Answer: Ink berry hollies (Ilex glabra) tend to be bare at the base and should be evergreen. They are native to very wet spots so yes, they do prefer a lot of water. They also require an acid soil.
Scale can sometimes be controlled with horticultural oil or dormant oil applied strictly according tot he directions on the label, however the recommendations and the timing are very specific depending on exactly which plant is affected. If you suspect it is happening to another plant, take a sample to your County Extension for a definite identification of the pest and the most up to date control measures for it. It is always easier to control something if it is caught early, so do keep an eye on your plants for potential problems.
Miniature spruces can be affected by a number of problems, but mites are a possibility. Here again, it is best to have your County Extension precisely identify the problem and suggest a control. Their telephone number is 745-3445.
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