My mother in law has a very special holly in a pot which contains the ashes of my late father in law. It has been in the same pot for about 8 yrs. Could it be root bound, as it looks like it's dying. It has no leaves on it, apart from one or two small ones. We need to save it, so what can I do? Please help.
Variegated Holly Standard
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Ideally the Holly would have been repotted while it was dormant.
It sounds stressed at this time, so I would go ahead and make the move to a larger pot and fresh soil.
I would only move up the pot size by 1 or 2 sizes. Generally a 15 to 20 gallon container will work for a slow growing Holly. Make sure it has adequate drainage.
You can use a commercial potting mix for acidic loving plants.
Water the plant enough to keep the soil moist but not muddy.
Your Holly may continue to lose leaves, but should recover once it settles into the new container.