brown extra shortly or the highest branches are affected, it’s seemingly brought on by a special subject.

8. Nutrient Deficiency

In case your Norfolk Island pine is taking up an general yellowish forged and is being grown in very shiny gentle or full solar, it might be turning yellow as a result of it’s missing macronutrients and desires extra fertilizer. Intense gentle can enhance the plant’s want for vitamins.

To assist with this, feed the dwelling Christmas tree with a 3-1-2 (NPK) fertilizer.

Alternatively, if solely the department suggestions and rising tip of your Norfolk Island pine have turned yellow, a micronutrient deficiency could also be the issue.

This generally is a drawback notably when these conifers are planted in rising medium with a pH above 7.0.

Most houseplant rising mediums could have a pH of lower than 7.0, however should you’re unsure it doesn’t damage to check it and discover out.

Learn our article to study extra about the perfect soil take a look at kits.

If it appears that evidently a nutrient deficiency could possibly be an issue to your houseplant, you could need to feed your houseplant some macronutrients, some micronutrients – and even each.

Fortunately, there are merchandise that provide each macronutrients and micronutrients, akin to Develop from Mission Fertilizer.

Mission Natural Develop 3-1-2 Fertilizer

Mission Natural Develop 3-1-2 Fertilizer is wealthy in micronutrients and is out there in quart or gallon jugs from Mission Fertilizer through Amazon.

9. Root Rot

Does your houseplant seem like it’s dehydrated whereas its rising medium remains to be moist? The issue could also be root rot.

Root rot could cause yellow or brown leaves on dwelling Christmas timber.

Mockingly, an excessive amount of water is often the foundation reason for this illness – pun supposed. The surplus water starves roots of oxygen, inflicting them to rot and permitting pathogenic organisms to flourish.

Lifeless roots fail to take up any water, and the plant begins to dry out, as indicated by its yellow or brown needles.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of a Norfolk Island pine that is turning pale and yellowish.
Root rot lies behind yellow or brown leaves on overwatered houseplants.

There are completely different ways in which this conifer’s roots can endure from an excessive amount of water.

Probably the most easy approach is when a houseplant guardian is overzealous with their watering can, not allowing the soil to dry out sufficient between waterings.

Be certain to permit the highest inch of the rising medium to dry between waterings. For smaller specimens, make that the highest half-inch.

In case you aren’t the one member in your family, ensure that everybody is aware of the foundations about watering houseplants – some well-intended people are inclined to empty their half-finished glasses of water in houseplant pots, with out realizing this could result in overwatering.

One other crimson flag is a pot with out drainage holes. Drainage holes assist maintain the rising medium well-aerated, permitting water to circulation by way of however not stagnate.

In case your houseplant’s pot lacks drainage holes, go forward and repot it, and alter out the rising medium when you’re at it.

Want a rising medium advice? One in all my favorites is De La Tank’s Home Plant Combine.

A close up of a bag of De La Tank's Houseplant Soil isolated on a white background.

De La Tank’s Home Plant Combine

You should buy De La Tank’s Home Plant Combine from Tank’s Inexperienced Stuff through Arbico Organics.

Lastly, if the Norfolk Island pine is in a pot that’s too giant, this could result in a moist, stagnant rising medium. Because the plant’s roots don’t lengthen far into the soil, the medium is far slower to dry.

If root rot appears to be the issue, simply so you understand, it may be troublesome to carry a plant again from this illness, however it’s all the time price a strive!

First decide the rationale the soil is staying too moist, then unpot the plant and trim any lifeless, rotting roots, and transplant it into the best sized pot with a well-draining rising medium.

10. Spider Mites

Spider mites are pests that may feed on these conifers, inflicting brown leaves with an orangish tone.

Arduous to identify because of their small dimension, infestations of spider mites typically go unnoticed till webs are fashioned on the vegetation.

A highly magnified image of a spider mite infestation on the surface of a leaf.

In case you detect spider mites in your Norfolk Island pine, don’t fear, there’s a non-toxic answer that’s secure to make use of inside your own home – neem oil, the identical product I advisable to stop the unfold of anthracnose.

Neem oil doesn’t kill spider mites instantly, as a substitute it interrupts their development cycle, so that you’ll have to reapply this product periodically till the pests are gone.

Make sure you spray your entire plant with the product, and maintain the tree out of direct solar for a couple of days, as talked about above.

As all the time, learn the producer’s instructions earlier than making use of.

Be taught extra about easy methods to cope with spider mites in our information.

11. Underwatering

Lastly, one of the crucial widespread causes for brown needles on Norfolk Island pines is underwatering.

If this houseplant is uncared for for lengthy sufficient, it would begin to sacrifice its decrease branches and finally the rising tip will even flip brown and die.

Whereas mature specimens can generally recuperate from such ailing therapy, youthful ones are extra susceptible and are much less more likely to survive.

A close up horizontal image of a Norfolk pine with brown foliage pictured on a soft focus background.
Older brown needles and new inexperienced department tip on a tree that recovered from underwatering. Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

In case your conifer has had a few of its branches flip brown because of lack of water, trim them off and get the plant again on a great watering routine. Some vegetation are capable of recuperate and can put out new inexperienced department suggestions and rising suggestions.

Whereas some timber will recuperate from underwatering, it’s not an ideal concept to check your houseplant’s resilience time and again.

So ensure that to water your Norfolk Island pine tree when the highest inch of rising medium is dry.

An Ever Inexperienced Dwelling Christmas Tree

If this information has helped you determine the reason for yellow or brown needles in your Norfolk Island pine, hopefully you’ll now be capable of handle the issue and return your conifer to its former inexperienced glory!

A close up top-down image of a Norfolk Island pine aka living Christmas tree growing in a pot indoors.

As for these yellow or brown leaves, so long as your entire plant isn’t affected, you’ll be able to prune off the unpleasant suggestions or branches and permit your houseplant to develop new inexperienced ones.

Nevertheless, keep away from eradicating the rising tip on the highest of the plant until it’s brown.

Did this text provide help to? If that’s the case we’d like to know – simply go away us a observe within the feedback part under. And should you nonetheless need assistance troubleshooting a dwelling Christmas tree drawback, remember to add images of your houseplant in order that we will see what’s occurring.

In fact you need to supply the very best care to your tree, so maintain studying about Norfolk pines, proper right here:

Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin © Ask the Specialists, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for extra particulars. Product images through Mission Fertilizer, Monterey Neem Oil, Rosekm, Tank’s Inexperienced Stuff, and the Wacool Retailer. Uncredited images: Shutterstock.


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