A. Make sure this problem is from spider mites and not watering too often. Italian cypress are Mediterranean plants that should be watered after the soil begins drying. Otherwise frequent irrigations rot the roots and causes problems similar to what you are describing.
|Spider mites in Italian cypress happen during the hot summer months, not the cooler times of year. Often upon close inspection the branches have a "dusty" appearance.|
It would be a shame to apply pesticides when they aren’t needed. Pesticides are sometimes needed but applying pesticides, whether they are needed or not, always creates other problems. Sometimes the problems they create can be worse than the problem they solve.
|Spider mites in Italian cypress usually have webbing that can be seen in the brown area. This is not true of all mite damage to plants.|
Spider mites are always present on plants during the heat of the summer. They are controlled naturally and kept in check by many different predatory insects including “good” or predatory mites.
If you apply a pesticide to control mites, it kills the “good mites” as well as the bad ones. Once that happens, the bad my population can “blossom” back into a big problem and then it’s a vicious cycle between control and pesticide applications.
|Webbing can be seen with spider mite damage on Italian cypress|
Most bad spider mites are “web spinners”; in other words, you should see webbing amongst the branches as well as a “dusty appearance” on the foliage if bad guys are active. This webbing is not true of all damage by mites. Some mites are not “web spinners”. “This dusty appearance can be from wind-blown dust but it can also be from large numbers of dead mites.
The presence of wind-blown dust on the foliage can encourage spider mite problems. The dust interferes with “hunting” by predatory insects. Hose off Italian cypress after dusty winds and once a month during the heat of the summer. Let them hunt.
Use a hand magnifying glass and look for eggs in the dust. Eggs are extremely small but round and translucent under a lens. Once mites are a problem, you will see lots of their eggs amongst the dust.
Use a white paper test. Take a plain piece of white paper and “slap” a living but dusty branch against it 2 or 3 times. Hold the paper still in the sunlight and look for tiny specks the size of this period (.) to crawl around. These are mites.Browning of the leaves, webbing, a dusty appearance, round translucent eggs and little dots crawling around on a white piece of paper are clear indicators you have spider mite problems that need to be controlled.