Yellowing/dying leaves

Asked October 21, 2016, 1:08 PM EDT

Small evergreen bush and rose bush leaves yellow then turn blotchy and die. Don't see bugs. Fungus??

Harford County Maryland shrubs roses japanese hollies

1 Response

The shrubs look like Japanese hollies. Several reasons for yellowing include vole damage, drought, poor drainage, etc. Japanese hollies grow best in light, moist, well drained soil, slightly acid soils. They are sun or shade adaptable.

Look for evidence of voles which are Meadow mice that feed on the roots of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Look for silver dollar sized holes in the mulch and around the base of the plants and trap with mouse traps if need be http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/voles

Check the drainage in the area. Japanese hollies can be susceptible to a root rot due to poor drainage and heavy soils. Do you have a sprinkler system or water on a schedule? If so, this can affect the root system of the plants. Check the soil several inches deep and water whenever dry. Keep mulch no thicker than two inches in depth and away from the base of the stems.
Prune any dead plant material.

Roses are beautiful but are not easy to grow in our area due to high humidity and some insect problems. They can be susceptible to black spot, a fungal disease http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/black-spot-roses-shrubs, feeding by rose slugs http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/rose-slugs-shrubs and japanese beetles https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/japanese-beetles
No control is needed this time of year. Cleanup all fallen leaves around the base of the plant and prune dead plant material only. Next season you may have to adhere to a spray schedule to control the black spot if it is a continuing problem. Also check for rose slugs next season.
mh