The Q&A Archives: Brown leaves on Buddleia

Question: I have recently purchased a Buddleia 'LEELA KAPILA' with golden leaves and red blooms, which is planted in a large terracotta pot. Unfortunately I have noticed that some of the leaves have brown patches on them. Please advise as I have waited years for a buddleia that is small enough for my garden.

Answer: A number of possibilities come to mind. Moving any plant from "perfect" grower conditions to the home environment can stress it. If it is also transplanted, that adds more stress. This plant supposedly takes sun to semi-shade. What exposure do you have it in? Sometimes, the intensity of late afternoon sun can "burn" foliage. Morning exposure would be ideal. Also, overwatering or underwatering can cause problems. Soil in containers heats up and dries out quickly, so stick your finger down into the soil to monitor moisture. When the top inch or so dries out, it should be okay to water. Make sure water is draining out the holes, and there should be no standing water in a saucer beneath. This water is salty, and as it is reabsorbed, salt burn (which shows up as yellowing and browning along leaf margins) can take place. Finally, it is common for some bottom leaves to brown and die, making way for new growth to push out. Try to isolate these ideas one at a time to see if you can pinpoint a problem. Then again, it could just be the plant adjusting to its new environment. I hope this info is helpful.

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