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in Problem solving
Hi, new to the forum and hoping for help. I have a holly bush in one of the flower beds of my front garden, cannot remember its name - sure it was Dutch sounding - it is of the smooth leaf variety and I know that when I purchased it, 15yrs ago, the description stated that it was self pollinating.
The problem I have is that the leaves have started to fall off, I have checked for leaf spot etc and cannot see any. The red berries seem ok and in abundance but, the plant is not looking very well with the amount of leaves that are falling off it.
Any suggestions as to what might be causing this?
It's probably Ilex Aquofolium JC Van Tol from the sounds of it. Although hollies are evergreens, all evergreens lose leaves throughout the year so it may be that the leaf loss is entirely to be expected. However, there is a possibility that it may be due to frost damage earlier in the year, or due to some waterlogging of the soil following this very wet spell.
My other thought would be Holly Leaf Blight, but you say there is no black spotting on the leaves - if it is Blight, there is information here http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=175
I read somewhere that the leaves on an evergreen such as holly are never more than five years old, as they do naturally shed some all the time. However as it is fifteen years old and looks worse than normal it must be stressed, either frost, which may have affected a flush of soft new growth( the couple of severe winters we have had in recent years won't have helped it either) or too little or much water. I would mulch it with well rotted compost, and also give it a good soak if the ground is dry. Hopefully it will pick up.