A few of our shrubs look dead with only a small amount of new growth....

Asked May 28, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT

A few of our shrubs look dead with only a small amount of new growth. Specifically our hibiscus--mostly brown/dead looking branches with new growth at very bottom. Also our butterfly bushes, which I would really like to come back as they attract so many butterflies in late summer. What's the best way to deal with this and improve their chances of coming back? I'm guessing this occurred due to the cold winter we had. Thanks!

Baltimore County Maryland hibiscus shrubs butterfly bush

1 Response

Many plants on the East coast were killed or damaged by the extremely low temperatures this winter. Butterfly bushes were one of the hard hit plants. Usually the roots survived and the entire plant will eventually recover. Just prune off all dead wood. Same for the hibiscus. You can fertilize lightly with a slow-release fertilizer or compost if you like, but it probably will have little impact. The biggest help is simply to water if we have an extended drought.

ECN