The Q&A Archives: Black/brown leaf tips on Topiary

Question: I have a ligustrum texanum - kept outside on a terrace in NC - high heat and humidity. Wondering if the black/brown tips are a result of overwatering or too much moisture given the heat and humidity the plant is exposed to in the summer season. How often should I water? What fertilizer do you recommend?

Answer: Your Waxleaf Privet is an evergreen dense, compact shrub. The thick, round, waxy leaves are glossy green above and whitish underneath. Fragrant bee-attracting white flowers bloom in late spring to early summer and then are followed by blue-black berries. I suspect too much water is causing the black/brown tips on your plant. This plant will grow in sun or light shade and likes to be watered regularly, but high humidity coupled with overly moist soils can cause leaf distress. Try pruning out the affected plant parts and then watering thoroughly only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Best wishes with your waxleaf privet!

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