6 Reasons for Loropetalum Leaves Turning Brown [How to Fix]

To talk about the prettiest evergreen shrubs, Loropetalum certainly tops the position. Originating in China, the shrubs are now the beauties of southern states. These flowering evergreens come with a wider range of vibrant colors.

From light green to darkest purple, you will see the shrub weeping lushly. But let’s face the truth. What if the Loropetalum leaves are turning brown? Would that be their usual color of leaves?

Of course, not! That indicates your Loropetalum shrub is suffering. Usually, these plants are low-maintenance and easy to grow. They can also tolerate adverse conditions to some extent. Yet, your Loropetalum leaves might still turn yellow and brown.

There might be some certain reasons for it. However, winter causes the main effect. Winter-burned leaves of Loropetalum turn brown in color. Moreover, there are some other reasons including lack of water, damaged roots, lack of nutrients, and wrong soil.

To have a broader idea and to save your Loropetalum leaves, let’s dive into the deep.

Why Your Loropetalum Leaves Turning Brown [Solution]

Loropetalum Leaves disease

1. Winter Fall

Loropetalum is quite tolerant to winter and gets through just fine most of the time. But in some cases, winter is so heavy that it causes damage to your evergreen shrubs. Freeze and evergreen shrubs are probably the worst combinations.

However, Loropetalum can go through mild winter. This time the dormant parts of the shrub start to soften. They basically prepare themselves for the regrowth in spring. But if the temperatures fall from a moderate level while the shrub is in that state, damage occurs.  

This damage is known as winter burn. Winter burn results in leaf discoloration at varying degrees. In Loropetalum, the leaves turn brown at a certain point. Consequently, it looks unattractive.

Being unsightly, the brown leaves are mostly seen on the top and outer parts. Nonetheless, this problem is curable. Most of the time, the brown dead leaves fall off themselves and started regrowing in spring. Yet, you can follow some control measures.

Control Measure

  • Do not prune your Loropetalum during winter rather leave the plant alone.
  • Do not also fertilize the plant during fall. It will act detrimentally.
  • If you see drought conditions due to winter, you can water your Loropetalum.
  • But do not overwater or water plants before the ground dries after the previous watering.
  • Prune off the dead and brown leaves after winter.

In winter, the Loropetalum requires a little bit more care to keep the leaves intact. Winter already slows down the growth rate of shrubs but a little care can induce the growth in spring. So, it is better you act that way.

2. Lack of Water

Loropetalum does not require too much water to thrive. However, lack of water also affects the shrub. It turns the leaf brown. Especially, if the plants are planted in a pot. Potted Loropetalum requires more water because it dries out soon.

Again, if you have planted your newly Loropetalum just now, then the plant might play dead if not watered properly. Moreover, during summer, plants suffer from dehydration the most. So, eventually the leaves dry and become brown.

Control Measure

  • Water your Loropetalum at least once a week when it is not raining.
  • Take special care while watering the potted Loropetalum.
  • If your shrubs are newly planted then water them frequently per week.  
  • During hot summer, let not the Loropetalum be dehydrated.

For your information, Loropetalum also works adversely when watering is done too much. Excess water might invite several unwanted situations. They just need a certain amount of water to thrive well and produce lush foliage.

So, you can use a moisture meter (Our pick: SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester) to determine the soil water for your convenience while watering Loropetalum.  

3. Intense Heat

Loropetalum grows in summer

Your Loropetalum grows well in partial heat and partial shade. Excess shade and excess heat both have consequences. However, the intense heat of the sun is the reason the leaves get burned and brown.

Because of intense heat, the production of pigment in the Loropetalum plant gets interrupted. If your shrub is one from older varieties then the effect is noticeable. So, you have to ensure its proper planting place where it gets equal sun and shade at the same time.

Control Measure

  • If the weather in your area where the Loropetalums are planted gets too hot during summer, transplant the plants to the east side near your home. This way, the plant will get only some hours of the morning sun. Also, the morning sunlight is not that scorching.
  • During the hottest period, keep your potted Loropetalum in a shaded place.
  • Never let your Loropetalum be stressed from heat. This way the color of the foliage will retain.

4. Wrong Soil and Lack of Nutrients

These are other reasons for turning Loropetalum foliage brown. This shrub requires slightly acidic soil with 6 to 7 pH. So, if the soil is too alkaline where you have already planted the shrubs then you have to take some action.

However, Loropetalum can thrive only when the soil offers a pH balance of alkaline and neutral soil. Moreover, if the soil is well-drained and contains loam, chalk, and sand then that will be a plus point.

Furthermore, a lack of nutrients can affect both foliage and flower. It inhibits the growth of foliage and ends up browning the remaining foliage. Thus, you have to make sure your Loropetalum is getting enough essential nutrients.

