Ginger Leaves Curling or Turning Brown/Yellow/White – Is It Dying?

Ginger Leaves Curling or Turning Brown/Yellow/White - Is It Dying?

Ginger is an aromatic, slightly pungent spice that’s a great addition to indoor and outdoor gardens. And as far as plants go, they’re pretty easy to grow. In general, ginger is a hardy plant that isn’t prone to many common issues that plague plants. 

In general, ginger is a hardy plant that isn’t prone to common issues that plague plants. However, there are some common problems gardeners face, such as ginger leaves curling or turning brown, yellow, and white.

We’re going to discuss some of the typical reasons for these problems. We’ll also tell you if it’s possible to reverse the damage. And hopefully, you’ll be able to save your plants. Here we go.

Ginger Plant Leaves Curling

Ginger Plant Leaves Curling

If you are experiencing green ginger leaves that are curling under, you’re most likely dealing with bacterial wilt, also known as green wilt. 

This condition causes infected ginger leaves to curl and roll, starting with the lower leaves first. As the disease progresses, the leaves begin to turn yellow then brown within three to four days. Early shoots may become soft and rotted, breaking off from the rhizome. 

You might also have stunted growth and a waterlogged, grayish-brown discoloration of the rhizomes and stems. In severe cases, the rhizome will rot. To test for bacterial wilt, make a small cut of the stem close to the ground. Infected plants will have a slimy concoction ooze out.

Causation

Bacterial wilt transfers through soil and water, so you need to ensure you plant your ginger in fields free of previous ginger crops. Also, avoid drain off from other ginger fields.

Planting your plants on hills is a viable way to reduce the chances of bacterial wilt. A height of 30cm height and 1m width would work. 

Several months before planting ginger, you should plant crops like mint, palmarosa, or lemongrass. Then plow into the soil to release essential oils that can help kill or suppress the pathogen that causes bacterial wilt. There is no treatment for this condition.

Ginger Plant Turning Brown

Ginger Plant Turning Brown

Seeing your ginger plant turn brown can be alarming. But it doesn’t always mean that your plants are in danger of dying. Most of the reasons for your ginger plant turning brown are easy to fix with a few simple solutions.

Dormancy

Ginger can often go dormant if they don’t get enough water. To ensure your plants are getting watered adequately, give the soil time to dry out, and then provide a deep watering. Once a week usually suffices.

When growing indoors, you should mist the leaves and soil once a day to provide the extra humidity ginger plants need. And make sure you don’t let dust collect on the surface.

Light

If your leaves are starting to turn brown around the edges and becoming dried out or papery, they might be getting too much sun. 

Ginger does best in hot and humid climates with temperatures between 75℉ – 85℉ (23℃ – 30℃). But they need partial to full shade for optimal growth. Bright, indirect sunlight is best.

If you think sun scorch is your problem, try relocating your plants to an area that provides more cover. Once your leaves become sunburnt, there is no way to repair the damage. However, once moved, the new leaves will be healthy.

Fertilization

If your leaves are looking brown and burnt around the edges but yellow on the inside, you are looking at a case of malnutrition. Ginger requires heavy fertilization with a 5-5-5 fertilizer, with balanced levels of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. 

You can also use additives like gypsum. Ginger also needs calcium, manganese, magnesium, and copper. But be wary of excess salt buildup, which can cause browning of the leaf tips and edges. 

Ginger Plant Not Flowering

Ginger Plant Not Flowering

Some types of ginger are known for their aromatic flowers. But what does it mean when your ginger plant isn’t flowering? There are three common reasons why your ginger isn’t flowering as you want.

Inadequate Light

Blooming ginger plants need plenty of bright light to keep them happy. However, be careful that they aren’t exposed to harsh direct afternoon sunlight, as this could cause sun scorching.

Winter Damage

Most ginger plants are tropical, so they don’t do well in cold temperatures. If your plants have exposure to the harsh cold, frost, or even strong winds, they could be suffering from frost damage. 

However, it could also be that they have gone dormant for the year. It would depend on what ginger variety you planted. 

