Browning Nana Lutea Dwarf Hinoki Cypress #797615

Asked June 24, 2022, 11:41 AM EDT

My Nana Lutea Dwarf Hinoki Cypress is browning. I am wondering if this is just sun scorch or something else. It is located in full sun area, in a raised bed. I can move it to another area, not in a raised bed with partial sun if that is a better location.

Prince George's County Maryland

Expert Response

This does appear to be environmental damage (not a pest or disease), either sun-scorch as you mention or perhaps root stress due to over- or under-watering. Perhaps reflected light or heat from a nearby surface or window is creating more light or heat stress for the plant on those particular branches. Nurseries often grow hinoki cypress in full sun without major issues, though some do choose to lightly shade cultivars with golden foliage as a safeguard against scorching. (This applies to pots, because the roots heat-up as well; in the ground, we've seen plenty of hinoki varieties in the landscape sited in full sun that didn't look stressed.)

The plant will probably be ok in the long term if left in this location, though monitor it closely for watering needs when we don't have regular rains, since raised beds tend to retain less moisture than at-grade planting beds. Feel the soil around four or five inches deep and water well when it starts to get relatively dry to the touch. A part-sun exposure would be fine otherwise, but might dull the colors to more of a lime-green rather than vibrant lemon-yellow.

Since it looks like this plant is adjacent to a perennial hibiscus, which are moisture-loving, try to make sure any supplemental water given to the hibiscus to address wilting doesn't over-saturate the root zone of the hinoki in the process.

Brown needles won't recover, so can be selectively trimmed off if an eyesore. If browned branches have healthy tip growth, though, you can leave them as-is since eventually the new growth should start to cover-up the browned portions. Given the slow growth rate of dwarf cultivars of hinoki cypress, this could take a few years, though.

Mira Talabac Replied June 24, 2022, 1:02 PM EDT

Loading ...