The Moringa tree is known for its health benefits, but if you are dealing with moringa leaves turning yellow these benefits are probably the last thing on your mind.
The most common cause of yellow moringa leaves is due to watering issues, which can be addressed quickly once you realise where you are going wrong.
In this article, we will explore the ways you can prevent moringa leaves turning yellow by addressing some key care points.
Moringa Tree Overview
Moringa trees are fast growers. In fact, they can grow up to 18 feet in 6 months. Don’t worry, you can top the tree to avoid it reaching an excessive height.
The leaves have a host of health benefits. They are high in calcium, potassium, and iron. They also contain protein. They can be dried and powdered. They can also be eaten raw.
Moringa trees prefer a subtropical habitat and don’t do well with cold temperatures.
Seedlings require temps above 60 degrees to develop. Mature trees will die back in cold weather, and regrow the following spring. After several years, moringa may become colder tolerant, and not die back.
Overview of Moringa Problems
As mentioned previously, there are a few common reasons for your Moringa trees to turn yellow. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which is a major problem for Moringa. This is also one of the most common problems with most trees or houseplants, such as Oleander and Plumeria.
Moringa is drought tolerant, but a lack of water can also cause the leaves to turn yellow.
The tree needs lots of sunlight, so shady conditions can also cause problems for your Moringa. Lastly, spider mites are a pest that can attack Moringa trees, causing their leaves to yellow.
Watering issues are the most likely reason for your Moringa leaves turning yellow. Young Moringa trees require plenty of water. As the tree matures, it doesn’t require watering often.
Moringa doesn’t like having its feet wet, meaning that it doesn’t do well in consistently damp soil.
Overwatering makes it difficult for the roots to bring in nutrients effectively. Just as a human can’t breathe underwater, roots don’t perform well underwater either.
If the soil is waterlogged, overwatering is the cause of your Moringa’s leaves turning yellow. When the roots can’t get proper nutrients from the soil, it results in yellow leaves.
Root rot can also occur if a plant is overwatered. Overwatering itself can be fixed by allowing the soil to dry between waterings. However, root rot is more problematic.
Root rot is caused by waterborne bacteria. These bacteria thrive in wet conditions. When your Moringa is overwatered, it can allow root rot to grow.
Root rot will damage the plants’ roots, causing them to become mushy and brown. These roots cannot bring in nutrients effectively. Root rot will spread to other roots, and can quickly kill a Morigna tree.
Preventing Root Rot
Unfortunately, root rot is difficult to stop once it’s started. However, it can be prevented. In addition to proper watering, you’ll need to be sure your soil is well-draining.
If you have heavy or clay-rich soil, you should amend the soil before planting Moringa. You can do this by mixing compost and sand into the soil.
Underwatering your Moringa will also cause its leaves to turn yellow. If the plant is underwatered, you’ll notice the leaves are dry and brittle. They will be yellow, or potentially brown.
If your Moringa has been underwatered, the treatment is simple. You’ll need to water your Moringa more regularly. Remove any yellow or brown leaves. When new leaves form, they will be green and healthy.
How often to water Moringa depends on its developmental stage. After planting a Moringa seed, you’ll need to water it every day. Once a seedling is visible, you should water it every other day. Once it reaches 18 inches tall, you can reduce watering to once a week.
Remember, overwatering Moringa can be fatal if it leads to root rot. For mature seedlings and trees, if the soil is moist, it doesn’t require water. Allow the soil to dry. Water deeply and infrequently.
It’s also important to note that plants watered less during their growth phase learn to be more drought tolerant as they age. Yet another reason to not fall into the overwatering trap.
Lack Of Sunlight
Moringa requires a good amount of sunlight to thrive. Lack of sunlight can cause its growth to become stunted, and its leaves to turn yellow. Moringa loves full sun, but it can also thrive in partial shade.
If you live in a very hot or desert environment, the Moringa may need shielding from the sun during its strongest part of the day. It is possible for the sunlight to become too strong for Moringa.
However, in most areas, this isn’t an issue. Barring desert sun that frequently reaches temperatures over 100 degrees, you should aim for full sun.
Solving Lack of Sunlight
You have a few options if your Moringa needs more sun. If your Moringa is growing in a container, the fix is easy. Just move it to a sunnier location.
If the plant is in the ground, moving it is still an option. You’ll need to water well for a few days. Then dig the plant up, being careful of its deep taproot.
Replant in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Water once you’ve replanted your Moringa, and it should do just fine.
Your other option is to prune any nearby plants that can create shade around the Moringa. This may be all that’s needed to get your plant thriving again.
Spider mites are another enemy of Moringa trees. These pests will suck the sap from the leaves, causing damage and eventual yellowing of the leaves.
Sometimes spider mites can be spotted on plants. However, species can be as small as a grain of sugar, making them difficult to see with the naked eye.
The simplest way to confirm spider mite infestation is to hold a white sheet of paper or a paper plate underneath a leaf. Then, give the leaf a tap or a shake.
If you have spider mites, they will fall onto the paper. You’ll see what looks like dots scurrying around.
Other signs of spider mites include webbing on plants, drooping leaves, leaf loss, and yellowing leaves.
Treating Spider Mite Infestation
If spider mites have recently set up residence in your Moringa tree, you can dislodge them with a garden hose. This may be all that’s required if the infestation is new.
For moderate infestations, you can use neem oil. The oil suffocates the mites. If you have essential oils on hand, these can be used to get rid of spider mites.
Chamomile, coriander, spearmint, and rosemary essential oils are all effective for killing spider mites. Just mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle, and spray on your plants.
If you have a severe spider mite infestation, consider using insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
Final Thoughts on Moringa Leaves Turning Yellow
Moringa is known as the miracle tree for good reason. It provides many health benefits and it’s great for the environment. If your Moringa leaves are turning yellow, it’s most likely a result of overwatering.
Other potential causes include underwatering, not enough sunlight, and spider mites. Moringa is a fairly hardy plant. Root rot is difficult to reverse, but other causes are easily treated.