European Cypress Tree Turning Brown (6 Reasons)

European Cypress is a very beautiful tree to put indoors and outdoors. But sometimes European Cypress trees turning Brown can be upsetting for owners.

But do not worry. Maybe your plant is turning brown just because of an improper plantation, cold weather, improper water management, direct sunlight, or pest attack. Fortunately, you can take care of this problem single-handedly. 

In this article, I will help you to revive your plant with the most effective solution. So, without further delay, let’s get started:

Reasons  Solutions 
Improper Planting Cover the roots properly with soil
Cold Weather Bring the plant indoors
Direct Sunlight Provide shading
Improper Watering Watering 1-inch water per week
Suffering From Chlorosis  Provide iron and magnesium
Pest Attack Use pesticides.

6 Reasons for Brown Leaves on European Cypress Tree

1. Improper Planting

When you are working with European Cyprus it is necessary that the plant is planted properly. Even though it is a home plant it needs a proper planting hole. 

Whenever the roots are not well planted, the plant won’t have a stable girth. As a result, the plant will move and it will cause distress. 


Take a look if the plant is turning Brown and it is tilted on one side. Another symptom of improper plantation is the roots will be showing out of the soil level. Roots over the soil are quite dry and distorted in color. 


The only solution to improper planting is ensuring that the roots are under the soil properly. This is a must no matter where you’re planting it, in a pot or in the ground. 

If you are planning to plant on a pot then try to choose one with more than 24 inches in diameter and 30 inches in depth. Fill it with fertilized soil and dug a deeper hole to fill the roots properly. 

Make sure that you do not put the stem much under the soil. Otherwise, it will cause rotting in the stem. 

2. Cold Weather

Cold weather is not a favorite weather situation for European Cypress. European Cypress needs moderate temperature. 

When the winter season appears especially at the end of the autumn season you might find that the plant has lost all its leaves. This is more visible if the plant is put outside in your yard or lawn. 

In case it is snowing, and the plant is left uncovered then it can also cause snow burn in the leaves and stems. The plant also loses its moisture. The plant becomes dry. 


When the winter is coming and the temperature is dropping outside you will see the tips of the leaves are getting dry.

Slowly it will turn Brown and all the leaves will change color. Even the stems and the vines of the plant will start changing color. 

If this continues for a long time, the plant might even die eventually. If your friend has already changed color to brown then scratch its steam and see if it’s green inside. 


The best thing to do when it’s getting cold outside is creating a warm environment for the plant. If it is planted in a movable pot then bring it inside your room.

In case it is not possible to move the plant inside, then try to create a shade. Especially if there is a possibility of snow.

The shade won’t reduce the temperature but it will protect the plant from winter breezes or direct snow hits. 

As a precautionary measure, when you’re planting European Cypress try to plant them on the Northern side of the home.

You can plant them beside the fences opposite to winter breezes. This way the plant can save from winter damage. 

3. Direct Sunlight

As discussed earlier cold weather can be harmful and calls for color change in European Cypress. Similarly, even though European Cypress likes to have a warm environment, it is not favorable towards direct sunlight. 

In the summer season if the plant faces direct sunlight it dries up the moisture. In some cases, it even fries the leaves of the plant.

If the plant suffers from direct sunlight for more than 8 hours a day for or two weeks then the plant will not only change color it will die eventually. 

The problem with direct sunlight is not just a summer problem. In case there is direct sunlight on the snow that has fallen on the plant it will also cause harm by drying up the moisture. 


If the change of color in a European Cypress tree is due to direct sunlight then it will not change the color of all the leaves at a time. Rather you will see brown spots in the leaves and the stems and the stems, 

The change of color will start at the apex part of the tree or plant and eventually come to the bottom. This is because the sun affects the top of the plant first and then gradually comes down. 


European Cypress trees need sunlight but they can’t survive under direct sunlight. For this no matter where you are planting them it is very important to ensure that they get sufficient daylight but avoid direct sunlight.

If you are planting them as a home plant then place them in your room where it gets access to daylight. The sunlight coming from your window should not heat it directly. 

On the other hand, if you are trying to plant European Cypress trees then it is wise to plant them in the shade of other plants. 

In States like Colorado, these plants gross more prominently as cloudy or foggy. This works in great favor for the plant to survive and definitely not change its color. 

4. Improper Watering

For any plant indoor or outdoor, watering the plant plays a very important role in its growth. Excess water causes damage to the roots.

Therefore the plant cannot get proper nutrients from the rotting spread to the stem and the leaves. 

In the case of  European Cypress trees, both excess water and deficit of water cause harm to the plant. In case of the defeat of water, the plants fail to process the nutrients received by the roots.

And in case of excess water, the plants fail to receive nutrients from the soil as it causes rotting in the root. 


Symptoms of excess water in European Cypress start in the root and spread to the stems and the leaves. The color will first turn Brown and then change to black and get soggy.

On the other hand, when it comes to the symptom of lack of water it starts on the leaves. The plants cannot process nutrients in their leaves and they change their color to turn down. 


European Cypress needs about one inch of water per week. The trick to applying water is, sprinkling the water on the leaves. The water will slowly drip on the soil and it will wet the soil. 

