Cryptomeria Globosa Nana Turning Brown? [7 Causes & Solution]

Cryptomeria globosa nana or Japanese cedar is known for its eye-catching spiny foliage with a beautiful bushy appearance. Though this evergreen shrub native to Japan and Southern China needs a little care to grow, cryptomeria can face problems in growth due to adverse climate and other factors.

In this article, I’ll try to highlight one of such issues – the browning of cryptomeria globosa nana. Before that let’s take a look what can be the possible reasons behind this.

Improper watering, problematic soil, winter windburn, extremely hot weather, pests, blight, and fertilizer burns can be marked.

So, if you are dealing with the same keep going through the article. Hope you will find it useful. Now let’s start without further ado.

Cryptomeria Globosa Nana Browning [Troubleshooting]

Green Cryptomeria Globosa Nana

1. Improper Watering

Both excess or lack of water can cause your cryptomeria globosa nana to turn brown. If initial symptoms appear as leaf yellowing, it can indicate there is too much water in your soil. On the other hand, browned out cryptomeria is a clear sign that your plant is thriving for some water.

Control Measure

Sufficient water must be provided to the root zone to deal with such a problem. You must get some idea about when and how much to water your cryptomeria.

Generally, these plants don’t require too much watering all the time. Once established in the first six or nine months of planting, you just need to check the soils near your plant base.

In drought conditions, cryptomeria tends to turn brown in the center. Drenching your plant base with an adequate amount of water can solve this over time. It is advised to keep the soil moist to approximately a depth of 2 to 3 centimeters during the first growing season.

However, after a year of planting, watering once every two or three weeks in summer without rain is considered to be enough. If still your cryptomeria is turning brown in summer just add water anytime needed.

To combat water stagnant conditions around plant surroundings, you may need to raise your garden beds. You can also shift your cryptomeria in a pot according to its size for better care.

2. Problematic Soil

Soil has a deep connection to overall plant health. Problematic soils can restrict proper water and nutrient uptake causing the browning of plants.

Cryptomeria grows well in fertile and well-drained soil with a lower pH. Normally acidic to neutral soil with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0 is suitable.

Brown spots, dark green leaves tinged with bronzy appearance, and gradual browning in cryptomeria are clear signs that there are some problems in your soil. These may eventually kill your whole plant.

So, to save your cryptomeria from dying, some measures must be taken that will deal with these soil issues.

Control Measure

Adding organic manure or peat moss can increase the moisture contain capacity in your soil. This will slow down the process of runoff for some time making the water easily available in the root zone.

In pots soils, you can mix 50% clay and 50% pine barks as potting media in case of clay soil.

To reduce the soil pH, you can add elemental sulfur. Some sulfur-based fertilizers can also help you in this. (Our Pick: Jobe’s Organics Soil Additive, Soil Acidifier)

Home Remedy

Did you know you can balance the pH of your soil with some home remedies? Well, keep reading for an easy and quick fix to your alkaline soil for planting cryptomeria.

#Recipe – Coffee ground


  • Used coffee grounds
  • Freshwater


  • Wet your coffee grounds with some freshwater
  • Apply this to the surrounding soil of your cryptomeria

3. Winter Windburn

Cryptomerias are prone to winter windburn as the needles tend to lose water through evaporation. Cold sweeping winds can easily damage this shrub by drawing out moisture from stems and leaves.

Browning at the leaf blade and needle tips are the common symptoms of windburn. As the condition worsens, your cryptomeria may turn brown all over during winter.

Normally cryptomeria foliage tends to turn brown during winter due to its normal physiology. However, if symptoms proceed with drying out and shedding of leaves, you must not ignore the signs.

Control Measure

To protect your cryptomeria from winter winds some practices can help effectively. Keep reading to know more.

A shrub shelter or snow frame can save your plant during cold weather. Make sure to prepare one from biodegradable materials.

Tree wraps are also effective. These are easy to protect particular plant parts. You can cover your heavy stems with such wraps. (Our Pick: Agfabric Warm Worth Frost Blanket)

4. Extremely Hot Temperature

Excessive hot and cold weather has always been a problem for garden shrubs. Cryptomeria foliage can easily be burnt out during hot weather.

Mostly shedding of needle leaves with a crispy burnt appearance is the indication that your plant needs some protection from the scorching sunlight.

Control Measure

Avoiding direct sun can be easy for pot-planted ones. You can do so only before transplanting cryptomeria. So, if you are living in an extremely hot and humid climate it’s better to choose a place where partial sunlight is available.

Cryptomeria is okay with half-day sun exposure. So, if you are living in a region with extended day length along with a severe hot climate, it’s better to provide some kind of artificial shedding to your plant.

Another effective method to deal with such conditions is the use of mulches. This will keep the soil moist and your plant will get some relief.

5. Cryptomeria Blight

Blight is a common problem in cryptomeria. It’s a pathogenic disorder caused by a specific cryptomeria fungus, namely Pestalotiopsis funerea.

You can trace such an attack by observing initial yellowing from the tip to downwards of your cryptomeria plant. Yellow spots may also appear at the new shoots. After that, you may notice that these yellow portions are turning brown to form blight. Mostly the lower and older leaves are prone to such damage.

