The Q&A Archives: New Juniper Turning Brown

Question: I recently planted 8 Pfitzer Juniper from 2 gallon pots into a hill in my backyard. I've watered them deeply and have noticed a few of the shrubs are turning brown on the ends. I understand that the shrubs may go into shock going from a pot to the ground. My question is should I trim off the brown sections or should I leave them ?

Answer: If it is unsightly, go ahead and trim them off. Junipers are very tough plants, so it is surprising that this is happening. Make sure that your watering is effective; sometimes the potting soil the roots are in will dry out much faster than the surrounding soil. Also make sure you are not overwatering them, as junipers are subject to root rots. The soil should be moist but not sopping wet. Using a layer of mulch a few inches thick should help maintain that soil moisture with a deep watering about every five to seven days depending on the temperatures and rainfall. In the beginning you may also have to water the potting soil every other day or every third day until the roots reach into the surrounding soil. Dig down into the soil to see if you need to water or not because a hill can be very fast draining.

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