The Q&A Archives: winter gem shrubs dying

Question: We have had beautiful winter gems which have grown to about two feet in height. We have
a wonderful hedge and now in the front only, 10 out of 30 bushes are turning light brown,
seem to be very dry, and are dying. We can see no pests, we mulch, fertilize with 10-10-10
and we have a watering system. All other surrounding plants azalea, dogwood, ferns, blue star juniper, are doing fine. Even checked a root and saw no swelling, discoloration or evidence of pests. We are frantic to save this beautiful hedge. Can you please suggest anything?

Answer: It's really difficult to diagnose a plant problem without actually seeing it. You've checked everything I would have checked if I were on site so I'm really at a loss. I think your best course of action is to take a sample of one of the dying shrubs to your local Cooperative Extension office for thorough inspection. Helpful folks there can test for fungal or bacterial diseases, among other things. Contact Ohio State University Cooperative Extension at 216-397-6000.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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