Juniper Issues

Asked November 26, 2013, 9:40 AM EST

I have had juniper bushes that were fine for years. This year they are getting brown spots/sections and it looks like I am losing them. Any suggestions? Thank you. Ron May

Gwinnett County Georgia

1 Response

Thank you for getting in touch with us about your Juniper "issues".

The picture shows the browning problem, but is a bit unclear about the type of Juniper: is it a ground cover or a vertically growing plant?

Junipers are considered quite disease resistant, although some problems do occur. Most of these can be dealt with Sanitation and good plant care in the garden. There are some "musts": plant in a sunny location, in excellent drainage, and spaced correctly. Shade, over watering, and poor drainage can cause serious problems. Since most of the Juniper diseases are fungal, it is important to remove dead and diseased branches or areas of the plant as soon as noticed; these should be discarded with trash and not composted. Also, at the end of the growing season, the mulch under and around the plant needs to be removed because the fungal spores will overwinter in the plant materials and debris. New mulch is necessary; do not cover the main trunk. It also is important to remember that these diseases become "activated" by the weather conditions: warm weather and much rain. Regular inspection of the plant should start in the spring and summer, continuing through the year.

There are fungicides which can be used. Prior to recommending any, I would appreciate that you bring a sample of the plant to our office for a specific Identification of the problem. The sample should include both healthy and diseased parts.

The Cooperative Extension Office is located at: 1130 Bluff's Parkway, Suite G49, Canton, GA 30114. We are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, closed between 12 noon and !:00pm.

If you have any questions, please contact us again (phone:770-721-7803) or e-mail.

Thank you again,