The Q&A Archives: Royal Purple Smoke Tree

Question: I planted by tree in the spring and it had a nice reddish leaf with fuzzy outsprouts then. Now the leaves are turning yellowish and falling off. The original color has gone. Do I need to fertilize or spray it with something??

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what has happened however it sounds like the plant had good color and the start of some blooms on it when you purchased it. This plant normally turns an assortment of colors including yellow and orange in the fall, but this is pretty early for fall color to appear. Sometimes this type of premature fall color can indicate drought stress, or moisture stress due to poor rooting. Yellowing can also be a sign of over-watering, especially if it begins at the base of the plant and goes up. Overfertilizing can also cause root damage and foliage problems. I would suggest you check with your retailer and/or county extension to try to get a firm diagnosis. Based on knowing that you can determine how to proceed. It is not a good idea to fertilize a stressed plant, it usually stresses the plant even more. Also, you would not want to spray until you have identified the problem -- there is no all purpose cure-all spray. Good luck with your plant!

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