European Cypress Tree Drying out? (Causes & Fixes)

So, your European Cypress Tree is drying out and dying?

Don’t worry. No matter if you keep it at home or outdoors, in this article, you will find out the reasons behind the poor appearance of your tree.

What are the Reasons Your European Cypress Tree is Drying out?

Your European Cypress Tree might be drying out, because of many reasons, but the most popular ones are not enough sunlight, inadequate watering, or diseases.

There are 4 main reasons why your European Cypress is wilting, drying, or its leaves are turning yellow.

It might probably have not enough sunlight, especially if it’s kept indoors. However, too much, or too little water can also cause this problem. It’s also possible, that the tree is experiencing some diseases, like canker, or phytophthora root and crown disease. Or maybe the soil is poor?

How do you recognize and treat these problems?

Keep on reading to rejuvenate your European Cypress Tree.

Not Enough Sunlight

The European Cypress Tree is native to Persia, Turkey, and Italy. It thrives in these areas of the world because it receives plenty of sunlight. Lots of people use this tree as a Christmas Tree at home, or in a place in the yard, or on the balcony where it doesn’t receive the proper amount of sunlight.

The European Cypress Tree requires at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight per day. That means that if you keep this tree at home, it should be displayed near a north-, east- or west-facing window that is bright, not necessarily sunny. If you keep it in your yard, make sure that no other tree or shrub keep the Cypress in shade.

Keeping a Cypress Tree at home might not always ensure adequate access to the light. You should either move it near the window or take it outdoors where it can get plenty of sunlight and good air circulation. 

As a result of not enough sunlight, the European Cypress leaves are drying out. Therefore, changing its location, or pruning plants that block the sunlight should help you revive the tree, as long as not the whole plant is dried out.

Inadequate Watering

European Cypress Tree naturally grows in hot places, where rainfalls aren’t that often, which could indicate that this tree doesn’t need a lot of water to thrive.

However, it prefers to grow near springs, on lake banks, in swamps, or in bodies of water that flow at a slow to moderate rate. Hence, it has some watering needs.

If the European Cypress Tree doesn’t get enough water, it might show signs of drought stress, like leaves browning, drying out, and dying.

Therefore, you should water the European Cypress Tree cypress at least 3 inches deep (7,5 cm), at least three times a week, when it’s young. Reduce the watering frequency as the roots become established, usually after about three weeks. 

You should constantly inspect the soil to make sure it is neither too dry nor too wet. If the soil is drying too quickly, you can consider applying a layer of mulch over the soil to help retain moisture.

If the tree is drying out, it might also happen because of overwatering. If you constantly let the tree sit in the puddle, it might ultimately cause root rot. A rotten root will not distribute the water to the leaves, and the whole tree might die if the rot is advanced.

To avoid that, always be cautious, and don’t water the plant too deeply, and too frequently (no more than 4 times per week).


The European Cypress is susceptible to diseases, especially if you keep it at home and it has the wrong air circulation, or you water it too much, or too little. There are 2 common diseases that the European Cypress might experience.


If the bark of the tree is cracked, even slightly, it’s a good environment for canker development. It’s a fungus that is attacking leaves, and bark. Over time, you will see the yellow, or reddish-brown leaves that appear in the middle of normal green branches.

You can spot this fungus by inspection of the base of a branch, which will reveal slightly sunken, reddish cankers with profusely exuding resin.

Fungicides aren’t effective in this case, so the best thing that you can do is to get rid of the infected branches and dispose of them properly to prevent the spread of the disease.

Sterilize the blades after each cut with a 10 percent bleach or 70 percent alcohol solution to prevent fungus spread. If not treated properly, the fungus might eventually kill the whole tree.

Phytophthora root and crown disease

If the soil around the European Cypress Tree remains wet for too long, and the irrigation is improper, it’s a good environment to develop phytophthora root and crown disease. The symptoms of this disease include wilting and dull green, yellow, red, or purplish leaves.

To prevent this disease, provide the proper irrigation. However, to fix that, remove infected branches, and apply a fungicide, like this one on Amazon.

Soil Quality

The dying European Cypress Tree might also be the sign of the wrong soil. This tree thrives in rich, acidic, moist, but well-drained soil, with a pH of 5.5-6.0.

If the soil is poorly drained, waterlogged, and with the wrong pH, it’s the best environment for the poor appearance of the tree, and the development of fungi, and diseases.

If the affected tree is young, transfer it to fresh, well-draining soil. If it’s already mature and the soil is poor, you can add organic matter. Raised mulch beds are also a great way of improving the soil structure and conserving moisture. Compost manure may be added to fertilize the soil.

Proper Conditions for a Healthy European Cypress Tree: in a Nutshell

If you want to avoid your European Cypress Tree to dry out in the future, stick to these rules.

  • Provide bright, consistent light, at least 8 hours per day.
  • Water moderately so that the soil remains damp, not soggy. 
  • The tree prefers temperatures between 60-77 °F (15-25 °C).
  • The humidity should be about 40% – 60%.