Shrubs/bushes have curling leaves, dry out and die

Asked July 8, 2020, 11:03 AM EDT

We've noticed some shrubs/bushes are not doing good this year. First, you see lots of curling leaves (we never saw this before) between normal and healthy leaves. After few days, these leaves turn very mushy and start to dry out (stems dry out too). Finally, they turn very dry, have a brown color and for us, they look died. We don't see any insects. Some of these plants are in full sun, others in partial shade. We watering them frequently. We don't use fertilizers, but we use to do a gentle trimming and check about the water and soil. We called a tree specialist and he said the lack of watering could be the problem. What should we do? Thank you!

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

With the recent heat wave, I believe think what you are seeing is the result of drought stress. Leaf curling is one of the first symptoms in many plants. How old are these shrubs/when did you plant them? I would continue to water the shrubs frequently - at least every other day in the morning before it gets very hot. Depending on what your watering set up is like, you could use a sprinkler directed towards the base of the plant (avoid getting water on the foliage) or drip tape and let them run for 30+ minutes, a 5 gallon bucket, or a watering canister filled a few times.

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