brown holly leaves

sunnytopJanuary 1, 2009

This is the second winter for my two holly bushes. The leaves are mostly brown with some green on the interior of the plant. The stems are green lower down so the plant is not dead. I don't know much about holly but I don't remember them browing like that last year. Does this sound normal and might they green back up in spring?

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Did you perhaps prune them late into the season? Any growth that was fairly recent - and which hadn't had a chance to fully harden off - would turn brown when exposed to freezing temperatures. That would explain why interior growth, which was mature, would not have been affected.

Anyway, as long as the plant is dead (and it doesn't sound like it is at this point) then it should recover and put out new green growth in the spring.

Just a thought.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 9:41PM
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No, never pruned it. Thanks for the response.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:11PM
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Winter burn? Holly is susceptible to winter burn when subjected to strong winds.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:35PM
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We did have some strong winds. Would you recommend wrapping them with burlap like one does to an arborvitae type evergreen? I did spray some antidessicant on them earlier but evidentally it was worthless.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Burlapping couldn't hurt if they're in an exposed location. I have only one specimen to go by here - Merry Berry (?) -one which is supposed to have a chance in zone 4. This is only its second season and it's still quite small. Last winter it dropped all its leaves, but leafed out nicely this spring. Now it's insulated under a few feet of snow. My major experience with holly was in Maryland where they were totally carefree, so this is really an experiment.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:32PM
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That is encouraging that yours dropped all it's leaves and leafed back. Mine is quite small too and second season. I hope it shoots up a bit faster next season. Mine are China Girl and Boy.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:18AM
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