Yellow Leaves on Mango Tree: Why They Turn Yellow & Solutions

The primary reasons mango tree leaves turn yellow are due to watering issues, insufficient lighting, nutrient deficiencies, incorrect soil pH, pests, diseases, cold temperatures, and the natural aging of leaves.

Most of these conditions can be easily resolved to restore optimal tree health.

Finding yellow leaves on your mango can be discouraging, but it does not necessarily mean that your tree is dying. It is simply signaling that something is wrong.

With the proper knowledge, you can, in most cases, correct the issue. Keep reading to discover the likely causes of yellowing leaves and what can be done to bring your tree back to full health.

Key Takeaways

  • Yellowing of mango tree leaves can result from various causes, including water imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, pests, and environmental stressors.
  • Proper care practices, such as correct watering, fertilizing, and pruning, play a pivotal role in maintaining the tree’s health.
  • Regularly checking the moisture levels in the soil and adjusting watering accordingly is essential for the tree’s well-being.
  • Quick and accurate diagnosis of yellowing causes can prevent further leaf deterioration and ensure a thriving mango tree.

Yellow Leaves on Mango Tree – Causes

Mango trees are indeed resilient, but like all plants, they have their vulnerabilities. When leaves start to turn yellow, it often signals that the tree is experiencing a form of stress.

Let’s explore the most common causes.

1. Watering Issues

Water is the lifeblood of every plant, and the mango tree is no exception. While these trees need regular water, how much water a mango tree receives can significantly influence the color of its leaves.

Overwatering often affects the mango tree’s leaves, causing them to turn a shade of yellow. The roots, if submerged in excess water, struggle to absorb oxygen, leading to root rot.

On the other hand, underwatering can lead to a lack of water, making the leaves wilt and turn brown.

Always check the moisture level of the soil with your finger, ensuring it’s neither too dry nor overly saturated.

2. Lighting Issues

Mango trees thrive in full sunlight, and their leaves are designed to capture as much sunlight as possible for photosynthesis.

If a mango tree doesn’t receive adequate sunlight, its leaves may start to turn yellow due to the reduced chlorophyll production.

Ensure that your young mango tree is planted in a spot where it can bask in the sun for at least 6-8 hours a day.

If grown in a pot, consider relocating it to a sunnier spot, or utilize grow lights as an alternative.

3. Nutrient Deficiencies

Yellowing of mango leaves can often be attributed to a lack of essential nutrients, especially nitrogen.

When mango trees are deficient in nitrogen, older leaves often turn a pale green before transitioning to yellow.

Another common deficiency is iron, leading to chlorosis where the leaves turn yellow while the veins remain dark green.

Regular application of a balanced fertilizer and occasional soil testing can help ensure your tree receives the nutrients it needs.

4. Incorrect Soil pH

Mango trees prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil pH levels. An imbalanced pH—whether too acidic or too alkaline—can hinder the tree’s ability to absorb nutrients from the soil.

This imbalance often manifests as yellowing of leaves. To ascertain the soil’s pH, consider soil testing either with a kit or through your county’s extension services.

If the pH is found to be off the mark, amending the soil with good compost or specific pH adjusters can restore its balance.

5. Pest Issues

Aphids and other tiny insects that suck the sap from mango leaves can cause the leaves to turn yellow and curl up. These pests secrete a sticky substance, leading to further issues like mold.

Regularly inspect the parts of the tree for any signs of pest infestation. Introducing natural predators or applying organic insecticides can manage these pests.

6. Disease Issues

Mango trees, like many other plants, can fall prey to various diseases that affect their vitality. One common disease that causes yellowing of mango leaves is the mango malformation disease.

This disease distorts the leaves, making them yellow and stunted. Regularly monitoring for signs of diseases and promptly treating them is paramount to the health of the tree.

7. Transplant Shock

Transplanting a mango tree can be quite a shock to its system, especially if not done correctly.

Transplant shock can cause mango leaves to turn yellow due to the sudden change of environment and the potential damage to the root ball.

To minimize this, ensure you’re transplanting during the tree’s dormant period and providing it with ample water post-transplant.

8. Too Cold Temperatures

While mango trees can tolerate a range of temperatures, they’re predominantly tropical trees.

Exposure to prolonged cold or sudden drops in temperature can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die.

Protecting your mango tree from cold winds, especially if it’s a young mango tree, and ensuring it’s planted in the right Hardiness Zone can make all the difference.

9. Natural Aging of Leaves

Lastly, it’s essential to recognize that older leaves naturally reach the end of their life span.

When this happens, it’s natural for these leaves to turn yellow and eventually fall off, making way for new leaves to germinate and take their place.

This process is a standard part of the tree’s growth and renewal cycle and is not a cause for concern.

New mango leaf growth at the tip of branches.

Best Practices for Mango Tree Care

While the allure of succulent mango fruits is tempting, the journey to a thriving mango tree starts with understanding and implementing the right care practices.

The following guidelines, when followed, not only ensure the health of the tree but also enhance its productivity and longevity.

Planting Tips

The beginning of a mango tree’s journey is as crucial as any other phase of its life.

For those who like to plant mango trees in a pot, ensure you choose a bigger pot that can accommodate the growing roots. Use potting soil mixed with compost to provide a nutrient-rich environment.

Ensure that the pot has proper drainage to avoid water inside, which can cause root rot.

