Holly Bushes

All the Leaves Fell Off My Two Holly Bushes After Hurricane Sandy

Timtam614 added on February 1, 2013 | Answered

Lawn was flooded from Sandy storm and I did water lawn and shrubs after water receded.

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Answered on February 1, 2013

That's a difficult question to answer. Depending on how long the plants were flooded and whether or not it was salt or fresh water...
If the soil was waterlogged longer than 7-10 days, it is possible that the holly have drowned. If the soil drained in a couple of days, and you didn't keep the plants really wet, the holly shrubs should be OK.
We use an "extremely technical" method to determine if a plant is dead. We use the 'bendy, snappy' method. If a stem bends, it still has life in it. If the sten snaps with a sharp breaking sound, that part is dead. We keep testing the stems until nothing is left.
It's only been 3 months since Sandy. There is a possibility the plant could not be dead. Since the plant is dormant, and not actively growing, this isn't the time to see new growth. I'd wait for spring and new growth.
If the plants are a focal point in your landscape, you may want to relocate them and replace with a more aestheticly pleasing plant. If all the leaves have dropped, once the plant flushes out, you should consider pruning back 1/3 to promote branching.

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