Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous > Spirea > Leaves discolored white, yellow or pale green

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon

Spirea > Leaves > Leaves discolored white, yellow or pale green

1 of 5
  • Image: 1
  • Image: 2


  • Light colored branch or shoot appears on a non-variegated plant
  • Show up suddenly on shoots or individual leaves
  • Not a sign of nutritional or chemical disorders or virus diseases
2 of 5
  • Image: 1
  • Image: 2
  • Image: 2

Powdery mildew
Podosphaera oxycanthe

  • White spots or blotches on leaves
  • In severe cases leaves may be completely coated with white powdery fungal growth
  • Leaves may be stunted, reddened, scorched and curled or puckered by midseason
  • More information on powdery mildew
3 of 5
  • Image: 1
  • Image: 2
  • Image: 2

Two-spotted spider mite
Microsphaeria penicillata

  • White to yellow stippling on foliage; leaves can be off-green
  • Heavy infestations will cause leaves to turn white, yellow and ultimately grayish bronze; premature leaf drop may occur
  • Webbing may be present, especially when heavily infested
  • Mites usually appear in late June to August; they are more prevalent in hot, dry weather
  • Adult spider mites are small (approximately 1/50 inch long) and are hard to see; they are yellow to dark red with dark spots (need magnification to see)
  • More information on two-spotted spider mite
4 of 5
  • Image: 1
  • Image: 2

Non-selective herbicide injury
(Round-up, Kleen-up, and other glyphosate products)

  • Yellowing, wilting, browning leaves and eventual death of foliage and plants
  • Damage usually appears first in new tissues
  • Shrubs sprayed during the summer or fall may not have noticeable injury until the following season when leaves appear as stunted, narrow, strap-like, and chlorotic
5 of 5
  • Image: 1
  • Image: 2
  • Image: 2

Verticillium wilt
Verticillium dahliae

  • Leaves on one to several branches turn red to yellow, wilt, die and fall off
  • Dark olive to gray streaks are often visible in the sapwood if the bark is peeled back
  • Symptoms may appear in several branches or in the entire shrub
  • Symptoms are often most obvious in late summer and autumn but can occur throughout the growing season
  • More information on verticillium wilt

Don't see what you're looking for?