6 Reasons for Hawthorn Leaves Turning Red With Solutions

Like most people, I also faced hawthorn leaves turning red in my yard this year. Observing the plant, I found some specific reasons behind this occurrence which are excessive watering, too low temperature, absence of enough sunlight, too low moisture, insect attack and disease infestation. 

Then one of my friends also informed me that this issue is also happening with his plant along with his neighbors. At this point, I thought that I should note down the specific solutions that I carried on my plants so that others may also be benefited. 

That’s why I have brought the quick solutions that I applied to my plants. Scrolling below, you can get them. Here I presented a short table about this so that you can have a look at them quickly.

Excessive wateringDon’t water much to avoid a water stagnant situation
Too low temperature Cover the plant and water regularly
Absence of enough sunlight Allow full sunlight to partial shade 
Too low moistureWater the plant properly and use a humidifier 
InsectsUse industrial pesticides or homemade solutions
Disease affectionUse fungicides or homemade recipes 

Why Are My Hawthorn Leaves Turning Red? – 6 Reasons With Their Remedies

Hawthorn Leaves Turning Red Problem

1. Excessive Watering

To explain the reasons for hawthorn leaves turning red, I would like to mention the fact of excessive watering first. They love to remain in moisture but that should not be too much. Extra humidity makes a favorable situation for pathogens.

Again, the roots become stressed and they also cannot provide enough food and nutrient materials to the leaves. As a result, all the plant systems are damaged and red spots are seen on the leaves.

Control Measures

Don’t water your plant so much that water remains standing in the root zone. You can check the soil humidity with a moisture meter and then decide to water. (our pick: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter) Else, you can pinch your finger inside the plant and check if it needs watering or not.

2. Too Low Temperature

Next, the term we are going to discuss is too low temperature. Though hawthorn plants can adapt to a wide range of temperature zones, the system faces problems if the frost attack starts. 

During frost, the water becomes inappropriate for the plant to take as it freezes. Again, sunlight issues also occur at that time and the leaves also cannot get proper temperature and humidity for their food-making process. 

Therefore, they become stressed and the pathogens easily infect them. Consequently, red spots appear on the leaves sometimes with grayish outer circles.

Control Measures

Try to keep your plant inside your house while too much frost is going on. If it is impossible to bring the plant inside, then cover the plant with a polythene sheet or such type of materials so that frost cannot fall over the plant.

Besides, water your plant regularly so that the water may not freeze in the root zone and physiological drought has not occurred. Enough water should be made available in the root zone.

3. Absence of Enough Sunlight

After that, sunlight is one of the most mandatory factors of the plant. When sunlight is not properly available for the plant, the plant cannot get a perfect condition for food processing. 

The leaves need enough water and full sunlight for making the plant vigorous. But in case of complete or moderate shade, the plant may get attacked with bacteria as bacterial phases thrive in shade places. 

Consequently, plant systems are blocked and bacteria start to create infections. Such stressed conditions are understood or expressed through the red spots on the leaves. 

Control Measures

Try to keep your plant in full shade. Avoid planting any large tree beside hawthorn plants so that it cannot create an excessive shade environment after growing up. 

Planting direction should be properly judged before planting so that the morning sun gets available for the plant as well as the scorching afternoon plant cannot affect the plant.

4. Too low Moisture

Here comes the moisture percentage of the plant. Moisture percentage or humidity level generally decreases due to high temperature and underwatering issues.

If you don’t water your plant properly, it cannot reach enough water level for the leaves. On the other hand, the transpiration rate also gets a higher level. That’s why the plant vascular tissues become inactive gradually and the cell sap also dries out which leads to the red spots on the leaves.

Control Measures

Water your plant when around one to two inches of the soil gets dry. The soil moisture will reach the leaves and will balance the atmospheric moisture issues. Else, you can also take help from a humidifier to increase the humidity level in your plant.

