The Q&A Archives: Brown Leaves On Bay Leaf Tree

Question: My bay Leaf tree has suddenly turned brown. It is an inside plant and it is not too close to a window. I repotted it about 4 weeks ago. About a week ago I noticed that the leaves were turning a dark brown, almost like it had been hit by a frost. The leaves are not falling off, they are just brown. Can you help? What should I do to save my precious Bay leaf tree.

Answer: I suspect it is not happy in the new soil. There are several possible reasons I can think of for this. One is that these trees need excellent drainage and the soil mix you used may not drain quickly enough -- in my experience it is usually a good idea to add a little sand to regular potting soil for these plants. Another possibility is that you have been overwatering it in the new pot; when a plant is in need of repotting it often requires watering more often than normal so when it is repotted it may need less frequent watering that you have become accustomed to. Another possibility is that the roots are not moving out into the new soil for some reason (if it was severely rootbound and you did not spread the roots outward into the new soil for instance, or if the soils are very different in nature) and so your watering is wetting the surrounding soil but not reaching the roots. Based on these suggestions I hope you can diagnose the problem. Good luck with your tree!

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