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We Have Holly Plants That Are Beautiful. They Had Beautiful…

Pat Asked

We have holly plants that are beautiful. They had beautiful berries. After four years and after this winter season in the NW, our holly bushes on the north-east side of the house are looking brown, dry, and have dark berries. We have had a very bad winter. They are in clay. We have good growth right now on the bottom of the bushes. What can we do to help these holly bushes survive?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Pat: Thank you for your question concerning your hollies. If your evergreens were healthy up until now I suspect it is just winter damage. Mother Nature was pretty tough on our gardens this past winter. The foliage that is brown should be removed if it has not already dropped. It unfortunately will not survive. Once evergreens dry up and turn brown it is sometimes too late to help them out. The good news is that if your hollies were healthy before winter arrived they should put on new growth and recover from the stressful winter weather. These evergreens are fine planted in clay as long as it drains well. It sounds like they are already putting on some new growth so make sure that they have sufficient water and if you have not already done so now is a good time of year to fertilize. Holly-tone made by Espoma is an organic fertilizer for acid-loving plants. Be careful not to over-fertilize since this can potentially burn the plants. They are stressed so give them time to recover and be sure to remove all dead foliage on the plant as well as around the hollies. Since they are planted on the north-east side of the house lack of sunlight could also be a potential problem.

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