Harlequin willows evidently have a sense of aesthetics because they dress their leaves in different, harmonious colors. Brown tones are not part of the self-mixed color palette. If it still shows brown leaves, something is wrong. Not only is their beautiful looks gone, their lives are also seriously threatened. What treatment brings the hoped-for salvation?
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Care errors as the cause of brown leaves
Brown leaves do not come out of the blue, there is a serious cause behind it. The leaves themselves are only a symptom that indicates a disease or inconsistent living conditions. From a purely superficial point of view, it is not always possible to immediately perceive which cause is on the train in the current case. Maintenance errors in particular have yet to be recognized as such. Most of the time the owner acted with the best of his knowledge and belief and now has to be taught better.
The Japanese ornamental willow, as this type of willow is often called, reacts sensitively to any imbalance in care and preferably communicates this to us with brown leaves. If the causes are not corrected, this symptom does not stop there. The whole willow can become irretrievably dead. The harlequin pasture can be troubled by the following living conditions:
- too much sun
- too much fertilizer
- too much water
- not enough water
Too much sun
In the warm season, the life-giving sun can become a problem when it shines longer and more strongly than the pasture can handle. Then the leaves can quickly be burned. Since the intensity of the sun itself cannot be changed, the Halekin pasture needs a place where it is adequately protected from it. Prevention is the best protection, so you should pay attention to a suitable location when planting out. With regard to solar radiation, the following dosage applies:
- the pasture likes full sun
- however, it is very sensitive to heat
- therefore avoid blazing midday sun
- only a few hours per day are acceptable
- strongly heating balconies are not suitable for them
If your specimen is exposed to excessive sunshine, it could be the cause of brown leaves. Consider moving the bucket or transplanting it to a different location in the garden.
Too much fertilizer
The harlequin willow is happy about a good nutrient base. But this is only good if it is precisely tailored to your needs. Too good treatment in this regard quickly causes brown shoot tips and brown leaves. When it comes to fertilizing, a distinction must be made between a tub specimen and an ornamental willow growing in the garden soil.
- Outdoor willows extend their roots widely
- always get enough nutrients
- do not need any additional fertilizer at all
- be careful when fertilizing neighboring plants
- Avoid unintentional co-provision
A container plant does not have such generous access to the nutrients and has to be fertilized. However, monthly fertilization is sufficient for her during the warm season.
If you now discover that you have spoiled your pasture too much and that you have unintentionally given it brown leaves, you must stop fertilizing now at the latest. It is also worth replacing the potting soil and, in the case of outdoor plants, at least the top layer of soil.
Too little or too much water
Finding the right level for the water supply is not that easy and requires careful use of the watering can. The willow must not dry out but also not have long wet feet. Young plants need regular care, while older specimens only need additional water in the warm season.
If the brown leaves are due to incorrect watering behavior, it should be changed immediately and continuously.
- wet earth should dry off first
- The bucket must have drainage holes
- Make soil more permeable by adding sand
- avoid the drying out of the earth in the future
- always water based on demand or depending on the weather
Responsible diseases and pests
Even after the best treatment by its owner, harlequin willow is not one hundred percent protected from brown leaves. There are also various diseases and pests that occasionally pay this shrub an uninvited visit and simply don’t want to go away on their own. Right at the beginning there are three fungal diseases and one caterpillar:
- Willow Anthracnose
- Willow scab
- Willow Borer
Here, too, it is important to take a close look at the harlequin pasture, discover traces and clues and then interpret them correctly. Only in this way can the right treatment help her.
Willow anthracnose, willow scab and rust are diseases that also cause the leaves to turn brown. The following characteristics are also typical of a fungal attack:
- Diseases tend to occur in damp weather
- mostly in May and June
- Shoot tips are black
- there are bark spots
- Branches wither
All affected parts of the plant must be cut with sharp and clean scissors and disposed of in the residual waste. Even fallen leaves must be collected and disposed of. So that the fungus stays away in the following year, you should take preventive measures shortly after sprouting and spray a fungicide.
With an ideal location and optimal care, you can strengthen the vitality and resilience of the harlequin pasture and thus prevent these diseases. Fungi have an easy job, especially with weakened plants.
Willow leaf beetles are pests that like to eat the leaves of a Japanese ornamental willow. However, these do not turn brown, but disappear completely from the bush. Another pest, the caterpillar-shaped willow borer, pierces the trunk and branches and slowly kills the shrub from within. The undersupplied leaves change color and die.
If there are small holes in the trunk, the willow borer could be responsible. There is seldom help for an infected wood because the pests inside are difficult to control. The greatest opportunities are in the early stages. Brown leaves are more an indication that the willow borer has been up to mischief for a long time. The willow should then be completely disposed of.
Remove damaged items
In addition to researching the causes and eliminating them, the dead parts must also be removed from the plant. All dried twigs are cut off and the leaves are collected. Disinfected scissors should always be used.
A harlequin willow with brown leaves urgently needs help, otherwise it will not have a bright future. Most of the time, there is something wrong with her living conditions, and an illness sometimes gnaws at her. If the cause of the brown discoloration is found in time, the chances of saving it are not that bad.