Help! What’s happening to my plumeria tree

Asked December 5, 2019, 5:03 AM EST

Hello, Can you help with my gardening questions? I live in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I’m very new to gardening as I have my first house ever. I’ve planted plumeria trees in my front yard/ garden. The leaves are browning on the ends. There is no rust or anything on the underside. I have also noticed that the leaves on my mother in laws tongue is also browning in my back garden. I have no idea how to help these plants but I don’t want them to die. What do I do?

Outside United States horticulture

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. Browning of leaf tips/edges is a symptom of a water issue. I doubt that your plumeria are receiving too much, so it is probably too little. What type of soil are they planted in? If it is primarily sand, the water runs through before the roots can absorb it. I see you have gravel as a mulch. This absorbs sun and heat, which causes the soil to heat up and dry out more quickly. Adding organic matter to the soil, and replacing gravel with an organic mulch may help. This may help: The sanseviera may have the opposite problem. It appears to be in potting soil, which helps hold water. But it is a succulent that needs little water. Here is an article on its care: Good luck!

Thanks for your help.

The plumeria has an irrigation line that drips water into it, and the ground is always moist. I will replace the gravel. The soil is mostly a sand, but the Gardner who planted the tree used pitting soul to fill the hole... so, to answer your question, it’s both:/
I have heard that plumeria don’t like to have “wet feet”, and I’m concerned that the drainage may not be good enough.
If I dig it up, add some gravel underneath, and then replant it, adding mulch at the top, would that be too much shock for the tree? I will ensure the potted plant is watered less.
Thank you so much for your help!

I’m not sure how long the plumeria has been planted, but digging plants up typically results in even more of a shock. Adding gravel is not the answer; it creates pockets of air that dry out roots, and doesn’t hold nutrients. As I indicated, the solution to any soil issue is to add organic materials, such as compost.