Carolina Sapphire Cypress Turning Brown? (4 Reasons+Solutions)

Native to the American Southwest and Mexico, Carolina Sapphire Cypress is one of the most popular evergreen conifers in this area and in many other parts of the country.

These fast-growing, pyramidal trees serve as screening plants, but also, thanks to their blueish-green and delicate foliage, they can work as beautiful centerpieces in any garden.

This is why it can be so frustrating to see these plants suffering from certain issues and not looking their best, especially after you’ve invested so much effort and time in caring for them.

One of the most common problems you may face while growing these trees is your Carolina sapphire cypress turning brown and losing its refreshing visual appeal and richness of its foliage.

There are several reasons why Carolina Sapphire Cypress might turn brown, ranging from environmental factors to pests and diseases.

In this article, I will discuss some of the most common reasons why Carolina Sapphire Cypress turns brown, as well as the steps you can take to address the issue.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this article will provide you with the knowledge you need to keep your trees healthy and vibrant.

So, read on to learn more!

Why is My Carolina Sapphire Cypress Turning Brown?

Carolina Sapphire Cypress Turns Brown.

If you notice that your Carolina sapphire cypress is turning brown, the most important thing is to establish why that may be happening.

Identifying the potential cause will help you take the proper action to save your plant if possible and deal with the issue at hand.

Commonly, the changing of the Carolina sapphire cypress color to brown either points to a care issue or is an indicator of a certain underlying disease.

In any case, these types of problems should be taken seriously as some of them can do severe damage to your plant and may even cause it to die.

Below is a short overview of the most typical reasons why these kinds of issues happen.

Improper Watering

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One of the most common reasons why Carolina sapphire cypress leaves turn brown is the improper watering of the plant.

While overwatering is more likely to cause this, the lack of water can also lead to similar problems.


Carolina sapphire cypress is rather resistant to drought and doesn’t need much water to thrive.

This is especially the case after the first season when the plant has already developed its roots and matured.

So, having it grow in soil that is too moist and with poor drainage is likely to cause some issues.

Typically, your plant won’t require more than a moderate amount of watering once a week or even less frequently, depending on the climate in your area.

Otherwise, the soil may become too damp and cause the root to rot.

As the root system won’t be able to function properly, the plant won’t absorb enough nutrients and oxygen, causing leaves to turn brown over time.

As soon as you notice these signs, you should cut down on watering.

If the root has already started to rot, you should replant the cypress in new soil with better drainage.


Your Carolina sapphire cypress may also experience some issues if you leave it without water for too long.

When left dry for a longer period, the tree will become weak, while the leaves will start to wilt, turn crispy, and change their color into brown before eventually falling off.

If this goes on for too long, the whole plant may die. So, make sure to regularly check the soil, and add water if the top few inches are completely dry.

Leaf Burn

Leaf burn is another common cause of Carolina sapphire cypress turning brown.

This happens when the plant is overexposed to sunlight or warm winds, especially in areas with hot and dry climate conditions.

When exposed to direct sunlight for too long, the foliage of Carolina sapphire cypress will start to dry out and change its color to brown.

To prevent this from happening, make sure that your plant is kept away from direct sunlight, preferably in a shady spot.

Also, as soon as you notice that the leaves are turning brown, increase the watering amount and frequency as that will help the tree fight off the extreme heat.

Additionally, leaf burn may be a result of overfertilizing or using particularly strong pesticides or insecticides.

Pest Infestations

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Your plant can also turn brown due to pest infestation.

Carolina sapphire cypress is a target for several types of pests, including spider mites, scale insects, and aphids.

Most of them feed on the sap from the leaves, sucking it out and causing foliage to dry out and turn brown.

There are various ways to deal with these pests and the sooner you do it the better.

In some cases, while the infestation is still not too advanced, you can simply remove them by hand or by spraying the plant with a hose.

You can also spray the leaves with neem oil or use insecticidal soap.

Fungal Infections

The Carolina sapphire cypress leaves may also turn brown due to various fungal diseases. This is a fairly common issue with these plants and is typically caused by fungus from the soil.

Soil that is too wet is a perfect breeding ground for various fungi species and increases the risk of your plant getting infected.

These infections can be very dangerous as they attack the root system, trunk, and leaves.

Most of these diseases, such as powdery mildew or leaf spot, are very difficult to treat so you should work hard on prevention.

This includes regularly cleaning the area around the cypress tree, making sure there’s no debris around the base of the plant, and that the soil has good drainage so it doesn’t get too moist.

Plus, always water the plant from the base, instead of from above to ensure that the leaves don’t get wet.


Carolina sapphire cypress is commonly the pride of every garden or yard.

However, to keep them that way, you should take good care of them and look to prevent the issues that can cause problems, such as leaves turning brown.

Usually, it will take nothing more than slight adjustments to your care routine.

If the leaves have already turned brown, they won’t grow back, so make sure to remove them and make room for new healthy growth.

Whatever may be causing this, a quick reaction will always save you a lot of trouble, so make sure to regularly monitor your cypress and act as soon as you notice that there’s anything wrong.

Melissa Johnson
Melissa Johnson

Hello, I'm Melissa, owner and author of this website. I hope my article was able to help answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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