The moisture content of the soil should be 70% to 80% at best. The soil must not get soggy. Even if the plant is in a pot it should have a hole in the bottom so that the excess water can drain out.

In case the European Cypress tree is planted in the ground you should have enough drainage system not to hold any excess water. 

5. Suffering from Chlorosis

Chlorosis is actually the anemia of green plants. Chlorosis happens due to the deficiency of iron in plants. The plant starts to change its color from Green to Brown. 

In the case of European Cypress trees and plants, chlorosis happens due to environmental reasons.

When the weather is too dry, the soil is Barren, and the plant is suffering from dehydration for a long time, the plant gets a deficiency of iron and magnesium. 

Therefore eventually you will see that the whole plant turns its color to Brown and starts losing its leaves. 


The first symptom of chlorosis is the change of color. The green leaves and stems will turn brown. There will be wrinkles and flaccid all over the plant. Even if it’s a young plant it will seem like it has aged more than 5 years. 


Avoid chlorosis in the first place, and make sure to fertilize the soil with magnesium and iron-based fertilizer before planting European Cypress. This way the young plants can be saved. 

In the case of old plants, first, do soil testing. This will let you know if the oil has a deficiency of magnesium and iron. Then apply fertilizer by digging the soil around the roots. Try not to harm the roots. 

For proper nourishment of the nutrients, provide a warm temperature between 60° to 70° Fahrenheit.

6. Pest Attack

There are two major pests that can cause a color change in European Cypress trees and plants, spider mites and cypress carpet moths.

Spider Mites

Spider mites feed on the nutrient juice of European Cypress. Therefore whenever the European Cypress gets attacked by the spider mites, the plant gets weaker and weaker.

After a while, the plants can even get other infections at the stem and roots. 


The first symptom of spider mites is, the leaves will start getting yellowish brown. The more the pests feed on the nutrients of the plant, the whole plant might change to brown color. 


The solution for Spider mites is, first to trim the affected Birds to get rid of the bug. Once you get rid of the bug you will need to apply pesticides and insecticidal soap. 

As a homemade procedure, you can even apply Neem oil, play baking soda, or a mixture of dishwasher and water. This will kill the bugs and also prevent them from coming back. 

Cypress Carpet Moths

Cyprus Carpet Moths feed on the leaves of the European Cypress. They increase in number very fast. As a result, the plant suffers from nutrient deficiency. Due to nutrient deficiency, the plant changes color to brown.


Whenever there is an attack by the Cyprus carpet months the whole plant will be covered by the eggs. They will be small and round and will stick together like colonies. 

And once the eggs turn into larvae they will feed on the leaves. You will observe the distorted leaves all over the plant. To identify the moths, remember the moth has a black and yellow pattern. 


To get rid of the moths in their egg form is to apply a mixture of plant-safe dishwasher and warm water. Pour drops of this mixture into the egg cocoon. This way the moth eggs will die.

In case they are already matured you can use fumes to drive them away. In severe cases, it is wise to apply pesticides. Especially when you have a lot of plants then pesticide is the best way to go.

Basic Requirement Of European Cypress

Requirement Scale 
pH of soil  5.5 to 6.0
Sunlight  At least 6 hours 
Temperature  60 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit 
Watering  .5 inches to 1 inch per week
Fertilizer  Must contain nitrogen, iron, and magnesium
Moisture of soil  70 to 80 percent 


Why Is My European Cypress Turning Yellow?

A European cypress could likewise start becoming yellow in the event that it’s not getting sufficient water. In the event that it doesn’t rain vigorously, essentially like clockwork, furnish the plant with additional water, guaranteeing that the dirt becomes soggy no less than a few feet beneath the surface.

How Do You Save a Dying European Cypress Tree?

On the off chance that you notice indications of dry spell pressure in your tree, apply a layer of mulch over the dirt to assist with holding dampness. Water youthful cypress trees to no less than three inches down, something like three times each week. Decrease the watering recurrence as the roots become laid out, generally after around three weeks.

How Do You Keep a Cypress Tree Green?

Soak the soil around the tree subsequent to planting and cover the root zone with 3 to 4 inches (8-10 cm.) of natural mulch. Give the tree a decent dousing consistently for the initial not many months. Cypress trees need water most in spring when they enter a development spray and in fall not long before they go lethargic.

How Do You Prune a European Cypress Tree?

Scale back each excessively lengthy branch to a branch fork with a green shoot developing from it. This is the main rule for scaling back cypress trees: never cut all green shoots from any branch since the branch can not develop more. Continue from the underside of the branches, inclining the cuts up.

How Fast Does the European Cypress Grow?

The slim, rich Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) can grow 40 to 60 feet tall, with a regular width not surpassing 3 to 6 feet. Italian cypress trees grow 12 to 24 inches a year, which horticulturalists characterize as a medium pace of development.

Final Words

It is true that European Cypress trees turning brown can cause distress among the owners. This article will not only help you to recognize the reason but also provide the best solutions.

The solutions provided in the articles are easy to execute and don’t need you to be an expert on gardening. 

But if you’re someone who is an expert in gardening then you can take the solutions one hand ahead and manage them from coming back.

All the DIY solutions provided, need a dishwasher for pest control. Just make sure that this dishwasher is plant-friendly.

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