Euonymus Leaves Dropping Off: What Causes It and How to Prevent It?

Walking around your garden, you may notice that some of your Euonymus plant’s leaves are dropping off, leaving the plant looking bare. If most leaves on a single plant are falling off, it could be due to several reasons – from pests and disease to cultural problems or even winter damage.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these possibilities to help you determine why your Euonymus leaves are falling off.

What is a Euonymus Plant?

euonymus leaves dropping off

The Euonymus plant can either be a small tree or shrub with leaves that can be green, yellow, or even red. A hardy evergreen native to Asia, its beautiful glossy leaves make it a popular choice for gardens and landscaping.

It produces small white flowers in the spring, which are then followed by decorative fruits that open to reveal bright red seed capsules. These are often used as ornamental plants in most gardens.

When pruned properly, its dense foliage can also be used as a hedge and an excellent privacy screen.

What Causes Euonymus Leaves Dropping Off?

euonymus leaves dropping off

Prized for its beautiful foliage, it’s common for gardeners to be concerned when they see leaves falling off their Euonymus plant. While it’s normal for a few leaves to fall off here and there, if most of the leaves on a single plant are dropping, it could be due to several reasons, including:


One possibility is that the plant is infested with pests such as aphids, scale insects, or whiteflies. Scale infestation is one of the primary reasons for Euonymus leaves dropping off.

These tiny creatures can suck the sap out of leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually fall off. If you suspect your plant has a pest problem, Inspect the leaves closely for any signs of insect activity. You may also want to try spraying the plant with a garden hose to dislodge any pests secretly hiding on the underside of the leaves.


Although not common, euonymus plants can be susceptible to a few diseases, including leaf spots, powdery mildew, or even leaf blight. Depending on the disease, you may notice spots on the leaves, a fuzzy white growth, or discolored patches. Sometimes, its leaves may start turning brown – and when spotted, it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible.

These are typically caused by fungus or bacteria and can quickly spread to other plants in your garden. Doing something about it as soon as you mentioned it is vital.

For leaf spots, you may have to remove the affected leaves. Proper disposal is essential to prevent the spread of the disease. You should also make sure to clean up any fallen leaves and debris around the plant.

If the cause is powdery mildew, this can be easily remedied with a fungicide.

Environmental Stress

Finally, cultural problems or environmental stress can also cause Euonymus leaves to drop off. These include insufficient light, overwatering, or even winter damage.

Living in an area with hot temperatures or high humidity can be especially tough on this plant. If you think environmental stress may be to blame, try moving your plant to a shadier spot or try providing it with additional water. You may also need to prune the plant to reduce the amount of foliage exposed to the sun and wind.

How to Prevent Euonymus Leaves From Dropping Off

You can do several things to prevent your euonymus leaves from dropping off. Some of which include:

Make Sure the Plant Is Getting Enough Water

As simple as it may seem, giving your Euonymus plant the right amount of water makes a huge difference. Water it regularly, particularly during the growing season. As soon as the temperature drops, cut back on watering to prevent the roots from rotting.

When watering your Euonymus, always check the soil before adding water. If the top inch or two of soil is already moist, then it doesn’t need any more water.

Fertilize Regularly

Aside from adhering to a regular watering schedule, getting your plants a good feeding is also important. A good boost of nutrients from fertilizers helps keep the plant healthy. Additionally, this also helps prevent premature leaf drop.

Consider looking for fertilizer high in both nitrogen and phosphorous. This will help promote growth and prevent any nutrient deficiencies.

Regularly Check for Pests

As mentioned earlier, pests can be one of the main causes of leaf drop in euonymus plants. That’s why it’s important to regularly check your plant for any signs of insect activity. If you see any pests, you can try spraying the plant with a garden hose or using a pesticide.

Make Sure The Plant Is Getting Enough Sunlight

Finally, make sure that your Euonymus is getting enough light. During the autumn months, the amount of sunlight decreases, which can cause the plant to go into dormancy. If you live in an area with short days and long nights, artificial light might be necessary to prevent the plant from going dormant.

You can also try moving your Euonymus to a sunnier spot in your garden. Just make sure to do it gradually so that the plant can adjust to the new light conditions.

Euonymus Leaves Dropping Off: Final Thoughts

Euonymus leaves may drop off for a variety of reasons, including pests, disease, and environmental stress. To prevent this from happening, water your plant regularly, fertilize it regularly, check it for pests, and make sure it is getting enough light. If you take these steps, you can help to keep your Euonymus plant healthy and prevent premature leaf drop.