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Japanese Holly hedge losing leaves

tomjgibbstomjgibbs Posts: 2

A relatively new gardener here attempting to grow a short hedgerow at the end of the garden. I planted around 16 small Japanese Holly plants in a row (about 3 or 4 months ago) and they were doing really well - until about a month ago when a few of them started losing leaves. Now, 3 of those plants have totally lost their leaves, and another 2 have lost SOME leaves. I have no pets and have fed them with organic seaweed feed perhaps once per month. Some of the plants are still doing really well, see below. 

My questions are:
Why might this be happening?
What can I do to stop it happening more?
Are the hedges recoverable, or do I need to pull them up and replace them?

Thank you, 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,997
    Hi @tomjgibbs and welcome to the forum 😊 

    We’ve had a very dry year so far … what has the watering regime been? 

    Are there any trees or shrubs anywhere near your hedge?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • tomjgibbstomjgibbs Posts: 2
    Thank you, @Dovefromabove!

    There are a number of large trees a few metres away, and some shrubs a little closer. If those plants were hogging all the water, it seems odd that the leaf-loss is limited to a couple of hedges in the middle of the row?

    Watering has been reasonably regular - perhaps once or twice a week (maybe three times when we had very hot weather). 

    If I was over-watering them, wouldn't you expect more consistent leaf loss across the row?

    Maybe worth adding - there is a particularly active squirrel who likes to dig around the hedges occasionally - could this have damaged the room system enough to kill the plant?
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,559
    Most likely a lack of water   even if you think you have given lots. Ilex crenata needs much more water than box or Privet. If the roots have been disturbed, that won't help at all.  With the ones that have lost leaves, scape a tiny bit of bark off some of the branches,  if it's green underneath it's still alive so keep watering and hopefully some new leaves will come. 
    AB Still learning

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