Why Italian Cypress Not Growing Straight? [Causes & Remedy]

If you face the problem of Italian cypress not going straight, it may occur due to sunlight issues, watering problems, fertilizer requirements, pruning and shearing, root rot, pests and diseases.

Italian cypress may grow 70 ft long and around 10-20 ft wide. But to make the shape of this plant perfect, you need to keep it in such a place where it can get all the necessary things it needs for its development. 

If you are searching for such a solution, then you are welcome in this place. Detailed information on those causes and their solutions is easily described below. For your convenience, I want to list them shortly in the following table-

Sunlight issuesProvide bright sunlight for 6-8 hours
Watering problemWater your plant when the soil is dry
Fertilizer requirement Apply liquid fertilizers in the early spring 
Root rot Avoid overwatering your plant
Pruning and shearingCut down the foliage part both in the apex and side branches at a specific measurement 
PestsUse insecticides or homemade recipes 
DiseasesRemove the affected parts and use bactericides or nematocides

Why is the Italian Cypress Not Growing Straight? – 7 Causes With Solutions

Floppy Italian Cypress

1. Sunlight Issues

At the top of the list, I want to introduce you to sunlight issues. Climatic factors mostly regulate the development phases of an Italian cypress plant. If you can’t provide enough sunlight according to the necessity of the Italian cypress plant, the top portion cannot grow perfectly in its way.

Again, shady conditions may create stunt the growth of the plant. Thus, some portions may go in a fixed way along with curved growth in the other portions which will demolish the straight shape of the plant.

Control Measure

Italian cypress is mainly a sun-loving plant. It needs bright and direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day. The morning sunlight is better for their food production and other activities.

But the afternoon sunlight directly hits the leaf pigments and burns out the leaves. So keep your plant in such a place where it may not face direct sunlight in the afternoon.

2. Watering Problem

After that, I will discuss the watering problem. It became a great problem for me when I was a new gardener. At that time I learned that only watering much cannot keep your plant undisturbed. 

Watering keeps the plant cool and supplies humidity. But this has a certain range. If you water more than necessary, the extra water will remain in the plant root zone. Thus fungal growth will be initiated there and won’t let the plant grow straight.

Control Measure

The first way to save your plant is to stop watering your plant daily. As it is a hardy plant, it cannot withstand too much water. Pinch your finger inside the plant soil and check if it is dry or not. You should water in case of dryness with your watering hose or any other equipment.

3. Fertilizer Requirement

Following that, the problem that may hinder your plant from getting straight is its fertilization procedure. It doesn’t need an excessive amount of fertilizers. Too much fertilizer makes the leaves burn and brown.

After the leaves get brown, the stems start to wilt and finally, their straight shape is devastated. Again, a lack of fertilizers may also hamper the growth and development of an Italian cypress plant. 

Control Measure

Firstly, you should use fertilizer on your plant once a year. Try to apply fertilizers in the early spring. (our pick: Scotts Evergreen Flowering Tree & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food)

As the mentioned fertilizers are slow-releasing, they will perfectly manage the nutrient status of your plant. Again, you can use organic humus like cow dung and mustard oil cake.

4. Pruning and Shearing

Pruning means the cutting top portions of the plant. This practice facilitates the perfect and straight growth of the plant. Shearing is mainly cutting the side branches of the plant. This is almost the same procedure as pruning.

If you don’t cut the branching in the apex portions as well as the side portions, there will be irregular growth of the plant. Such growth won’t take a perfect triangular and straight shape.

Control Measure

Cut at least 15 cm of the branches on both sides. You can increase the amount of branching as your necessity. Use a disinfectant knife or shear for this purpose. You can soak the knife or pruning shear in rubbing alcohol to make it disease-free.

5. Root Rot

Next, let’s know about root rot. My first Italian cypress plant was destroyed due to a root problem. Root rot means the destruction of the root zone due to fungal or microbial attack or overwatering. 

The excessive water in the root zone starts to destroy the root. The growth of fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, etc. is facilitated in the overwatered areas.

