The attached file is a montage of photos of a Mahonia shrub I have, which...

Asked May 16, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

The attached file is a montage of photos of a Mahonia shrub I have, which plant is displaying leaves of three different colors, has inflorescences, and is apparently healthy, having thrived in its present location since 2001. However, there are puny-looking, yellowish-green leaves apparent this year. What's possibly wrong with my plant? Are the discolored leaves "normal" dieback, or do they indicate a mineral or "nutritional" deficiency? To the best of my knowledge, this plant is a Mahonia japonica, but it was given me as a gift by a neighboring gardener (now deceased), so I cannot assure you that the genus and species are correct. I'll be grateful for any information you can supply about the state of health of and the possible prognosis for my Mahonia. Best wishes and thank you.

Montgomery County Maryland shrubs mahonia winter burn

1 Response

Your mahonia is suffering from winter burn, a common malady this year for many (if not most) broad-leaved evergreen shrubs. Many of the brown leaves will fall off and you may choose to prune out some of the burned foliage, but given a light fertilization and supplemental water during dry periods, the shrub should recover.
LS