I have a client who has three, maybe four, holly bushes he has been trying to save for years. He says two (maybe 3) years ago we had a very cold winter which the holly never recovered from. Now the majority of the bushes appear dead but there is good new growth at the bottom. And some of the top branches appear to still be living, even though they haven't had any green on them for over 2 years. We need to know if we should cut off all the branches that have not produced green (basically the whole top of each bush)? Fertilizer? How and when to prune? Watering habits? Anything helps, as he is an older gentleman and doesn't know what kind of Holly they are. The beautiful green at the bottom tells me that we can rejuvenate and space these holly bush but HOW? Anything helps. Thank You!
Saving Holly Bushes
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Winter Scorch is tough on Holly and the last winter was very cold across the entire United States.
Here are a few links with more information.
I would go ahead and cut off the dead material now, then wait to do any pruning on the new growth until this fall or next spring.
Fertilizing this fall also.