Boxwoods & Hollies

Filed Under: Watering, Perennial Plants · Keywords: Boxwoods, hollies, dying · 698 Views
Good morning,. Well suddenly my boxwoods & a couple of hollies have started to die... the leaves turn a grayish color, then brown, it seem like over night this coloring is there, and it seems to be spreading to others...One large well established boxwood is over half dead. It's loss will make a huge dent in the landscape area it's located in, what is happening?.... Was it the dry weather, ? the hollies started to "turn" after a deep watering & rain the next day. Any ideas how to halt this? As always thank you for your time & expertise


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Hi Jeanne-If you can answer some questions it will hopefully lead us to the problem with these plants. Did the problem with both the boxwood and holly start at the same time or has the boxwood been browning for awhile? Normally if the problem is in the soil such as too much or two little water or pests a plants decline will occur over a longer period of time. Drastic changes in temperatures and humidity can cause leaf damage and defoliation much more quickly. Have you had a lot of rain this summer? When digging down 6 to 8 inches in spots around these plants does the soil feel wet or dry? The soil should feel cool and moist but never too wet or too dry. Are the leaves actually turning a gray color or does it look as though this may be a gray growth or substance on the leaves? Is there any type of spotting on the leaves or leaves turning yellow before browning? Powdery mildews are often seen on shrubs in late summer or fall especially if there has been some rain in the summer or climate has been very humid. Are both the boxwood and the hollies planted in the same location? I'm thinking what may be affecting the boxwood may not be causing the problem with the hollies. Is the same gray coloring or substance on both the holly and boxwood? Did the browning of the boxwood start near the bottom of the plant before moving upward? Boxwood Blight has been a problem now for some time now and can spread to other plants but as far as I know most hollies are resistant to this disease. Has there been any spraying of herbicides or other chemicals near these plants. Has there been any fertilization of nearby lawns or shrubs. Some weed and feed fertilizers that can be leached from rain or watering can be harmful to some shrubs and flowers. If you could upload a picture of the plants and an upclose picture of the infected boxwood and holly leaf it would help to identify the problem. Above this and to the right of your name below your question you will see where you can upload any pictures you have saved on your computer. Let me know what you find after checking soil moisture and answering these questions and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
John

3 years ago ·
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Jeanne Morrison

Jeanne Morrison · Gardenality Stem · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thank you John... doubt I 'll be able to save these...everything here looks like dust... but I'll try & save the others... put in some soaker hoses...& go from there.. haven't sprayed anything.. maybe just not enough water.. didn't get much done the pass several weeks, family illness.. I'll be sure to let you know my progress... thanks again

3 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
If you are finding the soil is dry soaker will definitely help. Just make sure they are on long enough to wet the entire root ball to its depth. Let me know if the plants start to recover. It may be to late as you mentioned to save a few of the plants.

3 years ago ·
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3 Answers

Answer #2 · Maple Tree's Answer · Jeanne-Sorry to see these plants declining so badly. There are several things that would cause this browning problem in the boxwood but with the other plants having problems also such as the spindly look of the azalea with sparce folage makes be believe the problem is in the soil or climate conditions. You mentioned the leaves look gray in color before turning brown. This gray coloring may indicate a fungal problem caused by too wet a soil and or very humid conditions. Too little water can also turn leaves brown but normally the tips of the leaves and margins will brown first then the entire leaf if a drought condition continues. I don't see any spotting on the leaves but I don't have a close up picture to see the if there is any black, brown, or yellow spotting of the leaves. This could be a boxwood blight but with the other plants in decline also I don't believe it is this blight. I would first dig down in spots around the plants 6 to 8 inches deep. Check for amount of soil moisture. The soil should feel cool and moist but not too wet or dry. How much water do these plants get during the week. Let me know what you find when checking the soil moisture and we can go from here. If you can take a close up pictures of the leaves on the plants it may help to identify whether it is fungal problem or something else. Fungal disease can be spread by wind or splasing rain and overhead sprinklers so be sure to rake up any fallen leaves and dispose of them. Don't do any overhead watering as this can add moisture throughout the plant adding to the severity of a fungal disease and also spread the disease.

John)



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Answer #3 · Jeanne Morrison's Answer · Well despite of my efforts, I watch the last beautiful "lg" box wood become victim of ? the blight... started slowly on the left side & within the past several weeks covered the entire plant with brown dead leaves!... total now is 7 box woods 3 small leaf holies I rhododendron... I believe from the drought & blight.. the look of my garden rooms will be changed. I've dug out the all the box woods & cleaned up as many leaves as I could....As for replacing, the largest boxwoods were in sun, & was thinking of making the area a rose garden instead... saw a beautiful pink rose bush x 2
on your site ( sold out ) that just might be perfect .I'll send a picture of that area soon... wishing all a Happy New Year)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Jeanne- When you dug up the dead boxwoods, holly, and rhodo was the soil moist, wet, or dry? From the looks of the plants and the area both blight and drought may have been the problem. Plants under stress such as drought are much more susceptible to disease such as blights. I just noticed these plants are located in front of a white wall which will add much more heat in the summer months for these plants to contend with. Reflected heat off a wall will add to a plants stress during times of hot direct sunlight. Roses would be a good option. I have had good experiences with plants such as Indian Hawthorn, Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum, and nandinas in areas such as this also. You may want to look these plants up and see it they along with some roses may be what you would like.

3 years ago ·
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Answer #1 · Jeanne Morrison's Answer · Thank you John... the boxwoods are in a separate area from the hollies.... the browning on the boxwoods just seemed to start tin the middle on the very large one.... just random on the smaller ones... I'll try to get you a photo in the next few days...as always so appreciate having this site for information.... it's wonderful)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
A picture and a few answers to the questions will hopefully find the problem. I'll get back to you as soon as I see your pictures or any reply.

3 years ago ·
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Jeanne Morrison

Jeanne Morrison · Gardenality Stem · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Here are the pictures & since my last post there are a few more starting to brown.. the lg one in the 1st photo is one of 2 & with it's loss I'll have to figure out how to reset that wall as it anchors one end.... thank you John

3 years ago ·
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