Nellie Stevens holly problem

Asked July 19, 2018, 10:16 AM EDT

Homeowner wants to know why the leaves are browning. Plants are in Annapolis area and are 10 years old.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

9 Responses

Please send us photos of the whole shrub, around the base, and affected foliage so we can see what you may be dealing with.


We think the plants look pretty good overall and that the browning of some of the leaves is just winter damage. They will drop off and new growth will fill in.
Be sure to keep them watered this summer if we go into a period of drought.


We previously had winter damage and those leafs all dropped off this spring. This browning came afterwards and appears different then the earlier damage. Does that change your answer?

So when did the damage appear?

Also, has there been any disturbance or chemicals in the area? (herbicides, digging, etc.)


We first noticed it in early June. The Hollies were treated with a fungicide on May 30 at 11 AM. Then on June 20th at 11:30 AM they were treated for mites.

Our plant pathologist still thinks it is winter related. It was a harsh winter and a very wet spring that was stressful and could have compromised some roots.

There is still a good bit of green which is why it can take time to drop.

Why the fungicides and miticides? Nellie Stevens doesn't usually get mites. If you saw sooty mold on the leaves that is from the honeydew drop of sucking insects like scale.

Be careful when spraying in hot weather, which can also 'burn' leaves.


Thanks for your help. Tom Milan