The Q&A Archives: Holly Shrubs

Question: Some of the leaves on my holly shrubs are turning yellow with brown spots. My flower beds were remulched in November,2006 along with replacing red clay soil with a promix and compost. I put a granular fertilizer down about three weeks ago. What is wrong or is this normal? The shrubs were doing just fine until the birds ate all of the pretty red berries.

Answer: As a matter of fact, birds love the berries and eating them does no harm to your holly bush. If the berries weren't eaten, they would simply fall to the ground in the spring. The problem sounds more like a fungal disease than anything else. I'd prune away the affected leaves to keep the fungus from spreading. This will also open up your shrub to better air circulation, which should help it avoid additional diseases. The new growth it develops should be healthy. Finally, try to keep water off the leaves by watering the ground rather than the entire plant. This will also help your holly avoid diseases

Best wishes with your landscape!

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