If planting directly in the ground, choose a spot that has well-draining soil, plenty of sunlight, and enough space for the tree to grow without obstruction.


Mango trees require full sunlight to flourish. They need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.

If your mango tree is young or in a pot, ensure it’s positioned where it can absorb sunlight, preferably during the morning or late afternoon to avoid the scorching midday sun.


Watering a mango tree requires a balanced approach. While mango trees need water to thrive, they don’t like sitting in it. The amount of water your tree requires varies with its size and the season.

During the hot summer months, young mango trees need to be watered more frequently than older, large trees.

Overwatering can lead to yellow leaves on mango trees, while underwatering can cause the leaves to turn brown before dropping.

An effective method to gauge when to water is to check the moisture of the soil with your finger. If the top 2 inches of the soil feel dry, it’s time to water.


Mango trees extract a lot of nutrients from the soil to support their growth and fruit production. This can sometimes deplete the quality of the soil.

To ensure your tree remains healthy and produces dark green leaves, regular fertilization is vital. Use a balanced fertilizer that provides essential nutrients, especially nitrogen.

I recommend this blend that is specially formulated for mango trees.

For potted mango trees, ensure the potting soil is consistently enriched with good compost.


Pruning is not just about keeping your mango tree on the smaller side and aesthetically pleasing; it’s a crucial aspect of its health and productivity.

Regular pruning ensures that your mango tree has better airflow, which reduces the risk of fungal infections and allows more sunlight to reach the inner parts of the tree, promoting balanced growth.

Remember that while pruning can significantly benefit the mango tree, over-pruning or pruning during the wrong season can stress the tree and impact fruit production. So, approach with knowledge and care.

  • The best time to prune a mango tree is after the harvest. This gives the tree enough time to recover and gear up for the next fruiting season.
  • Always use sharp and clean pruning tools. This ensures clean cuts that heal faster and prevents the spread of diseases from one part of the tree to another.
  • Focus on removing branches that are diseased, dead, or damaged first. Then, look at branches that cross over each other or grow inward as these can cause structural problems and limit sunlight penetration.
  • When pruning, make your cuts just above a bud or branch. This encourages new growth in the direction of the bud.
  • For larger branches, use a three-cut technique: one cut on the underside of the branch, followed by a cut from the top, and finally, a last cut to remove the stub.
  • If your mango tree is large, consider hiring professionals or using appropriate safety gear to prune higher branches.

Monitoring for Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases can be hard to diagnose at first glance. Regular monitoring helps in early detection and treatment.

Aphids and other small pests suck sap from the mango leaves, leading to yellowing. Diseases like mango malformation can cause distortions and discoloration in leaves.

Keep an eye out for any abnormalities, and diagnose the problem early. Natural predators, organic insecticides, or disease-specific treatments can help manage these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Deficiency Causes Yellowing of Leaves?

Yellowing of mango leaves can be attributed to several deficiencies, but one of the most common culprits is an iron deficiency, known as chlorosis.

In this condition, while the leaf turns yellow, the veins remain green. Besides iron, deficiencies of nitrogen, magnesium, and zinc can also cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Regular soil testing can help determine any nutrient imbalances, ensuring you provide the right fertilizer to correct the issue.

Why Are My Mango Tree Leaves Turning Yellow and Falling Off?

When mango leaves turn yellow and start falling off prematurely, it often points to water-related issues, either underwatering or watering them too much.

However, it can also be a sign of pest infestations, such as aphids who feed on sap, or diseases. Transplant shock or sudden temperature drops might also result in yellowing and falling leaves.

Diagnosing the problem accurately requires a comprehensive look at the tree’s environment, soil quality, and care routine.

How Often Should You Water a Mango Tree?

The frequency of watering a mango tree largely depends on the tree’s age, soil type, and climatic conditions.

Young mango trees need regular water, especially in the first two years. Mature trees, however, can tolerate dry spells but still benefit from deep irrigation, especially during prolonged periods without rainfall.

It’s crucial to check the moisture level of the soil with your finger before watering, ensuring the tree is getting enough but not too much water.

Can You Reverse a Yellow Leaf?

Once a mango leaf has turned yellow, it cannot revert back to its green state. However, addressing the root cause of the yellowing can prevent other leaves from suffering the same fate.

If nutrient deficiency is the cause, providing a balanced fertilizer can help new leaves maintain their dark green color. If watering is the issue, adjusting the amount of water can prevent further yellowing in new leaves.

Should I Remove Yellow Leaves?

Yellow leaves on mango trees, especially older leaves, may naturally fall off over time.

If they don’t, it’s generally a good idea to remove them as they no longer photosynthesize efficiently and can be taking away nutrients from the leaves that are healthy.

Pruning these leaves also helps improve airflow and reduce potential pest habitats.

Final Thoughts on Why Mango Leaves Turn Yellow

Mango trees, with their luscious fruits and vibrant green leaves, are a delightful addition to gardens.

However, when these leaves start to turn yellow, it’s a sign that the tree might be stressed or lacking essential care elements.

Whether it’s watering or light issues, pests, nutrient imbalances, or environmental stressors, it’s vital to diagnose the problem early and act swiftly.

With the right care, including proper watering, fertilization, and pest management, your mango tree can thrive and continue to provide delicious mangoes for years to come.