The Q&A Archives: Baytree Leaves Yellowed and Spotted

Question: I have a bay tree in a Terracotta pot. It is about 5 yrs old and now 3 feet tall, grown from a very small cutting and trained as a pyramid shape. Its now has very yellow leaves with small brown/black spots on them - is it lacking in something? I regularly change to top soil and feed. I have another in similar pot of the same age with no problems.

Answer: Since you've had the plant a long time, I wonder if it's potbound. I suggest that you divide and repot it in fresh potting soil. This will also give you the chance to observe the roots for any signs of pests. Also, take a close look at the spots on the leaves - are they part of the leaf or are they mites crawling across the surface? If mites are there, swish the whole top of the plant in a tub of cool, soapy water, and then shower it off. This should remove the critters. Fungal spot diseases can often be held in check by removing the affected leaves, and misting the remaining ones with a 1% baking soda solution (add a drop of soap to help it stick to leaves). I hope you can save your bay - good luck!

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