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Cabbage trees yellowing

I recently planted a cabbage tree outdoors (not in a tub) and just recently the leaves (some at the base and one or two further up the plant) have started going yellow. Can you please tell me what the problem might be, i.e., am I not giving it enough water or too much?


Cabbage trees often shed leaves and this is just a natural process of leaf aging and death. However, this is usually from the lowest leaves only. Leaves going yellow and dying further up the plant could indicate that there is something wrong.

You don't say how big your cabbage tree was when you planted it. Larger cabbage trees produce a long carrot-like rhizome that is used for food and water storage. If this rhizome was damaged, it could explain the loss of leaves. Otherwise, the leaf loss could be due to erratic watering, either too much or too little. Unfortunately, the symptoms are basically the same.

Make sure that the plant is in well-drained soil. If the soil is too wet, you could cause the roots to rot-off. Check the soil moisture level by placing a dry finger in the soil. If soil sticks to your finger or the soil feels moist, then you do not need to water.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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