I have several Hoogendorn Holly bushes that were planted in front of my house...

Asked July 28, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

I have several Hoogendorn Holly bushes that were planted in front of my house last spring, 2013. One of them began to show brown sections early this season. Now there are a few others that have, all of a sudden started turning brown, even though, until now they have been growing and, seemingly, prospering. I am attaching pictures for you to evaluate. This first one is of the bush that started gradually showing brown spots this spring. I would appreciate your feedback. These bushes are in full sun and were planted after consultation with a landscaper, who evaluated the soil and the area before recommending that we plant them.

Baltimore County Maryland shrubs holly browning and dieback

2 Responses

There could be several reasons for the browning of the hollies in your photo. Usually plants are not subject to many disease or insect problems within the first year of planting. Some issues to consider are winter damage, lack of establishment, poor drainage, etc.
You may want to replace at least two of the three shrubs. When you dig them up look at the root system. Make sure the roots look firm and whitish, not black and decayed. These hollies can be susceptible to a root rot. At this point, prune out any dead plant material on the shrubs you keep. Make sure the soil drains well and there are no drainage spouts nearby dumping water into the area.
See our website for instructions on planting shrubs and posts planting care. If container plants, make sure the root system is not encircled in the container. Tease the root system apart. Plant and water well up until the ground freezes.

Thank-you for your quick response.