The Q&A Archives: Browning of Juniper

Question: What can be done to stop the browning of evergreen shrub, such as a juniper or cypress. It will be transplanted to the garden from a pot. Does it need a particular location or nutrient in the soil? I've seen the same type of tree at many houses planted in the front in full sun and they are thriving; it is a juniper trimmed into the spiral shape.

Answer: Raymond,

When Juniper's or Cyprus turn brown is usually to to either a lack of soil moisture or spider mites or fungal diseases. Established plants are fairly drought hardy by plants that have not been in the ground rate long are quite prone to dry conditions. Take care to not keep the soil to soggy wet just moderately moist. Spider mites are a warm season problem. They suck the juices out of the foliage causing the needles to turn pale and eventually brown. Fungal diseases, also called blights, kill twigs and shoots causing all the leaves or needles outward from that point to turn brown. Once the foliage of a juniper turns brown it cannot regreen and you may be left with a dead area on that plant. When you plant these out in the landscape choose a spot with good sun exposure and a good soil drainage.

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