Cypress is one of the most popular woody plants in the garden. They are reminiscent of the trademark of Tuscany, columnar cypresses. The woody plants are often used as a screen and windbreak, as they grow quickly and have dense foliage. In addition, the trees or shrubby woody plants are evergreen. There are several cultivated forms, some growing columnar and tall, others drooping or more low growing. If cypress turns yellow or brown, there are several possible causes.
Lack of water can be the cause
One possibility for why cypress is discoloring may be drought damage. Even though the plant can tolerate a lot of drought, shade and lack of water do not agree with it. Such deficiencies also show up as late damage. However, in the beginning it is mainly the shoot tips that are affected.
Our care tip: In case of drought, cypresses are (co-)watered extensively, all year round, even on frost-free days in winter. However, the plant must not stand damp. Cut out the brown shoots. But be careful: do not cut into the old wood. Nothing will grow back here. You can fertilize cypresses with mature compost, if available, or with special conifer fertilizer (e.g. box and thuja fertilizer from Substral).
Other reasons for needle browning
- If the browning occurs in the inner area of the plant, this should be completely normal. Not enough light gets into this area, especially when it comes to larger plants. This in turn leads to the browning.
- Only when this continues to the shoot tips could one think of a fungal disease (such as Phytophthora cinnamomi). The plants would then need to be treated with pest repellent Aliette (available at garden centers).
- In older plants, the so-called needle browning can also be caused by a magnesium deficiency. In this case, depending on the size of the plants, about 150-250 g of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) should be sprinkled on the tree disc in spring, shortly before or during budding. Such deficiency symptoms occur particularly frequently on heavy, loamy garden soils or those that are too heavily enriched with humus.