Dry Leaves on Holly - Knowledgebase Question

New York, NY
Avatar for magliol
Question by magliol
November 14, 1997
I purchased china boy and girl holly shrubs which I transplanted into plastic planters. The leaves appear to be dry and are starting to curl. I recently X. I have the plants on my terrace which has a direct east exposure. I recently applied Miracid and trimmed 3-4 shoots on each plant.

How can I correct the condition of the leaves? What and at what frequency should I fertilize and trim these plants?

Answer from NGA
November 14, 1997
Usually hollies are planted into the ground rather than in planters. They will become quite large and unless there's a very good reason for keeping them in pots, I'd transplant them (in the spring) into the ground.

They will appreciate athick mulch of leaf mold, 2-4 inches deep. Hollies need well drained soil and ample water. As long as there is plenty of organic matter (oak leaf mold if possible) they won't be fussy about soil requirements.

Hollies can stand heavy pruning. It shapes the shrubs(trees) and also provides you with twigs and branches with pretty berries for christmas decoration.

Hollies do best in full sun, with some shelter from harsh winter winds and weather. Fertilize only when they are actively growing.

I would imagine your curled leaves may be a result of thirst. I would water them and also spray them with an anti-dessicant which can be purchased at a local garden center, in order to help moisture loss through the leaves.
I also would sinkthese pots deep into some kind of mulch for the winter!

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