The Q&A Archives: Pineapple Guava Shrub Leaves Turning Gray

Question: I have two Pineapple Guava shrubs planted side-by-side. They have been planted in that same location for three years. Last year one of the shrubs' leaves started turning gray and dying. I pruned out the areas that died or were turning gray. Unfortunately, the same shrub is starting to show signs of gray again this year. What is the cause of this? Can it be treated? The second shrub is fine and I do not want this condition to spread to it.

Answer: There are several possible causes for the dieback. Pineapple guava is marginally hardy for your location and can suffer some cold damage to trunk and major branch tissues in some winters. This often shows up in the warm season when the trunk or branches can no longer supply the increasing demands of the leaves.

Other possibilities include root losses from disease or periods of soggy soil, or canker diseases on the branches. Check the plant trunk and branches carefully for splits or cankers and evaluate the plant location for possible soil drainage problems. Prune to remove dying branches below the damaged areas, dipping pruners in rubbing alcohol between cuts.

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