Indian Hawthorn Dying- Easy Solution For Excellent Growth

Rhaphiolepis indica or Indian hawthorn, included in the Rosaceae family and originating from India and China, is such a plant that can instantly reduce your whole-day pressure with its beautiful foliage and adorable blooming.

But this beautiful plant sometimes faces some barriers in their growth which may lead to its death. Such problems are created due to fire blight, pest attacks, disease attacks, cold attacks etc.

That’s why I have sorted all these problems in a short frame so that you can find your solution and use it in your plant.

Here is a short table of solutions to these problems which may be convenient for you.


Fire blight

Remove the affected leaves

Phytophthora collar

Keep the high temperature consistent

Entomosporium leaf spot

Use industrial fungicide or baking soda or neem oil recipe

Wilting woe

Soil sterilization and keeping high-temperature


Use fungicide

Pest attack


  • Run heavy water stream
  • Manage ladybird beetle


Remove by hand picking

Powdery mildew

Keep the plant in full sunlight

Wax scale

Rub brush in the affected place after soaking in isopropyl alcohol


Cold attack

Don’t keep the temperature below 10°F


Provide a perfect environment to cope with the new environment 

Indian Hawthorn Dying- 4 Major Causes With Control Measure

what causes indian hawthorn to die

1. Disease

Fire Blight

At the top of the list of causes, I want to focus on fire blight that I consider the major problem of Indian hawthorn dying. Fire blight is a bacterial disease that is caused by Erwinia amylovora.

When the temperature is not favorable for the plant, then this bacteria grows and creates a hazardous conditions for the whole plant.

This bacteria attacks the leaves, shoots, branches, fruits, and roots. As a result, it creates discoloration and damages the bark with a border of dead or decayed sapwood around its margin.

Control Measure
  • Cut out the affected leaves of the plant. If you can completely remove the bacteria-affected area, there will be no more blight problems
  • Try to keep the microenvironment of the plant like sunlight, water, and humidity well managed for the plant so that bacteria cannot grow.
  • Lastly, you can use a bactericide that is not always needed. You can use it if the amount of affected area is huge. (Our pick: Monterey LG 3174 Ready to Use Fungicide & Bactericide)

Phytophthora Collar

The next one is the phytophthora collar which is caused by a pathogen called Phytophthora cactorum. The main cause of attacking this pathogen is the imbalanced condition of the root which is root rot.

Root rot is caused by the overwatering problem. Indian hawthorn is a low-maintenance houseplant. As they are drought tolerant, they need a small amount of water for their overall metabolism. 

When the water is stored in the root zone, the root cannot uptake the excessive water. As a result, the water remains on that soil surface and different pathogens are born there which destroy the root and the plant dies.

In the initial stage, they are normally seen in the spring. At that time, they create late blossoms, dark spots, and branches drop off.

When I looked at the maturation stage, I found a reddish-brown lesion at the foundation of the root where it is linked up to the rootstock. Thus, you can identify that it is an infestation caused by phytophthora. 

Control Measure
  • The way to kill this pathogen is the using of heat. Keep your plant temperature near to 95-100°F as foliage damage starts from 115°F in this plant. 
  • Though it can tolerate 10°F too, this temperature will be responsible for the birth of phytophthora. So don’t keep your plant at such a low temperature. 
  • Entomosporium Leaf Spot 

Then, I want to introduce you to the entomosporium leaf spot. This is a notorious disease of Indian hawthorn caused by the fungus Diplocarpon mespili.

The fungal spores are spread from unhealthy leaves to healthy leaves through water and other mediums. As a result, the fungus sucks the nutrient from the leaves and create spots that may later lead to death.

Due to this disease, small, round, and bright red spots are seen on both surfaces of young expanding leaves at the earlier stage. Later, all these tiny spots may link up to form large purple to maroon blotches for the formation of severe diseases.

Control Measure

Recipe 1

Mix one gallon of water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda and spray it on the plant.

Recipe 2

Use neem oil mixed with aloe vera powder and insecticidal soap.

  • Water your plant as much as it needs. Don’t water much so that water remains in the root zone causing root rot.

Wilting Woe

After that, I want to describe one more disease that I observed in my Indian hawthorn plant and that is wilting. 

If you can see your hawthorn leaves are fading with brown or yellow color, then you can be sure that it is affected by verticillium wilt which is a soil-borne disease. All of the branches may become pale and it is a sign that your plant is going to die.

Control Measure
  • To prevent this problem, you should sterilize the soil earlier before planting. 
  • Remove the affected branches so that they cannot spread early.
  • Keep the temperature high enough to stop new borne pathogens.


The last disease of Indian hawthorn that I am going to discuss is rust caused by fungus. Though it is not common in the Indian hawthorn, you can see black spots on the leaves as a sign of rust.

Control Measure
  • Simply use industrial fungicide

2. Pest Attack


As we know, all pests don’t attack all plants. They only affect those who are susceptible to them.

In the same way, the Indian hawthorn is most susceptible to aphids which extract the liquid fluids from the tender portion of a plant.

It causes wrinkles on the leaves. The soil-borne aphid can drive the plant to wilt and die. They can also transfer mosaic virus which can be transmitted to plants reducing the progress and leading the plant to death.

Control Measure
  • Spray insecticide 
  • Run heavy water stream in the affected place
  • Try to use ladybird beetle if you can manage


I was so much irritated with the pathogen called Bagworms which are the caterpillar period of particular moth species.

