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Dwarf Burford Holly losing leaves...

Houston, TX(Zone 9b)

I have 3 hollies in my front bed that have decided to lose their leaves. Actually for one of them, this is the third plant we have put in. For the last one, we actually left it in the pot thinking if there was something in the soil that was killing that plant the new plant wouldn't be exposed. I don't get it. I picked those plants because I thought they would be care-free, but not so far. I have 4 in the back that are going great. The other plants in that bed are doing fine and 1 holly is doing fine. This is very frustrating, especially since we have our house on the market and having dead looking shrubs in front isn't going to help. Anyone have any ideas? TIA

Rolesville, NC(Zone 7b)

A picture would help us help you. Also, how often are you watering and how long have your other plants been in the ground?

Houston, TX(Zone 9b)

I will try to get a picture tomorrow. We usually water about every two to three days. It has been very hot and we have only gotten rain 1 day in the last 3 months. The most of the other plants have been in the ground since last fall, but the two hollies that are doing fine have been in the ground the same amount of time as the ones that aren't doing well.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Hollies are normally tough as old boots but, lack of water when still young is probably the most common cause of death, next id soil born disease, next is grubs under the soil eating the roots.
For a quick fix for showing your house, place new plants IN THEIR POTS in the places where you have removed the dead plants.
When you dug out the dead Hollies, please take the time to remove some soil from around the roots, spread out a bit of plastic or news paper so you can check for grubs, look see how dry the roots are and check the underside of the leaves, there must be clues somewhere if you do this.
I would think that as you have had very little rain for months, the problem is lack of water, Hollies have glossy leaves and therefore don't loose their leaves quickly, so it sounds to me it is too dry for young plants, as to why one plant is doing OK, maybe this one is getting more shade, more water or has better soil conditions, it is amazing how the same bed can have differences in the soil conditions so please do check all these things out, it will be a learning curve for you and if you find the problem, save you money in the future.
Good Luck, WeeNel.

Lake Placid, FL(Zone 9b)

i agree . check the soil, dig around the plants that are dropping leaves. place a hose near them and soak them twice a day for four days then be sure to check your irrigation. Remember a plant near a house or in more sun than others will require more water..

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