I have a variegated holly topiary plant in a pot. It has become very bare with few healthy looking leaves at the top. Can I prune it back to make new growth? And when can I prune?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You can try pruning to create more growth but you should also look to figure out why it lost leaves in the first place. With plants in containers, my first thought is that the plant is under or over watered. Under watering often occurs because sometimes people do not realize that container plants outdoors in summer need water frequently, often daily or even twice daily. Overwatering is caused when the container does not have a drainage hole or the drainage hole is blocked and the plant ends up in standing water in the container. Both of these things can cause defoliation.
If you can correct whatever is causing the leaf loss, it should regrow its leaves. Even with pruning, if the cause is not corrected, the new growth will be weak.
This article will help you with pruning: