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Holly Bushes

Q.What Would Cause The Stems Of Recently Planted Hollies To Turn Black?

Zone 22124 | Anonymous added on July 16, 2021 | Answered

I have 3 6 foot Nellie Stevens that were planted last Fall and appeared to be doing well until a few weeks ago. Now I have several small limbs where the stems have turned black and their leaves are falling off. There is no obvious bug problem and the moisture available to the roots appears adequate — maybe a little wet if anything.

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Answered on July 19, 2021

There are insects like scale that excrete a clear, sweet honeydew substance that, with time, turns black and is called sooty mold. You need to address the insect infestation first (identify if it is scale or something else and then apply appropriate counter measures). Then clean up the mess with water, a little soap and a hose (sometimes just water is enough).

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