The Q&A Archives: Leyland Cypress turning brown

Question: I just planted 9 leyland cypress with top soil and humus, and many are turning brown and dropping foliage. They've been watered well. I could cry. Can I save them?

Answer: Italian cypresses are very adaptable and will grow in clay, sand or loam soils, as long as it drains well. Once established they get along with about one-inch of water per week during the growing season. Italian cypress needs exposure to full sunshine for healthiest growth. You didn't say how often you're watering; more often than once a week can keep the soil too wet, which will eliminate oxygen. Without oxygen, the roots will die. Water deeply once each week during the growing season to help your plants establish a deep root system. Once they become established, you should see new growth. Then, next spring, when new growth begins again, you can prune away the brown foliage and stems. Best wishes with your Leyland Cypresses!

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