Mugo Pine Losing Needles

Filed Under: Shrubs, Watering · Keywords: Mugo, Pine, Losing, Needles · 1501 Views
I received an outdoor dwarf mugo pine "Mops" as a gift in the mail. It was healthy, green & soft upon arrival, however after 3 wks., it has turned into a crispy tree with dry yellow needles that are falling off. The ends are bent downwards & it looks fried. I was watering twice a day & then started to mist. I stopped watering to every other day and just don't know what else to do to save it. Any ideas? Thank you for your attention in this matter.


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Answer #1 · John Heider's Answer · Lisa-The mugo pine is a fairly easy plant to grow, but can be killed easily and quickly by to much care. By this I mean it does well on its own without much water or fertilization.

If the pine arrived green and lush looking I am assuming at this time mites or other pests and diseases are not the problem. I'm also assuming it is still in its original container. Mugo pines do not transplant well in the spring and can go into shock. They seem to do better when trasplanted in the summer months like July and August.

I have many mugo pines in the ground and in containers. I have found the quickest way to kill a mugo is to water it to often. They will grow in most soils, but definitely require a well draining soil. They do not like a lot of water, moist is OK, but wet is a killer. Your watering twice every day I believe may be the problem. If the plant is still in a container and is sitting in a tray make sure the tray is emptied after watering. It is best to let the soil dry out somewhat between waterings. My mugos in containers during the hot summer get two waterings a week. Those in the ground get a good soaking every couple of weeks as an example. This pine also needs plenty of direct sunlight. Mine do well in all day sun or at least 4 to 6 hours of morning or afternoon sun. Too much shade will also brown and dry out the foliage.

You hadn't mentioned fertilization so i'm assuming you haven't done so yet. Mugos require very little fertilization and when ferilized it needs to be done with a good organic slow release fertilizer a few times a year at half strength. The shallow surface roots can burn easily and cause the plant to look as yours does now.

At this time I believe with the right light and the holding back on the water it will come back to life.

Please let me know how this works out for your tree.
John)



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