The Q&A Archives: Harry Lauder Walking Stick

Question: I may have killed my Harry Lauder this summer but not sure. It's about 3 feet tall and was in a 16

Answer: Based on your description it does not sound like your shrub would still be alive, but it might be. You can check to see if it is still alive by scraping at the bark with your fingernail beginning at the branch tips. If it is still alive the branches will be flexibile and there will be green inside the bark. Dead branches will be gray and off color with no green inside, they will also be brittle and snap off in your hand. Trim off the dead portions. You may find that the tips of the branches have died back but the base is still alive, or you may find that the entire plant is dead. If it is still alive, take care to keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge any time it is not frozen -- but not sopping wet/saturated or dried out. It should manage to pull through the winter and then hopefully releaf next spring. It is too late in the season to expect it to releaf now, right before late fall and winter. These are slow growing so if it has died back substantially you might just want to replace it. I'm sorry about your shrub.

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