Juniper Turning Yellow? – 3 Major Reasons & Solutions

Junipers are very beautiful. So, seeing them turn yellow is no doubt very frustrating. However, staying put won’t solve the problem. 

Therefore, you’ve to start finding out why is your juniper turning yellow?

Well, your juniper can turn yellow mainly because of three factors. Firstly, yellowing can occur because of nutrient deficiency. Then pests such as spider mites, and scales play a big role in turning the plant yellow. Lastly, the yellowing of juniper can take place because of the fungal disease named root rot.

Now, this is just the trailer of our piece. To treat the yellow juniper effectively, we hope you’ll go through our insights. Because we’ve mentioned the possible cures for every cause.

photo of Juniper berries
Photo by Martingraf

3 Reasons & Solutions on Juniper Turning Yellow

It’s important for a gardener to know the actual reason why their plants are suffering. Otherwise, it gets tough for them to help the poor plants. 

So, on that note, we wanted to make you aware of the possible factors behind the yellowing of your juniper. And to ease your pain a bit more, we’ve also discussed how you can save your juniper plant.

Therefore, let’s get into the details-

Reason 1 of 3: Nutrient Deficiency in the Soil

If you don’t take care of junipers properly, they’ll start starving for nutrients. Now there are 2 types of nutrients- 

  • The macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc.
  • The micronutrients: iron, boron, manganese, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. 

How would you know which nutrient your plant is lacking?

It’s very simple. You just need to note down the place of the yellowing. For you, we’ve simplified the identification process-

Nutrient Place of yellowing 
Magnesium, nitrogen, or potassiumThe lower half of the juniper foliage
Sulfur The upper half of the juniper foliage
IronThe entire juniper
Manganese or zincThe top part of the juniper

Still, you need to be extra sure. For that, you can do a soil test. And that’s why we’ve recommended some soil test kits below-

Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit 
Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips Kit 

You can also take your soil to a soil lab to test it. After identifying which nutrient is lacking, you can move on to the cure. 


Well, the solution for nutrient deficiency is pretty simple. You only have to use a good fertilizer to resolve the deficiency. 

Let’s say, your soil is lacking iron. To bring back the proper level of iron, you can use chelated iron.  Or if your soil is lacking magnesium, you can add magnesium sulfate to the soil. 

Now, we’ve also suggested the juniper fertilizer according to other nutrients such as nitrogen, zinc, potassium, and sulfur-

Nitrogen fertilizerEasy Peasy Urea Fertilizer
Zinc fertilizer Cesco Solutions Zinc Sulfate Fertilizer Powder
Potassium fertilizerEasy Peasy Plants All-Natural Muriate of Potash Granules
Sulfur fertilizer Jobe’s Organics 9364 Fertilizer

So, just add the right fertilizer and hopefully, the yellowing will stop. 

Reason 2 of 3: Pests Attacking the Plant

Now gardeners can often come across pests if they aren’t careful enough. These pesky creatures can be the cause of why your juniper is turning yellow too.

Let’s start with spider mites, shall we? 

Well, spider mites are tiny but they can cause a lot of damage to your plant. They feed on your juniper foliage and leave yellow spots behind. 

After spider mites, scales come into the picture. They are tiny in size as well. These creatures suck the sap from the needles of your juniper. And this causes the foliage of the juniper to turn yellow. 

So, how to get rid of these insects?


Now, if you’ve found these insects on your juniper, you need to immediately take proper action.

You can do these two things-

  • Kill spider mites by spraying spinosad pesticide or any other good pesticide. 
  • Remove scales by rubbing or spraying alcohol or a good insecticide on them.

So, don’t worry at all, my friend. Just follow the instruction on the label of the insecticide and you’re all good!

Reason 3 of 3: Root Rot Damaging the Nutrition Absorption Process

If you didn’t know, root rot is a fungal disease that can damage the root of your plant. This disease is caused by phytophthora or armillaria. This fungal disease takes place if the soil of your plant stays wet for too long.

Yes, both underwatering and overwatering can be equally deadly.

Now, if your juniper gets infected with this disease then at first the root of the plant will rot. Next, juniper root rot will lead to the plant’s foliage to turn yellow and wilt. Lastly, the plant will also stop growing. 


When it comes to fungal diseases, there aren’t any effective cures other than using a good fungicide.

However, we can give you some tips to prevent this disease from occurring. As overwatering and wet soil promote it, you can follow these two tips-

  • You’ve to water every 2-3 days a week.
  • You need to plant juniper in well-drained and compost soil. 

If you go by these tips, your next juniper won’t fall prey to this fungal disease.


Question: Why is my juniper bonsai turning yellow?

Answer: Well, the tree can turn yellow because of mineral or nutrient deficiency. Especially, if the soil doesn’t have some of the specific micro or macronutrients. The nutrients involve iron, nitrogen, sulfur, etc. 

Question: Why is my newly planted juniper turning yellow?

Answer: Yes, your newly planted juniper can turn yellow too. And that can occur because of overwatering or the soil not being well-drained. Overwatering and wet soil can damage the juniper roots. Thus the yellowing takes place. 

Question: Can I water my junipers daily?

Answer: Nope, you can’t water the plant daily. Yes, junipers love water but watering every day can weaken the plant. So, just water your junipers twice or thrice a week.


That’s all on juniper turning yellow. We hope you understood where you went wrong and how to fix it.

So, what was the cause behind the yellowing?

Do let us know by leaving a comment down below. Good luck, dear plant lovers!

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Celina Nance

It’s been a life-long wish of Celina Nance to have a lawn full of colorful flower beds. But living in Arizona city, that seems kind of impossible. But Celina Nance didn’t stop and created a full-form balcony garden instead. And she often shares stuff that she does/solves/innovates throughout the journey.

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