Holly Bushes

When Can You Tell When a Holly Tree/Shrub Is Dead?

purplebarbara added on July 19, 2012 | Answered

My holly has lost all its leaves after being transfered from on location to another. They were immediately put in the ground but they lost all their leaves. I thought they went into shock, but now after two months I'm not sure. Plus, Texas is going through a drought but I water them every other day.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 20, 2012

First, I would check for signs of life. This article will help with that: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/how-to-tell-if-a-plant-is-dead-and-how-to-recover-an-almost-dead-plant.htm

As long as they are still alive, I would keep them where they are and continue to water. Tamp or step on the soil around the base of the plants to help collapse any air pockets, which may have be keeping the roots from taking up water. If you did not prune when you moved them, I would prune back by 1/3. This will help the shrubs focus on re-growing the roots. Also, give them some bone meal to help boost phosphorus, which helps with root development.

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