Indian Hawthorn Looks Dead? [6 Causes with Treatment]

As one of the best low-growing flowering shrubs, Indian hawthorns are certainly one of the best. With a dense mounded growing property, the shrubs look absolutely amazing. If you own a small garden, choosing Indian Hawthorn is one of your best decisions.

Nonetheless, though Indian hawthorns are low-maintenance yet one day you might find yourself noticing that the shrubs do look the same as before. You might also notice that with almost naked branches, they are looking lackluster.

Therefore, you may end up asking yourself why your Indian hawthorn looks dead? Well, asking yourself only will not help you out. So, we have got your back, don’t worry!

There are several reasons for your Indian hawthorn looks bad. These may include fungal infection, pest infestation, weather problems, cultural problems, and so on.  

Let’s have a broad discussion along with fixing guide.

Why Your Indian Hawthorn Looks Dead -Control Measure]

Indian Hawthorn Looks Dead on Top

1. Entomosporium Leaf Spot

Among few diseases, the Indian hawthorn is highly susceptible to Entomosporium leaf spot. This leaf spot disease is very common in many shrubs, including quince, red tip photinia, pear, and Indian hawthorn. Initially, causes cosmetic damage but it can get severe at times.

This disease affects right into the leaves causing red spots and leading them to die eventually. Hot and humid weather is favorable for the thriving of Entomosporium maculatum. Therefore, if it rains heavily in spring, it creates the perfect weather condition along with the heat to encourage the disease.    

Especially, when the temperature ranges between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the leaves are wet for long periods, the disease surpluses. If the leaves are wet for 12 to 24 hours, the fungal spread will double overnight.

Moreover, this fungal disease encourages further infections of the shrubs. It makes them easily vulnerable to cold and insect infestations. Again, stagnant soil water also encourages the spread of Entomosporium leaf spots.

Nonetheless, the spots that the disease leaves are very prominent on the leaves. The splotches are maroon in color and spread the infection. At a certain point, the spots cover the entire leaf by enlarging and getting darker.

Control Measure

  • Initially pick out the infected leaves and destroy them far away from the garden. Also, you can zip them up and then dispose of them in the trash.
  • Use resistant cultivars.
  • To stop the secondary spread of the spores of disease, clean up the fallen leaves on a regular basis.
  • Do not wet the leaves while watering the plants. Better water at the soil line straight.
  • Make sure, the soil does not have stagnant water.
  • Water your Indian hawthorn in the morning so that the wet leaves get dry during day time.
  • In constant humidity, apply approved fungicide to the Indian hawthorn.(Our Pick: Bonide 811 Copper 4E Fungicide).

So, know that, if you have grown Indian hawthorn sooner or later it is going to invite Entomosporium disease. That is why in this case, preventive care would help you the most.

2. Growing in the Wrong Soil

Well, this is partly related to the disease Entomosporium leaf spot. Soil that does not provide well-drainage, helps in encouraging several diseases. It is because the accumulated water deteriorates the health of your Indian hawthorn.

Moreover, overwatering in this soil also acts the same way. So, determining the moisture content of your soil is very important. It also helps to identify potential disease infection to some extent.

Control Measure

  • Try to plant the Indian hawthorn shrubs in well-drained soil.
  • Determine the moisture content of soil by using a moisture meter and then act accordingly (Our pick: SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester)
  • Do not water your hawthorn if it is raining already.
  • If the soil is not well-drained then make an artificial drainage system.

3. Root Rot of Indian Hawthorn

Just like the Entomosporium leaf spot, root rot also invades the entire Indian hawthorn. The disease is also a potential reason why your hawthorn looks almost dead. Sometimes, root rot would kill the entire branches of the shrubs.

Root rot is also a result of your plant growing in poorly drained soil. Affecting the whole root system of the plant, the fungus infects the stems and leaves.

The affected leaves wilt and finally, fall off. Eventually, the entire Indian hawthorn becomes bald without leaves and blooms. So, it looks dead.

However, you can recognize the disease once you know about the symptoms. If the plant is affected, expose the wood beneath the bark, you will see discolored and vertical streaks on the surface.

Sometimes, the plant releases bacterial ooze or dark and black sap from the shrub. It decreases the growth rate of the plant.

Control Measure

  • Uproot the affected parts and then burn them.
  • Remove one-foot soil from the infected areas.
  • Avoid overwatering the plants.
  • Go for disease-resistant varieties.
  • Make sure the soil is not in water stagnant condition. Therefore, makes irrigation moats.

4. Fire Blight of Indian Hawthorn

Indian hawthorn is also immensely susceptible to fire blight. Nonetheless, fire blight is a bacterial disease and thrives highly when it gets favorable environmental conditions. The bacteria thrives when the weather is humid or it is raining all day.

