When growing your own peach trees you can run into problems with their health and growth. You may be wondering, why are my peach tree leaves turning yellow? Well, this is a surprisingly common issue, especially in colder or wetter climates. Luckily, there are ways to treat peach trees whose leaves are turning yellow.
The most common causes of a peach tree leaves turning yellow are:
- Watering issues: either overwatering or underwatering.
- Not enough iron in the soil, also known as chlorosis.
- Lack of fertilizer
- Weeds are competing with the roots of your peach trees.
- Diseases and pests which can infect and prey upon peach trees.
Let’s take a look at each one of these problems, how they appear on peach trees, and what can be done about them.
But just before we do, if you are new to growing peach trees, and trying to find out why the leaves on your tree are yellowing, remember they are deciduous. They lose their leaves in fall and go dormant for the winter. In the process of losing their leaves, peach tree leaves will change color, yellowing before they fall off.
Now we have that out of the way, let’s dive in.
Underwatered Peach Trees Leave Can Turn Yellow
For peach trees that are underwatered, the leaves will not only turn yellow but will also feel dry. The longer they go without water, the drier they will get. So if the leaves on your peach tree are dry to the touch, even just around the edges, they probably need more water.
Peach trees generally like warm to subtropical climates. However, there are many varieties that can suit different conditions, including colder and hotter climates. In warm climates (during the hottest months when they grow) they should be watered three times a week. It’s helpful to provide them a good soak, so you don’t have to water again the next day.
You can test how wet the soil is by sticking your finger in about two inches deep. If the soil is completely dry, your trees definitely need water.
If you live in a colder or more wet climate, keep that in mind. Peaches won’t need as much water if the temperature is lower, or if it’s raining a lot. It always helps to check the soil before watering.
Overwatered Peach Trees Leaves Can Turn Yellow
Just as they can be underwater, peach trees can also be overwatered. When this happens, the leaves will start to turn soft and yellow. They will feel less firm than healthy peach leaves.
Early on, overwatering won’t cause much damage. All you need to do is hold off on watering for a little bit, and your peach trees should bounce back.
However, if the problem persists, root rot can develop. This can be fatal for peach trees, so it’s important to try and prevent it. If your peach tree leaves are turning yellow and soft and don’t get better after a few days of no water, root rot might be the problem.
Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to help root rot (aside from holding off on water, of course).
Lack Of Iron In The Soil (Chlorosis) Causes Peach Tree Yellow Leaves
Peach trees need sufficient levels of iron in the soil. It helps keep the soil pH balanced, and helps them perform the functions they need to survive, like photosynthesis and absorbing nutrients from the soil.
This problem is usually easy to identify because the leaves of the peach tree will turn yellow, but still have green veins. If you see this, it’s likely chlorosis is the problem.
If there’s an imbalance of iron, it’s also likely the soil pH will be off— usually, it is too high. The ideal pH for peach trees is between 6 and 7. You can use a soil pH test kit to test the pH of your peach tree’s soil.
If an iron imbalance is the problem, it’s easy to fix. Adding an organic blend of iron sulfate like this one will give your peaches more iron, and help rebalance the soil. Simply follow the instructions on the packaging, and your peach tree leaves should be green again in no time.
Lack Of Fertilizer Can Cause Peach Tree Leaves To Turn Yellow
As well as healthy, fertile soil, peach trees require annual feeding of a good organic fruit tree fertilizer like this one. Feed in the spring for healthy peach tree leaf, flower and fruit development.
A top dressing for compost every few months will help feed the soil which will keep the peach tree happy and healthy. And the addition of mulch around the base of the peach tree will help retain soil moisture and protect the roots from drying out.
Too Many Weeds Cause Yellow Leaves on Peach Trees
You may think that since peaches grow on trees, their roots are stronger, and you don’t have to worry about weeds. But even though they are bigger, peach trees can still be hurt by having too many weeds around their base.
When there are weeds near your peach trees, the roots will compete for space underneath the soil. The weeds might start taking the nutrients that your peaches need to be healthy.
Soon, the peach trees will start to show the effects of not getting enough nutrients. This can mean peach tree leaves turning yellow and drooping. If you know that there are weeds around your peach trees, a good place to start is removing them.
Once you remove the weeds, the peach trees should bounce back fairly quickly. If they don’t, they might need a nutrient boost to replace what the weeds took away. A little bit of organic compost could help get them back to full health.
