What Is Causing Leaves To Turn Yellow And Drop Off My Blue Potato Bush?

Filed Under: Shrubs, Landscape Gardens · Keywords: Blue Potato Bush, Leaves, Yellow, Dropping Off · 8186 Views
Plant is growing good but leaves have started turning a little yellow and falling off, what is happening?

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Bonita-The Potato Bush, Blue Potato Bush, or Paraguay Nightshade (Solanum rantonnetii) is a real favorite plant I have a lot of around my gardens. It seems to grow well in most all types of soil as long as the soil is well draining. Is your Potato Bush planted in the ground or in a pot? When planted in a pot they need a little more attention to the amount of water they get. There are only a few things that will yellow the leaves on this plant if it is growing well and there are no signs of insect damage to the foliage. If by chance your plant is potted and its location has been changed yellowing of the leaves and dropping is normal. The potato bush can be tempermental when its growing conditions are changed but will normally be fine once it acclimates itself to the new conditions as long as it is still getting plenty of direct sunlight (5 hours a day). Is your potato bush newly planted or has it been established for awhile? If it is newly planted it could be going through some transplant shock until it establishes itself. If it is newly planted or established yellowing of leaves and dropping can be caused by too much water. The soil should be moist but not wet. Many areas this year have recieved a lot of rain causing problems with many plants. Too little water can cause yellowing and then browning of leaves. This plant is drought tolerant when established. I have found my potato bushes do much better when the soil is more towards the dryer side than too wet. Dig down 6 to 8 inches a few places around the plant and check the soil. It should feel cool and moist not wet. Like I mentioned before if the plant is potted more attention to keeping the soil moist, not too wet or too dry will be needed. If potted make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pot for good drainage otherwise your plant may be sitting in saturated soil.

A deficiency of nutrients such as iron can also yellow leaves. This plant should be fertilized in early spring with a well ballanced slow release fertilizer 10-10-10. Using a granular or liquid form of Iron will usually help the yellowing quickly if this deficiency is the problem.

If the leaves where just turning yellow without dropping I would think the problem is a nutrient deficiency. Turning yellow and browning with signs of wilting leaves would indicate too little water. I'm thinking the plant may be getting too much water with the leaves yellowing and dropping. Check the soil moisture and hold up letting the soil dry somewhat if it seems to appear too wet.

Let me know what you find. You can also upload a picture of the plant and an up close picture of the yellowing leaves. This may also help to determine the cause of the problem. Above this answer and to the right of your name you will see where you can upload your pictures.

Hopefully this has helped.


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Answer #2 · Desiree Krech's Answer · I have a Blue Potato Plant as well and have only had it for a couple weeks. I just re-planted it in a huge old whiskey barrel in my yard and at first did not make sure there were drain holes at the bottom. We just drilled some today, but prior to doing so, I noticed that the plant, when first purchased, was so gorgeous and flowering everywhere. Since replanting and before drilling the holes, all of the flowers have fallen off and the leaves look shriveled. I'm wondering if it is simply experiencing shock or if I've killed it?

I should mention that when I first planted it, the planter is so large that I made sure not to overwater, but then we got a heavy rain and it may have gotten too wet. Now that the holes have been drilled, it should be adequately able to drain and it does get plenty of sunlight. I hope I haven't destroyed my baby!

Thank you for any help!


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Hi Desiree-Your plant could be experiencing some transplant shock. These plants always look great when first purchased as they have most likely been growing in a greenhouse or in a location they have been acclimated to for some time. As I have noted any I have grown took some time to acclimate themselves to a new environment but always have been hardy and took off quickly once in the ground or pot for a couple of months. With too much water the leaves will yellow somewhat and may look as though they are wilting. I wouldn't think only being planted in the wiskey barrel for a short time too much water is the problem unless the roots were actually sitting in water from a hard rain or a lot of watering. These barrels can be large which can take a lot of water to keep new planting mixes damp. I would make sure when digging down 6 to 8 inches around the root ball the soil feels cool and moist but not too wet or dry. If the planting mix happened to be on the dry side it can take awhile for it to absorb water and may drain through without moistening the soil mix. In this case the rootball may have been kept too dry. If the soil in the root ball is just moist the plant should recover. Most likely change in location (amount of sunlight and temperature) has created some shock. You can scratch a small spot of bark off stems with your fingernail to see if the stems are still alive. If the tissue under the outer bark is green the stem is alive. If brown the stem is most likely dead. Let me know what you find after checking for soil moisture and if the stems are still green.

3 years ago ·
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