I have had juniper plants in my beds for 10+ years with no issues. Not much...

Asked November 26, 2013, 9:49 AM EST

I have had juniper plants in my beds for 10+ years with no issues. Not much care has been needed. This year they are all getting brown spots/sections and it looks like I am losing them. It has been extremely wet this year - more than in many years. Any suggestions?

Gwinnett County Georgia

1 Response

We have had above average rainfall over the last 8 months and it has had a dramatic affect on many landscape plants - some good and some bad. Unfortunately, azaleas and junipers seem to have suffered the most. Junipers do not grow well in wet soil or areas that are poorly drained. Here are a couple of things that might help. Look uphill from the area to see if you can divert water away from the area. Check downspouts, sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc to see if they are sending water toward your junipers. You might also thin or remove mulch that may have accumulated in the juniper bed to allow it to dry out a little faster after rain events. A light dose of fertilizer might also stimulate root growth and help the plants to recover more quickly. I use a 10-10-10 or a 15-0-15 at a rate of about half a pound per 100 square feet. Insecticides or fungicides aren't needed at this time of year. You can prune out any dead brances for appearance reasons but junipers don't respond well to pruning so only remove dead tissue. A simple scratch test on the side of a branch can show you what is dead and what still has green life. There's not much else that you can do with junipers. We can try to provide the environment that they need but they have to recover on their own. If you are in the Gwinnett County area, you can call our office for further information. 678-377-4010. If you are somewhere else, I'll bet there is a local Extension office that can help. Good Luck.