Peach Tree Diseases Can Cause Yellow Leaves
Peach trees can fall victim to various pests and diseases. Let’s look at some of the common peach tree diseases, how they show up, and what you can do about them.
This fungal disease causes peach tree leaves to develop pale yellow spots which can later turn into lesions. It is caused by a fungus that spreads through spores in the air, as many fungi do. It is important to treat it as soon as it appears, to prevent it from spreading.
First, as with many fungal diseases, preventing excessive moisture can help prevent fungal rust. Don’t overwater your peach trees, and try to avoid getting the leaves wet.
If you notice fungal rust on just a few peach leaves, remove them as soon as possible, to prevent it from spreading to other parts of the tree.
If it is already more widespread, or you want to protect the rest of the tree, you have a couple of options. You could try to find organic fungicides, but it can be difficult to determine which ones are actually organic, and which might work, so that’s a difficult route.
Instead, you could try making a garlic spray. Simply mix some garlic with water, and spray the leaves of your peach tree and any affected areas. There is evidence to suggest that garlic can act as a good fungicide.
To make your own garlic spray, blend 1 whole garlic head bulb with 2 cups of water in a blender. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth to remove any piece that may become lodged in the spray bottle. Transfer to a spray bottle and add additional water to make up 1 gallon. Snd you’ve just made your own garlic spray, a natural pest and fungal spray!
It’s important to only use garlic spray in moderation as overuse can negatively affect soil microbes. Garlic spray can be applied to leaves, top and bottom side, once a week for a few weeks until the problem clears. The remaining garlic spray can be stored in the fridge.
This is another fungal disease. It often shows up as peach tree leaves turning yellow with brown spots (hence the name).
Once again, preventing excessive moisture helps protect against brown spot. Removing infected parts early can stop it from spreading to the rest of the peach tree.
And, since it’s fungal, the garlic spray could also help with this. Spraying uninfected parts of your peach tree might prevent the fungus from spreading to those areas.
Peach Leaf Curl
Peach Leaf Curl is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans. This disease causes peach tree leaves to turn yellow and red and start to curl up at the edges. Eventually, they can curl completely and sometimes fall off.
Peach leaf curl is common in wet, cold weather (which is a climate peaches don’t like as much). It is difficult to treat, but luckily, it isn’t likely to kill your peach trees. Instead, it will weaken them. But if you focus on keeping them healthy, they’ll be able to bounce back in the future.
The best course of action is to remove all fruit from the tree, so it can focus on keeping its leaves healthy. Care for it the best you can. Hopefully, it will recover and can start producing again next growing season.
And of course, you should try to prevent it from spreading to your other peach trees. Don’t let them get too wet, and try spraying them with the garlic mix to stop peach leaf curl from spreading.
Peach Tree Pests Can Cause Leaves to Yellow
Pests are often a thorn in a gardener’s side. They cause damage to plants and can be bad for your crop. So it’s important to know how to spot pests on peach trees, and what to do about them.
Scale are insects that attach themselves to the underside of peach leaves. They suck out the sap of the leaves, causing them to turn yellow. Over time, this harms the peach trees and robs them of nutrients they need to survive.
Keeping your peach trees as healthy as possible will help prevent scale from taking hold. However, if you do see these small white critters on the underside of your peach tree leaves, you should try to get rid of them.
Spraying the leaves with a mix of neem oil and water is likely to kill the pests, but won’t harm your peaches. You can also introduce bugs that will eat the scale, like ladybugs. As long as the problem is addressed early, scale shouldn’t cause too much harm for your peaches.
Aphids are the bane of many gardeners. They can infect many types of plants and spread quickly.
Aphids will cause the leaves of peach trees to turn yellow, and can be seen as little white specks on the leaves or stems of the leaves. The leaves can also curl at the edges. They should be treated as soon as you notice them.
Again, a Neem oil spray can kill off Aphids. Using orange essential oil can also kill them off and prevent them from spreading. And just like with scale, introducing ladybugs, who will eat the aphids, can be helpful.
A final tip on peach trees with yellow leaves; it’s normal to have a few leaves yellow and then drop off like the picture above. So don’t panic if you see a yellow leaf if the rest of the peach tree is healthy.
As you can see, there are a variety of causes for peach tree leaves turning yellow. Most of them can be treated, and nearly all of them can be prevented.
If you’re proactive and try to take good care of your peach trees, they should stay happy and healthy. Then you can enjoy more delicious fruits as your peach tree develops and produce more!
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