A temperature between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is responsible for the growth of the bacteria. Fire blight causes cankers of Indian hawthorn. It oozes dark lesions on leaves and wilts flowers and leaves.

This disease can attack even the woody portion of Indian hawthorn. When you scrap the wood, you will notice discolored wood with multiple streaks.

Once the bacteria affect your plant, it makes the plant look like it is burnt by fire. Exactly that is why this disease is known as fire blight. Also, exactly to the properties, this bacterial infection is a systemic disease. It makes the shrub look dead.

Control Measure

  • This disease is fightable if you prune your Indian hawthorn shrub properly. Cutting back heavily diseased leaves, limbs, and flowers can reduce the spread of the bacteria.
  • Remove the dead and cankered branches from the healthy wood with no cankers.
  • Burn the removed leaves, flowers, and limbs. It eliminates the chances of further outbreaks.

Moreover, you can also go for recognized commercial chemical treatments to fight bacterial disease easily.

Here is the Guide on Hawthorn Leaf Blight Treatment that can help you better.

5. Attack from Aphid

Aphid attack on Indian hawthorn plant

Aphid attack can also lead your Indian hawthorn plant to look dead. Severe infestation can cause poor vigor in the shrub. Thus, it might look sick and dead. Aphids can distort the leaves making them drop from the plant.

However, aphid attack is very common in most plants out there. Indian hawthorn is also not exceptional. Proper treatment can vanish them.

Control Measure

  • Spray a direct water stream over the aphids.
  • Call for predatory insects that will eat up the aphids. The insects include ladybird beetles, wasps, dragonflies, and all.
  • Try not to use excessive insecticides in your garden. Otherwise, it will kill the predatory insects.
  • Try to control aphids following Integrated Pest Management System.
  • You can go for homemade remedies. There are many. Let us cover you with one.

# Spray Vinegar Solution

Required materials:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Dish detergent (optional)


  • Take one part of vinegar and ten-part of water.
  • You can also add a tablespoon of dish detergent.
  • Shake the mixture and apply it right over the insect.

Furthermore, you can also use baking soda, onion extract, and other substances as homemade remedies. Onion extracts not only fight aphids but also it is effective in removing fungal diseases of Indian hawthorn.

6. Error in Cultural Conditions

Error in the cultural condition is also a reason why your Indian hawthorn looks bad. It encourages both fungal and bacterial leaf diseases. As we mentioned before, the Indian hawthorn is highly prone to leaf spots and improper cultural operation and conditions make the infection process easier.

However, Indian Hawthorn is not high-maintenance. So, it does not require much in the soil. It just has to be well-drained. The plant grows well in USDA hardiness zones from 8 to 10.

Nonetheless, the Indian hawthorn requires full sunlight for at least six to seven hours. otherwise, it will not thrive and not going to bloom as well.

Again, watering the plant requires carefulness. Water splashes on the leaves might induce leaf spot disease. Then again, while obtaining other cultural operations including pruning, improper methods act detrimentally and make the shrub look dead.

Control Measure

  • Go easy on all cultural operations you are obtaining in your Indian hawthorn shrubs.
  • Be careful while watering the plant.
  • Plant your shrubs where they can get direct sunlight during the day.


How Do You Tell If The Indian Hawthorn Is Dead After A Freeze?

A freeze affects any plants badly. Indian hawthorn also cannot escape. In the beginning, the shrubs may have a wilted appearance. Then the affected parts turn brown and then black. Eventually, the shrubs become crispy. When the Indian hawthorn comes to this state, consider the shrub dead.

Does The Indian Hawthorn Lose Its Leaves In Winter?

Indian hawthorns are evergreen shrubs. Their branches of dark and green foliage will still be there even when it is winter. However, when the cold weather goes extreme might have to take some steps for caring the plants.

How Long Do Hawthorn Bushes Live?

Hawthorn bushes are easily susceptible to fungal diseases which lead them to unexpected death. However, if your hawthorn is healthy and you take great care of it then the bush can serve you for more than 400 years.

How Do You Care For An Indian Hawthorn?

Plant your Indian hawthorn in early fall or early spring. Take care of the shrub from the very beginning. Take care of the soil with 2-inch thick mulch to prevent soil moisture evaporation. It also prevents weeds.

Final Words

With pink and white flower clusters and deep green foliage, Indian hawthorns are indeed attractive. With all these elements the shrubs always look lively and evergreen. Thus, it will be unfortunate if your pretty Indian hawthorn looks dead.

However, since we have already mentioned to you the reasons and control measures hopefully, you can get over this problem.

Do not give up on the Indian hawthorn plant just yet. Inspect if it is actually dead or not. If not, then start providing extra care till it looks lively again! Also, let’s share your joy through feedback.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *