Leaf Loss on a Sauce Magnolia (soulangeana) - Knowledgebase Question

Indian Trail, No
Question by ajhquinn
October 9, 2009
I live in NC, and planted a saucer magnolia in the spring. It appeared healthy until about a month and a half ago, when all of the leaves turned whitish (almost powdery looking), then brown and then all fell off. It looks like there are new buds, and actually has a new blossom now. It gets full sun most of the day and I water it or it has gotten rain most weeks at least once. What's wrong?

Answer from NGA
October 9, 2009


Some magnolias are evergreen and some deciduous so you may have a deciduous type. If so, the leaves will drop and then the tree will flower and develop new leaves.

A white powdery coating could indicate a fungal disease called powdery mildew. Poor air circulation and lack of sufficient sunlight can encourage the disease. Since the leaves have fallen, be sure to rake them up and remove them from the yard. The new growth should be fine.

Best wishes with your magnolia.

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