The Q&A Archives: Holly tree

Question: Hi There,
My holly tree isn't growing leaves. They are very sparse, I have a lot of red berries but not many leaves. Pam Baker

Answer: Hollies sometimes drop their old leaves due to transplant shock, but new foliage will soon emerge. If your holly is not new but has been established for a few years and has dropped its leaves, I'd be suspicious of the growing conditions. It's normal for the oldest leaves to drop in preparation for new foliage, but it's unusual for the branches to be almost bare. Hollies grow in either sun or shade, in all kinds of soils, but they need adequate moisture (one inch per week), and they must have well-draining soil or they'll suffer from root rot. If your holly is putting on new growth each spring, it's reasonably healthy; if it drops leaves and does not replace them, I'd examine the placement or the soil and make any improvements required. Best wishes with your holly.

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