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Q.Help! Holly Scorch Recovery?

Zone Tampa Bay, Florida | Emelenciano added on June 24, 2023 | Answered

I think my holly tree was scorched by prolonged cold snaps and severe drought in spring. I started to water it regularly once I realized it was beginning to have brown leaves. But it went from a few brown leaves to completely dry from bottom to top in less than 3 weeks! I thought it was a fungus or something. I pruned back the dead leaves and cut branches back a bit then treated it with fungicide hoping it comes back. I keep watering plus we have finally had some much need rain. It’s been about 4 weeks and have seen no signs of regeneration. So maybe it is scorched? What can I do?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 26, 2023

Unfortunately, these shrubs are very good at dealing with drought, but not at dealing with soils that remain too moist for too long. It seems that it HAS caught an infection of sorts.

From here, I would discontinue watering. This should only be done by nature. Fungicides may help, but you may need to take a sample to your local extension service to see exactly which fungus your shrub has contracted. This may be necessary to find correct treatment.

This will help you to find your closest extension service:


This article will help you with fungicide use:


This collection will give you information on Holly shrubs:


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