I have a number of holly bushes that were planted four years ago on the west and east side of my home (China Girl and Blue Prince). None have done very well and are not much bigger than when planted. They tend to turn brown and are somewhat stunted by winters end, taking most of the summer to recover before the cycle starts over (poor things). What are the location requirements for the plant and recommended maintenance standards? Also if you would, I have two large planting beds of Weigelia, Red Prince I think, that have 'gotten away from me. ' They are 5-6 ft high and unruly. I tried to prune them, hedge trimmers, last year but that did not work to well as they are taller than ever now. What can I do?
Shrub Location and Rejuvenation
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Hollies like well drained soil and full sun, but they are often happy in a wide variety of conditions. Since you say that seem to be affected in the winter, I suspect either that you have a microclimate that is a bit too cold for them or the location they are in is on the wet side and the freezing of the water is hurting the roots in the winter. Here is more information on microclimates (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/projects/how-to-make-a-microclimate.htm) to help you determine if this might be the problem. If you suspect that it is overly wet soil, you can either move them to a better draining location or improve the drainage where they are.
For the weigelia, I would recommend rejuvenation pruning. They respond well to it and will get it back under control. Here is more information on that:
http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-459/430-459.html (bottom half of the page)