Malnutrition

Ginger requires nutrient-rich soil with a slightly acidic pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. You can buy a soil testing kit to determine the pH of your land. If the pH is too alkaline (above 7), layer your soil with composted manure. To raise the pH, add calcium carbonate or dolomite to your soil. 

Ginger Plant Dying

Ginger Plant Dying

If your ginger plants are dying, it could be that you’re not growing in the proper conditions. Malnutrition can cause your plants to die, as can overwatering. 

Ginger needs a humid environment, regardless of indoors or outdoors. Exposing your plants to dry air can cause them to die. Mist the leaves daily or add a humidifier if your plants are inside.

Too much sun exposure can also be the death of your plants. Ginger only needs two to five hours of bright, indirect sun. 

If your plants are indoors, make sure the windowsill is keeping your plants warm. They can die when they get cold. 

Ginger Plant Turning Yellow

Ginger Plant Turning Yellow

When your ginger plant is turning yellow, it’s typically a sign that you’re dealing with diseases or pests. Let’s look at a few common illnesses that affect ginger. 

Bacterial Wilt

If you’re noticing leaves that are curling up and then turning yellow, with necrotic brown spots, you’re looking at a condition called bacterial wilt, also known as green wilt.

In addition to curled yellowing leaves, your plants will also become stunted and die. The rhizomes (roots) appear water-soaked and rotted. 

Make sure your garden has proper drainage or plants on hills to prevent this disease. And make sure there have not been ginger planted there previously. 

Fusarium Yellow

Another condition that causes yellow leaves is Fusarium yellow, which results in stunted, yellow leaves. It starts with the lower leaves drying out. 

In severe cases, the plant will die before harvest time. You can tell the difference between green wilt and Fusarium yellows because the plants won’t wilt as they turn yellow. 

Dry Rot

If the tips of your lower leaves are starting to turn yellow, followed by the rest of the blade, you’re probably dealing with dry rot. 

As the disease progresses, the upper leaves begin to turn yellow too. Eventually, the plant becomes stunted and dried out. The rhizomes will have a brownish ring. 

This condition is caused by exposure to too much water. You can reduce the chances of dealing with dry rot by planting treated seeds. There is no cure.

Rhizome Rot

A condition called rhizome rot, also known as soft rot or Pythium rot, causes stunted growth, yellow stems and leaves, rotted, mushy, black roots, and a foul-smelling, rotted rhizome.

This condition is frequently found in warm, wet soil. Planting on a hill and using treated seeds and fungicides can reduce the chances of your plants getting rhizome rot.

Once infected, you should immediately remove and destroy any infected plants, so the disease doesn’t spread to your healthy plants. Also, keep your garden free of weeds and rotate your crops yearly.

White Grub 

In some cases, your yellowing leaves could be a sign of a white grub infestation. These pests feed on the ginger rhizomes, leaving behind big holes. 

Eventually, the leaves start to turn yellow and can end up dying. Adult white grubs are dark brown beetles. Young larvae are white and found in the soil. 

To treat white grub infestation, use neem oil or a safe vegetable fungicide. Planting crops like sorghum, maize, or onion can also deter infestation; so does sunflower crops.

Ginger Plant Turning White

Ginger Plant Turning White

If your ginger leaves are starting to appear white, you could be dealing with a disease called leaf spot. This condition can cause severe rotting of the leaves and blighting. 

It starts with small spots on the younger leaves, with a white center, dark brown border and a yellow halo. These spots blend into lesions that can cover the whole leaf in severe cases.

This disease spreads through infected plants, so once you get an outbreak, it can spread quickly. It can also transfer through rain and wind. 

You can use herbicide to treat infected plants in the hopes of destroying the disease. Look for one that has boron, benomyl, or zineb. 

Final Thoughts

Ginger is a great spice to grow if you do a lot of Asian cooking. The slight spiciness is sure to bring your dishes to life. And there’s even a lot of health benefits too! We’ve covered all the common problems you might experience, including ginger leaves curling or turning brown, yellow, or white. Happy growing! May Mother Nature bless you with a bounty harvest.

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