The Q&A Archives: Black Spots on Holly

Question: I have a holly bush and they leaves are not quite as green as they were when I first planted it (2 years ago) and it is getting black spots on it's leaves. What is it and what do I do for it?

Answer: Hollies will change color for a number of reasons, but a common one is winter sun and wind exposure. Another common reason is in response to soil that is not moist enough or not acid enough. Yet another possibility is soil that is too wet -- as in a spot with standing water after a rain. Hollies can be affected by a variety of (literally) leaf spots and and other foliage problems which can show up as black spots. You might wish to take a sample to your County Extension (378-1327) for a definite identification and suggested controls, if any. They should also be able to help you run some basic soil tests and interpret the results.

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