Back end of plants are dead?

Asked August 4, 2019, 9:30 AM EDT

We’ve had these planted out front for years and just about a month ago, they started dropping all their leaves on the backsides. Pic 1, fronts Pic 2, close up of leaves dropped Pic 3, close up of rear of one bush

Chester County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

It looks like the plants have been pruned back pretty close to the bare twigs and there isn't enough sunlight for the back leaves to grow. I would leave them alone and see what happens in the spring.

Thanks. They’ve never done this before and have been thriving for 5 years. I only trim the tops (bc it blocks the window) never have a need to trim the backs. I’ll let them go and see what rebounds

If you think a disease might be responsible, take a good look at the leaves to see if there is any sign on the leaves of anything like a leaf spot. If you suspect disease, I recommend you take a sample to your local Penn State Extension office and have it sent to the plant clinic for identification and a remedy.

It's also possible that pruning coupled with the intense heat of the past couple weeks caused the plants to drop leaves. Make sure the shrubs get at least an inch of water every week so they stay well hydrated until the first frost so they don't get winter damage from wind.