Control Measure

Water your plant as a necessity. Don’t water much if it cannot tolerate it. If needed, you can check the humidity level in the soil by using a moisture meter. Or check the water level remaining in the soil and then water your plant. 

6. Pests

Pest attack is one of the common issues of Italian cypress plants not growing straight. 

  • Spider mite 
  • Red bug
  • Aphid
  • Mealybug 

As these bugs have chewing-type mouthparts. They eat the leaves and destroy the form of the plant. Most importantly, they eat the young leaves as they are soft and easy to eat. Now, let’s have ideas on how to remove pests from your Italian cypress plant. 

Control Measure

You can try to remove the insects by hand-picking if they are small in number. Small insects are sometimes washed through a heavy stream of water. 

Next, you can try industrial insecticides or homemade recipes. Well, if you want a fast solution and the chemical is available to you or if the pest attack is extremely enhanced, you may use industrial insecticides like (Our pick: Monterey LG 6145 70% Neem Oil Ready-To-Spray Insecticide, Miticide, & Fungicide). 

Otherwise, you can also apply homemade solutions. I am suggesting some of the recipes here for your convenience that I applied in my plant-

  • Recipe 1: Baking soda solution 

Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 gallon of water and stir perfectly. Apply it near the root zone of the plant. 

  • Recipe 2: Neem oil 

Here you will need 1 tablespoon of concentrated neem oil, ¼ tablespoon of aloe vera powder, ½ teaspoon of liquid soap, and a few drops of oil. Mix them properly in the water and use them in the root zone of the plant soil.

7. Diseases

Disease attack is related to pest attack. Pests create wounds in the plant body and different fungi, nematodes, viruses, and bacteria enter through those wounds. Such diseases are- 

  • Cypress canker or seiridium canker 
  • Twig blight

The diseases of Italian cypress plants are mainly caused by fungi. Let’s get some ideas of possible remedies for these diseases.

Control Measure

The first thing you can do is to remove the affected parts so that the diseases cannot spread to entire areas. After that, you can use industrial bactericide or other homemade recipes that I have explained in the pests zone.

Can Lose Branches Be Straight Again?

It depends on the problem of your plant. If the branches are totally leaned or haven’t grown up properly due to several reasons, they won’t get straight again. The better solution is to remove them in this case to maintain the shape of the plant.

But if the branches are just starting to lean due to overwatering, you can save them by applying proper control measures. Maybe they will get their straight look resembling other healthy branches.

How To Make The Italian Cypress Branches Straight?


Cut off the branches as I described earlier. You can complete the pruning procedure with shears or knives or any other equipment that is available to you. But make sure that you have cut off only the unwanted excess branches. It should not affect the main flow of plant growth.

Binding the Branches

You can bind the branches together in the top portion so that they cannot become loose or lean outside from the slender and narrow shape of the cypress plant. Simply use a rope or other binding equipment which is available and comfortable for you.

Straight Varieties

Some varieties of Italian cypress plants are less floppy in nature. “Tiny Tower” and “Stricta” are one of them. You can plant these varieties in your house. They won’t bother you much by creating such a hassle. 

Caring Guide For Italian Cypress Plant

Italian Cypress Trimming

Sunlight Bright direct sunlight for 6-8 hours
Watering Water when it is needed
Climate The hot and dry climate of the Mediterranean region 
SoilWell-drained, sandy loam and fertile
Proper time for plantingFall
Temperature 65 to 70°F
Humidity Moderate temperature 

Final Thoughts

So, I guess, I need to say goodbye now. Meanwhile, I have tried to focus on all of the causes that may create Italian cypress not to grow straight.  

When I brought this plant into my house for the first time, I made some mistakes that led to the destruction and even death of the plant. That’s why I have mentioned the solutions which I applied to my plants to sort out those problems.

If you can relate any problem mentioned here to your plant, you can pick the solution and apply it to your plant. Hopefully, you will get a better appearance of your cypress plant.

Happy Gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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