Asked April 25, 2019, 11:28 AM EDT

We bought this house three years ago and up until this fall these plants were doing fine. Just recently they started looking very thin and look like they are dying.

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

This plant is Nandina.
It is not uncommon for them to look rough like this in the spring, and they haven't really started growing yet to replace the leaves lost and damaged by winter etc.
You can prune out any old, dead branches now and they will likely flush out new with time.
We can't tell how tall they are but if they grow to about 4 feet or so and produce berries it is Nandina domestica, which is now showing up on some invasive plant watch lists. Also there is concern that the berries they produce have a poisonous effect on birds (like waxwings) that gourge on the berries when other food sources are scarce. (Removal of exccess berries is an option. They actually dry well for arrangements.) There are other Nandinas that stay short and while their foliage turns and stays a vibrant red in winter, they tend not to produce berries and are not spreaders/of invasive concern.