Green Juiper turning brown - Knowledgebase Question

whiting, nj
Question by linfroe
May 20, 2011
my mother bought 2 of these junipers and planted according to instructions two weeks ago. They are now turning brown, can you tell me why and what can she do with them. The are planted on each side of her steps where they receive mostly sun, minimal shade.

Answer from NGA
May 20, 2011


It's really difficult to diagnose a plant problem without actually seeing the plant! I can offer some general information, though, and it might help you determine the cause of the browning. The most common problem you can encounter with newly installed plants is transplant shock. It can take 3-4 weeks for a newly planted shrub to establish its root system. During this time it can wilt and look puny - dying leaves are also common. The good news is that once the plant becomes established and shows new growth, you can prune away the dead plant parts and by the end of the summer you'll barely know there was any damage at all. The second most common problem with newly planted shrubs is water stress. Both over- and under-watering can cause browing foliage. Be sure that your junipers are planted in well draining soil and make an effort to water them deeply once each week. Watering more often can keep the soil too moist and they can develop root rot. Watering less frequently can cause browning of the foliage.

The final consideration is that your plants probably came directly from a nursery where they were grown under ideal conditions. They may be getting more direct sunshine than they were in the nursery which can lead to sunscald. Again, pruning away the damaged foliage will improve the appearance of your junipers. Junipers love full sunshine so now that they are getting lots of sun they should adapt and the new growth should be a healthy green.

I hope this information helps you determine just what might be going on with your new plants and what you might be able to do to ensure they establish themselves well and thrive.

Best wishes with your junipers!

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