5. Insects

Following that, insect attacks should be mentioned in the case of red spots on hawthorn plants. Generally, some common insects which are found in these plants are- 

  • Aphid
  • Bagworm
  • Scale
  • Bugs
  • Mealybug

They suck the cell fluids of the leaves and eat the leaves or the chlorophyll. As a result, the leaves cannot create chlorophyll again and food production is inhibited. Such stress gives rise to red spots or red leaves. 

Control Measures

Try handpicking first if the insects are small in number in your plant. You can also try a water stream to remove them. But if they are high in number, you cannot remove them using these factors. 

In that case, you have to use insecticides or homemade recipes. If pesticides are available to you and you are in a hurry, use them according to the labeling of the bottle. Maintain the safety measures properly to avoid any unwanted happenings. (our pick: NATRIA Neem Oil )

Apart from that, you can also use organic recipes. Here I am mentioning two of them which I use regularly. 

  • Neem oil recipe:

You have to take 1 gallon of water. Then, mix ¼ teaspoon of aloe vera powder, 2 teaspoons of concentrated neem oil, a few drops of essential oil, and 1 tablespoon of liquid soap into that water. Then spray your plant.

  • Baking soda solution 

Take 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 gallon of water and then spray it in the affected parts of the plant. 

6. Diseases

Finally, I want to end the list with diseases of hawthorn level. But is the most devastating cause of hawthorn plants turning red or red spots on hawthorn leaves. The most popular reason behind diseases is “Entomosporium leaf spot”. 

This disease is caused by diplocarpon mespili fungus which creates such circular spots and if they are not checked, this fungus may kill the plant. 

Control Measures

The first step should be pruning which means removing the affected parts of the plant. It will prevent the spreading of the disease. After that, you may use the industrial fungicide or homemade organic solutions as I described in the disease section.(our pick: Bonide 811 Copper 4E Fungicide

How To Save Hawthorn Leaves

Save Hawthorn Leaves


To save your hawthorn leaves from getting red, you may try roguing. It means cutting down the affected nearby plants so that the disease cannot spread. Though it is an easy task when the plant is small, continuing it in the larger phase may create obstacles. 


Pruning means the removal of affected plant parts. Cut all the stems that are containing those red leaves. Rejuvenation or cutting of almost one-third of the plant is also done in the case of severe effects. It is a great remedy to revive your plant.

Appropriate Cultural Practices

Cultural practices like mulching conserves soil moisture. Spading or earthing up improves the aeration of the soil which is beneficial for the plant. Weeding is also needed at the first steps so that the plant need not compete with anyone and can grow better.

Caring Guides Of Hawthorn Leaves

Soil typeLoam soil which has an acidic to neutral pH
Watering Water should be provided when the soil is dry
Sunlight It thrives in full to moderate sunlight 
Temperature The optimum temperature is 10°F to 115°F
Humidity More than 60% 
PruningRemove the affected leaves when attacked with diseases 
Fertilizer Apply fertilizer once a year during spring
Pest attack Use pesticide or homemade recipes to eradicate pests


How Can I Save My Hawthorn Plant From Diseases?

To save the plant from diseases, you can continue the practice of cutting back regularly so that insect or fungus infestation cannot spread. Else, maintain the microclimate and other necessary things properly. 

Can An Entomosporium Leaf Spot Initiate Falling-Off Diseases?

Yeah! This disease is caused by a fungus that I have already mentioned. In the initial attack, red spots were created on the leaves. If precautionary measures are not taken, it will make the leaves fall and the plant may also die.

How Long Can A Hawthorn Plant Live?

A healthy hawthorn tree may live more than 200 years. Some species may also live around 400 years if they don’t get any stress in their lifetime.

Final Words

Well, I have to end my all-over discussions here. I wanted to make you know about the common problems of hawthorn so that silly matters that cannot kill your beautiful plant can be sorted out. 

All the remedies that I mentioned here have been experienced by me several times. Still, if you know any better remedies than me you can apply those. Otherwise, if you think these solutions are effective, you are pretty welcome to adapt them. Lastly, get a healthy and loving plant by maintaining it perfectly. 

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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