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Why Are The Balls On My Holly Trees And Nandina…

Joyce Asked

Why are the balls on my holly trees and nandina falling off soon after forming?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Joyce in Virginia: What does the overall health of your holly and nandina look like? Is the foliage green and lush or is it yellowing? Are these established plantings or new additions to the garden? Since this is happening to two different plant species in your garden, the only logical explanation is that they are reacting to environmental conditions. Extreme moisture can cause premature berry drop but so can the other extreme. Does the space drain well or did you have an extremely hot and/or dry growing season? Poor pollination during the spring months is another possibility. Each growing season is different in terms of temperature and moisture. If your plants look healthy otherwise there is not much reason for concern. You may not be able to enjoy the berries this winter but this should not be an annual occurrence. If the holly and nandina are not thriving, then you might need to consider relocating them to a space where they will receive six or more hours of direct light. The nandina is more tolerant of part sun but both require well-drained soil.

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