We have three medium-sized holly bushes in containers on our patio. We were...

Asked September 26, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

We have three medium-sized holly bushes in containers on our patio. We were out of town for most of the month of August, which was particularly dry. We did not schedule regular enough waterings by our housesitter, and the bushes are really suffering. At least 75% of one tree’s leaves are brown, though they are still on the tree. None of the branches are brittle and still look green, but they do all look pretty sad. Since the bushes serve as privacy barriers in our condo, we need to replace them soon if they are indeed dead. How do we know if any of the bushes are so far gone that they should be replaced?

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

If the branches are still pliable, and if you scratch one with your fingernail and see green tissue beneath, it may come back. Start at the branch tips and work your way in towards the main leader branch. This new re-growth, if possible, will not push out until next spring, so it probably won't act as a privacy barrier for while.
cm