I planted 5 Juniper Blue Star (12"-15")plants in May 2010 whose...

Asked April 27, 2013, 5:08 PM EDT

I planted 5 Juniper Blue Star (12"-15")plants in May 2010 whose needles are browning. They thrived for 2 years. In 2012 they began to decline. They would produce new needle growth at the ends, but the needles closest to the the root would turn brown and eventually all the needles would turn brown. This is beginning to happen again in 2013. All plants have been affected, some worse than others. They get part shade, soil was enhanced with leaf gro when planted and plants have received osmocote fertilizer each year. Watering is via a drip system on a 30 minute timer, 2 times a week. I took a cutting to the nursery and they thought it might be a fungus and suggested I ask if you think it is treatable. Thank you for your input.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

The browning needles on your Blue Star junipers could be a fungus known as Kabatina. Please see our website's Plant Diagnostics and type "kabatina" in the search box there. Our website (we're the Home and Garden Information Center, the part of UMD Extension that specializes in helping homeowners) is: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic.

Junipers prefer full sun and the part shade you have may be contributing to the problem. Also, they tolerate a lot of drought and may not need as much water as they are receiving along with rainfall.