The Q&A Archives: My Yellow Otto Luykens

Question: I am noticing a lot of my 'Otto' Luyken Laurels are turing yellow. I did a ph sample from nice green ones and they were at the low sixes, where the yellowing ones were in the high sixes. What is the recommended ph for this specific variety?

Answer: It's a normal process for broadleaf evergreens such as laurels to lose their older leaves. This makes way for new foliage. The leaves turn yellow before they fall to the ground. If your laurels are losing older leaves, it's nothing to worry about. If the entire plant looks yellow, or the yellowing is affecting the newer growth, then there may be a nutritional problem and an application of a complete fertilizer will help restore the leaf color. Laurels prefer a slightly acidic soil (5.8-6.5). If your soil tests above 7 (neutral), by all means use an acidified fertilizer (such as for rhododendrons and camellias) to lower the pH. Be sure to apply at rates listed on the fertilizer package. Good luck with your laurels!

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