Scented Geranium Dropping Lower Leaves
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Craig Hyde
Posted on: September 1, 1998

I purchased a Mabel Grey scented geranium from your company this spring. While the top of the plant is growing well and green, the bottom leaves continually turn yellow and fall off. Is this normal, or do I have a problem?

Any leaf on a plant has a limited lifetime and will eventually fall off. Therefore unless you nip out the growing tips of the plant to encourage lower branches, the plant will start to look like a miniature tree with a bare trunk.

If the plant does not get enough light it will start producing long internodes (the space between successive sets of leaves) and drop the bottom leaves prematurely because they don’t get enough light to produce food and therefore are only a drain on the plant.

If the potting soil gets depleted then the plant will try to move whatever minerals are mobile to the young leaves causing the old and mineral deficient leaves to die prematurely.

If you are not sure which scenario applies to your plant, repot it into fresh soil in a bigger pot, move it to your sunniest window (after one week of recovering from tranaplanting shock out of the direct sun) nip out the growing tips – and you are bound to get a prettier plant!

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