The Q&A Archives: Blue Princess Holly - rapidly declining plants

Question: I recently ( April) planted 26 Blue princess holly's at a commercial building site ( not new construction) along the perimeter front of building. The hollys are planted in amended soil ( clay is prominent soil in area) in full to slightly partial sun. The plants have begun to decline rapidly with the following symptoms - branches begin to turn black and leaves wilt, berry's shrink and drop off. These symptons will occur on a plant that is also showing signs of healthy new growth.

Initially we thought the plants were getting too much water so we stopped watering for 10 days to let soil (clay dry up) but no improvement.

The plantings on the North side ( get less Sun, same soil conditions) have some sign of this but not as bad.

The conditions seems to show up and progress rapidly.

Do you have any idea what may cause or conditions that would contribute to this condition.

Thanks. 703-858-2180.

Answer: Since this is a commercial project I would strongly suggest you contact your local county extension for help in diagnosing the problem. There are a number of disease and cultural problems too that can cause dieback and it is very difficult to diagnose them long distance. I hope it is something easily corrected.

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