Control Measure

  • Amend the soil with a certain amount of organic matter and then thoroughly mix some native soil as well.
  • Apply balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10. Also, look for fertilizers recommended for acid-loving plants (our pick: Espoma Organic Holly-tone) 
  • If the soil is alkaline then apply cottonseed meal. Or, you can also use granular sulfur.
  • Also, you can amend the soil with peat moss.
  • Top dress the soil with the pine needles layer since these are easily available.

 Nonetheless, when it is spring apply a slow-release fertilizer to your Loropetalum plant. In case, you have already forgotten, professionals do not suggest watering during winter and rainy periods. When these periods are over, Loropetalum plants work along with applied fertilizer to improve their vigor.  

5. Anthracnose Fungus

Fungal diseases are also responsible for turning Loropetalum leaves brown. Among them, anthracnose fungus is the most common. Generally, Loropetalums are resistant to fungal attack. But once anthracnose attacks, it damages the leaves first.

However, anthracnose does not make the entire leaf turn brown. But it creates dark brown spots on the surface of mature leaves. Gradually, it affects the blooms as well.

Consequently, leaves become distorted and fall from the bush. Hopefully, if your Loropetalum plants are healthy already, anthracnose cannot get fatal. Yet, obtaining some control measures will save your plant.

Control Measure

  • Remove the infected leaves and burn them away.
  • Improve the drainage system of the garden where the Loropetalums are planted especially when it is the season of heavy rain.
  • Disinfect tools before operating intercultural operations including pruning and training.
  • Apply commercial fungicide for anthracnose fungus when the leaves get severely damaged (Our Pick: Bonide 811 Copper 4E Fungicide)
  • Again, homemade remedies work as well if the attack is in the initial stage.
# Fight Anthracnose with Cinnamon

Required Materials:

  • Cinnamon
  • Water


  • Ground the cinnamon and make it powdery.
  • Sprinkle a little amount of cinnamon powder over the affected leaf parts.
  • Do not get overwhelmed since too much cinnamon can end up burning the leaves as well.
  • You can also spray cinnamon water. Take one tablespoon of cinnamon in one liter of water and then shake it. Take the solution in a spray bottle and apply it over the leaves.
# Chamomile Tea Works

Required Materials:

  • Chamomile tea
  • Water


  • Take one cup of chamomile tea and add two cups of water.
  • Mix the solution and spray over the affected area.

However, while spraying fungicide, make sure to acknowledge the label and instructions first.

6. Planting Older Varieties

Older varieties of Loropetalum plants are highly susceptible to diseases easily. Their resistance capability is also less. Thus, if anything goes wrong, their foliage turns yellow, bronze-green, or even brown.

Control Measure

  • Plant disease-resistant new varieties.
  • Some Loropetalum breeds are already hyped in the market. Try out those.


Why your Loropetalum looks bad and dead?

There may be many reasons but root rot of Loropetalum is the main reason that makes the shrub look bad or to some extent dead. Excess water cause root rot problem. Again, not exposing your plants to sunlight at all can also be the reason for root rot. So, cure root rot, and your Loropetalum will look lively.

Does Loropetalum lose leaves in winter?

As we have already mentioned, Loropetalum plants are evergreen. So, if you can keep the plants healthy during winter, they will not lose leaves.

But a freeze during winter might play a game-changer here. It can affect right in the leaves of the Loropetalum. So, take extra care of your plant in winter.

Why are Loropetalum leaves turning yellow?

Yellowing mostly occurs because of the lacking of nutrients in the soil. If the plant root has to compete for nutrients, then the leaves will turn yellow in no time. Again, if the root system faces a hard time absorbing nutrients because of watering too much, it will cause this problem too.

 In such cases, replant your Loropetalum after adding dry soil.

Why my Loropetalum is not blooming?

Loropetalum plants are supposed to bloom during spring and summer. They do not bloom in winter. If spring does not bring flowers to your Loropetalum then you might have forgotten to prune your shrubs after winter or have done it during winter.

Pruning induces the growth of foliage along with flowers. But doing it at the wrong time brings the opposite result. Pruning should be done when enough sunlight is ensured for the plants.

Final Words

Now you must know, why your Loropetalum is turning brown. Also, you know now how to take care of the reasons. Nonetheless, it takes very little to take care of Loropetalum shrubs. Even gardeners who are growing this plant for the first time can grow it successfully if maintains regular care.

Loropetalum best thrives in the USDA zones from 7 to 9. Thus, by planting in the right location and ensuring all essential nutrients, you can be a successful grower.

So, now that you have come to this end, let us know if our information can help you through feedback. Also, let us know if you have any questions regarding Loropetalum shrubs.

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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