Apricot seedlings dropping leaves

Asked September 4, 2020, 9:04 AM EDT

We have some first-year apricot seedlings growing indoors in pots. They have been dropping their lower leaves. Could you please help suggest a diagnosis and what we can do to save them?

They are about 16 inches tall, are planted in potting soil and are located in an east-facing window that gets direct sun for about four hours each day. The leaves turn dry around the edges and progress until they fall off, and the loss has been from the bottom to the top of the plant.

When this started a few months ago we assumed they needed more water. The soil is kept from drying out, with a deep watering (water draining freely through the drain holes in the pots for 30 sec) about once per week. We repotted them earlier this summer, which temporarily halted the leaf loss and induced some growth of new leaves at the top, but then the loss of leaves restarted. Photos provided. Thank you for any suggestions!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- the leaf browning is probably caused mostly by environmental conditions- inadequate light, too much or too little water, temperature fluctuations. Also, please closely examine leaf undersides for signs of any insect or mite feeding (look with a hand lens).

It would be best to plant these trees outdoors this month either in their permanent locations or into larger containers sunk in the soil to overwinter them until you can plant them in their permanent locations in spring.
Jon