As Indian Hawthorne are evergreens, the bagworms eat huge portions of the leaves and blossom causing the upper portion of the stem segments to brown and finally lead to death.

Control Measure
  • It can be removed by handpicking
  • If hand picking is not possible, then use insecticide.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is an insect that creates a powdery coating of white or gray-colored substances.

Due to its offensive effect, infected leaves slowly appear and frequently drop off at a premature stage resulting in death at the final stage.

Control Measure
  • Keep your Indian hawthorn plant in full sunshine and proper aeration
  • Avoid using excessive fertilization 
  • Use insecticides

Wax Scale

Now, I will describe a fixed pathogen that attacks the foliage of the Indian hawthorn. 

They generally create a miniature pore in the leaves and stems of the plant to stretch out the sap which enhances the discoloration as well as the death percentage.

Control Measure

  • Soak a brush in a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol and gently rub the brush in the affected place.

3. Cold Attack

Sequentially, now I will discuss the cold attack. As a gardener, maybe you are already familiar with the term that Indian hawthorn can tolerate cool temperatures even 10°F. 

Once I experienced this fact with 5°F, but still, it survived. But a lower temperature than 5°F won’t be suitable for this plant. Well, there is an issue with such a low temperature.

Firstly, pest and disease attacks will be highly facilitated at such a low temperature. On the other hand, if the plant goes through such temperatures continuously, it will create a hazardous conditions for the plant’s internal metabolism.

Control Measure

Always keep the optimum temperature consistent with the plant so that it doesn’t get bad impact on its health. The temperature should always remain more than 10°F.

4. Transplanting

Transplanting means uprooting a plant from a pot and planting it to another pot to facilitate the development of the plant.

Transplanting is normally needed for Indian hawthorn if the plant root is devastated and the plant is not in perfect health

The transplanted plant needs a perfect amount of water, light, temperature, humidity, and other microclimatic things to adapt to the new soil and recover from the damage.

But if the surroundings are not favorable, this process is hampered. As a result, through transplanting, the plant will not survive and it will die.

Control Measure

  • Be careful while transplanting so that the root is not further damaged.
  • Provide enough necessary elements to the plants and take intensive care 

How Can I Understand My  Indian Hawthorne Is Dying?

Indian Hawthorn Losing Leaves

Some particular symptoms will be shown in your plant parts when it is about to die. One of them is losing leaves.

If the plant is unable to complete its normal physiological processes like transpiration, water and nutrient transport, respiration, etc. it will fail to keep its appearance normal.

They will lose their leaves and start to have a pale look. If your Indian hawthorn is losing its leaves, immediately try to understand its problem. Otherwise, it will die.

Indian Hawthorn Leaves Turning Yellow

Sometimes, the plant will appear as yellow or black or may show spots on its leaves. This symptom also indicates that somehow the system of the plant is malfunctioning.

Either it is affected by diseases or it is not getting the proper environment to complete its life cycle and that’s why its foliage is demolishing. 

Indian Hawthorn Not Blooming

Next, come to the blooming issues that will confirm that your plant is dying. Normally, Indian hawthorn blooms from Mid-April to May. 

In case of bad internal activities, the plant cannot take proper preparation to initiate blooming and this also indicates the threat to the plant.

Dying Without Any Syndrome

I am going to reveal now the most astonishing part of the Indian hawthorn dying. What if you see your plant dying without showing any unwanted appearance?

Well, it can also happen and pest attack is the main culprit in this issue. If you see that the plant is dying, it means that the plant needs full sunlight and sometimes repotting.

Can a Dead Indian Hawthorn Alive Again?

The answer can be both ” yes or no”. How can an answer be both at the same time? Well, let me explain.

If the whole plant is dead but still the root is alive or slightly damaged, it will give birth to new leaves and shoots and this time the answer is yes. In this case, you have to plant that dying seedling before the summer heat to recover from the stress.

On the contrary, if the root zone is also destroyed, you cannot do anything for this plant. In that case, the answer will be, “No”.

Indian Hawthorn Care

care for indian hawthorn shrub
Soil typeNeutral to acidic soil which is loamy, but not alkaline
Watering Regular watering when the soil is dry
Sunlight Full sun to partial shade, but avoid complete and continuous shade
Temperature The tolerable temperature range is 10°F to 115°F
Humidity Around 60% 
PruningPruning is needed if you want to provide an aesthetic shape or if they are disease-affected.
Fertilizer Continue fertilizing in Spring for better development of the plant 
Pest attack Use pesticide or homemade recipes to erase pests


Do Indian Hawthorns Need Fertilizer For Their Growth?

Yeah! They need fertilizers for enhanced growth and development though they can survive without fertilizers.

Where Is Indian Hawthorn Mostly Suited?

In pots or hanging baskets. You can put it in a hanging basket to increase the beauty of your room. But it will be perfectly suited in pots.

Is Indian Hawthorn Poisonous?

No. Indian hawthorn is not poisonous at all. It doesn’t create any irritation in the skin. But if your skin is highly allergic, it may cause problems.

Final Thoughts

So, here I reached the ending point of this topic. All of the reasons- pest attacks, disease attacks, frost problems, and transplanting problems cause Indian hawthorn dying either one or together. But they won’t get a severe form if you pay attention to your plant.

If you study the whole material consciously, you have already gotten detailed ideas about the causes and solutions to the problems. At the same time, the way of identifying these problems is also cleared here. So apply those and get a disease-free plant.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of, 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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