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Holly Bushes

Q.When to Fertilize

Anonymous added on March 24, 2014 | Answered

When is the best time to fertilize holly shrubs and other varieties of evergreen shrubs, and what is the best type of fertilizer to use? I also have compacta shrubs and one of them has leaves that are turning pale yellow. The color is not a vibrant green as the other plants. Do you know what could possibly be wrong with it and what can I do to try to bring the pretty green color back?

I also noticed today once I moved some of the mulch, fertilizer pellets from last year were still sitting in the soil. I am trying so hard to keep my shrubs healthy, but I am baffled about the discoloration of one and why it appears to be so weak in comparison to the other shrubs that are planted in the same area. Thank you for any tips you can share or suggest.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 24, 2014

Fertilize your holly bushes once a year (preferably in spring) with a balanced fertilizer. There is a fertilizer called Holly-Tone that is specifically made for holly and is very good. For shrubs and trees that are grown for foliage, use a nitrogen rich fertilizer. For shrubs and trees that are grown for flowers, use a phosphorus heavy fertilizer. Where exactly is the discoloration? If it's limted to the inner leaves, it is more likely a light issue. If light can't get to the deeper parts of the bush, the leaves begin to yellow and die off. You may need to thin some of the outer branches to get more light to the inner ones.

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