Japanese Holly's dying

Asked October 29, 2019, 11:04 AM EDT

Hello, I was wondering what could be killing our japanese hollys? Our neighborhood landscaper transplanted several japanese hollys about 2 months ago. We had a drought but we watered them accordingly. We noticed that once it rained, they all started turning brown and dying off. Some with patches of brown that keeps spreading, others just completely died. Every time it rains, it gets worse. Weve searched for pest infestations, but found none. The only thing we can think of is possibly fertilizer burn, as the landscaper put in, what seemed to be way too much control release fertilizer. I'd love to know what happened because it is costing us more and more money. Thank you so much for your time.

Chesapeake Virginia

2 Responses

It could be Black Root Rot fungus on your hollies which attacks roots in wet soils and/or stressed plants. Here is a link to more information:


We can send a sample of the roots off of a living but affected plant for accurate diagnosis but you would lose that plant. Our office is at 310 Shea Drive (Planetarium Building) Best to bring the sample early in the week so that it sits as little as possible at the post office.

Thank you for your response! I compared one of ours to the photos I see online and it definitely appears to be root rot. Thank you so much! :)