Control Measure

Proper treatment for cryptomeria blight is very much necessary as it can eventually kill your plant over time. So if you are thinking about how can cryptomeria blight be treated here is some suggestions that might help.

First of all, you may need to focus on some cultural practices. In the initial stage, pruning is the cheapest and easiest method to try. You can cut off the blighted leaves and twigs as soon as the disease appears.

An important caution to mention here- you should keep in mind that blight can spread through the pruned-out cuts. So choose dry weather to practice such a method. Also, avoid overhead watering until the cuts heal.

Don’t forget to disinfect your pruning tools after removing affected plant parts. You can use some bleach or ethanol for such purposes.

To avoid prolonged wetting of leaves during disease infestation, you can follow a morning watering schedule for your cryptomeria. This will allow drying out the foliage surface before evening.

Last but not the least, if the infestation is severe you may need to go for some fungicides to control blight. Here is one you can use safely. (Our Pick: Bonide Mancozeb Flowable w/ Zinc Concentrate)

Home Remedy

#Recipe: Garden Blight Treater


  • 4 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons of Epsom salts
  • 4 tablespoons of bleach-free liquid soap
  • 150 ml of rubbing alcohol
  • 15 liter of water


  • Mix the ingredients with the water to form a concoction.
  • Transfer this to a garden sprayer and spray once in every 10 days until the disease appears to be reduced. 

Preventive Measure

Some precautions and management can successfully prevent cryptomeria blight to a great extent. Just take a look here.

Plant your cryptomeria in a place where there is enough air circulation, facing toward some good source of sunlight. Ensure regular pruning to maintain your bush. This will eliminate the chances of fungal growth.

Maintain proper irrigation methods. Don’t let water to sit on your foliage for too long even though there is no incidence of fungal attack.

6. Pest Attack

Cryptomeria pests and diseases can damage your whole plant along with the spiny foliage at an earlier stage of growth. Spider mites and scale insects are the common insect pests of this plant.

These are minute to see on the plant. So, you have to look for symptoms to trace these insects. Chlorotic damage or yellowing of needles is the most prominent symptom of insect attack. This will gradually turn brown and needles may drop off.

So, to save your plant, you need to take some measures immediately after the symptoms arise.

Control Measure

Most of the time sweeping or water splashes are effective at the initial stage of an insect attack. But it may not work when there is a high infestation.

In that case spraying of soapy water with some neem oil really works. You can purchase a concentration of 2% neem oil.

If all these methods backfire, you simply might go for an insecticide. Here is one that can be safe for your cryptomeria. (Our Pick: BioAdvanced Insect, Disease & Mite Control)

Home Remedies

#Recipe 1:  Herbal Water Solution


  • Sage, thyme, basil, and rosemary leaves.
  • 10 liters of water.


  • Crush all the herbs together in a bucket.
  • Add water to submerge the mixture.
  • Keep this overnight and after straining the liquid spray it to your plant with the help of a garden sprayer.

#Recipe 2: Canola Oil Mixture

Ingredients needed

  • 5 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Ivory soap
  • 5 liters of water

Steps to follow

  • Mix oil and soap together and add water to this
  • Transfer this to a garden sprayer and spray it on your bushes

7. Fertilizer Burn

Extra doses of any kind of fertilizers can form a salt layer on the soil surface. It’s quite hard for shrubs to uptake water from the soil in such conditions. This has a direct impact on plants, most prominently by burning out the tips with brown areas.

Cryptomeria or Japanese cedar brown tips are a common symptom of this kind of fertilizer burn. So, if you notice any of such issues, check your fertilizer schedule and soil conditions as soon as possible.

Control Measure

Holly-tone is considered to be a good fertilizer for cryptomerias. You can easily find these in your nearby nurseries.

If you already have a salty crust on your soil, first of all, remove this from the surface. Then water adequately to leach out the extra salts in the soil.


How to prune cryptomeria globosa nana?

Pruning can provide a good shape and air circulation to your cryptos which can also protect the plant from pests and diseases.

However, pruning is not that much needed. But if you have dead and damaged branches in your cryptomeria you can remove the unwanted parts.

Pruning is better to be practiced from mid-spring to summer with proper management. It’s advised to avoid pruning during winter.

Can you cut back cryptomeria?

Yes, you can. If you are looking for some new sprouts to give your plant a unique bushy appearance you can definitely cut some branches. Pinching off or pruning can help you in this.

How can you save cryptomeria?

Proper care and regular monitoring can save your cryptomeria from diseases and further damage. Timely pruning helps in the proper growth of this plant. Also, keep checking the water and nutrients needs.

So, don’t look upon these facts to save your beauties from any damage.


Hopefully, I have been able to provide you with proper guidelines to protect your cryptomerias from browning. Actually, all these managements are not that tricky, right?

So what are you waiting for? Just keep checking your plant needs and don’t forget to look for pests and diseases. As you know the first growing period is quite sensitive, take some extra care at that time.

I promise you won’t regret these extra sweats! Keep us updated about your cryptos and don’t hesitate to ask about any problems related to your plants. Happy growing.

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