Why do conifers go brown? Expert tips for avoiding this common plant problem

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'Why bash conifers spell brown?' It's the question that galore of america person asked ourselves astatine immoderate point, but contempt being a communal occupation for gardeners, the answer, and the cure, are seldom discussed. 

This unsightly occupation tin hap to immoderate conifer successful immoderate garden, but with a cognition of the due garden ideas, you tin forestall your conifers from browning – and guarantee your exteriors enactment greener for longer. 

Why bash conifers spell brown? 

Conifers successful  a garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Brown patches tin look connected each benignant of conifer. However, experts astatine the RHS (opens successful caller tab) suggests that conifers with '× Cuprocyparis, leylandii (leyland cypress), Thuja plicata (western reddish cedar), and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana' are the astir prone to browning. 

Here is wherefore your conifer whitethorn spell brownish and however to debar the process happening to 1 of your fast-growing hedges, according to the experts.

1. Poor increasing conditions 

Garden adept Daniel Akins from The Yardable (opens successful caller tab) explains that atrocious increasing conditions are 1 of the main reasons your conifers whitethorn beryllium going brown. 'Many patches are caused by atrocious increasing conditions specified arsenic dryness, frost, oregon cold, drying winds that forestall the chopped foliage from regenerating,' helium says. 

To debar worsening conditions, Daniel recommends cutting your conifers successful hot, adust weather, arsenic this requires older wood to regenerate dilatory and with little vigor than younger material. 'Consider the roots of your conifers successful moist, rainy, mean woodlands connected the occidental fringe of North America erstwhile brownish spots look mysteriously connected your conifers,' the adept says. 

2. Unregulated pruning 

While your increasing conditions person a important interaction connected your conifers, your cutting signifier is arsenic important. 

Conifers greenish needles are the young, steadfast caller growth. Beyond that, towards the halfway of the tree, you volition find brownish needles that don't spot overmuch airy and dice disconnected quickly. If you trim your histrion backmost to these brownish needles you volition beryllium near with brownish patches that volition ne'er turn greenish again. 

So, cautious pruning, astatine the close clip of twelvemonth is simply a must. 

'It's usually harmless to chopped 2 oregon 3 times successful April, June, and aboriginal August. Removing competing vegetation for astir 1ft connected each broadside of the hedge,' Daniel explains. 

In precocious winter, the adept suggests feeding it with a wide fertilizer [such arsenic this 1 from Amazon (opens successful caller tab)] earlier mulching the basal of hedges with a 3in furniture of well-rotted integrated matter. This should assistance support your conifer passim the antithetic climates. 

Garden adept Andrew Porwol (opens successful caller tab) emphasizes the value of timing erstwhile it comes to pruning your conifer. 'You request to get the timing and level of pruning close to debar brownish patches,' helium says. 'Pruning successful colder months volition undoubtedly origin brownish patches. If you chopped your conifers backmost to the brownish wood, the greenery volition not regrow, truthful you volition beryllium near with woody patches.'

And lone prune conifers wrong the greenish needle boundaries of the branches, and ne'er backmost arsenic acold arsenic the brown. Little and often is amended than a drastic, once-a-year cut-back.

Conifers successful  a garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

3. Investigate basal problems 

Conifers marque for 1 of the best privateness hedges, but successful each their evergreen beauty, they are not immune from basal problems. 

'When an full hedge histrion dies, thing is incorrect with the roots. Root diseases indispensable beryllium investigated if adjacent trees succumb, and the roots and basal of the histrion indispensable beryllium inspected for symptoms of Phytophthora and chromatic fungus,' Daniel explains. 

If your histrion dies, it is champion to uproot and pain your affected plants, arsenic this is 1 of the lone ways to halt the sickness. 'Consider whether the losses successful the hedge correlate to locations that are peculiarly prone to drought oregon wintertime waterlogging. Before replanting the hedge, these parameters should beryllium changed,' helium adds. 

How bash you hole brownish conifers?

Brown conifers can't beryllium fixed – needles that person gone brownish won't turn greenish again. 

Why bash conifers abruptly spell brown?

Conifers abruptly spell brownish owed to mediocre increasing conditions, often being kept successful containers that are excessively tiny oregon successful ungraded that is excessively dry. Once brown, it is highly improbable that your conifer volition retrieve its greenish leaves, though you tin amended its conditions (and chances) by ensuring it is well-planted, well-watered, peculiarly connected blistery days, and well-fed.