Ailing Japanese Holly

Asked September 16, 2019, 11:29 AM EDT

Hello Cooperative Extension Expert, This Japanese Holly has just failed to thrive over the several years since it has been planted. I gave it Holly Tone last autumn and have been giving it one feeding of organic fertilizer since then. It is getting enough, but not too much water. The two burning bushes (nandina) that are planted on each side of it are doing very well. What could be the matter?

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

These are just not great shrubs in our area, often with slowly dying random branches due to a root rot disease to which they are susceptible.
You can keep them until they lose ornamental value, and then consider replacing with one of our native hollies, including dwarf American holly, inkberry holly (Ilex glabra) or the deciduous sparkleberry holly (Ilex verticillata).