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Search Results for ' Holly'
PAL Questions: 1 - Garden Tools: 2
I purchased a gallon size Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata 'Sky Sentry') 5 years ago and put it in a 12" diameter container. It has not grown much, and has been looking bad lately, so I thought it was probably root bound. To my surprise, when I took it out, there were no new roots--the root ball was about 3" deep and 6" across. Is this a normal root for the Ilex? What does it need to thrive?
Since you mention that the plant is not looking healthy, I wonder if it may have root rot, as described by Virginia Cooperative Extension. Excerpt:
The disease is named for the black lesions that commonly occur on infected feeder roots (Fig. 1.). Symptoms on Japanese holly include foliar chlorosis, leaf drop, and stunting. Although stems and leaves are not colonized by the fungus, plants suffer a gradual dieback as a result of root death (Fig. 2.). Young holly plants in the nursery can be killed within weeks as a result of severe root destruction by the fungus; however, mature plants decline more slowly. Thielaviopsis basicola produces reproductive structures, called conidia, and survival structures, called chlamydospores, on infected roots (Fig. 3.). The chlamydospores can survive in the soil for long periods of time in the absence of a host plant.
According to North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Ilex crenata is highly susceptible to this fungal problem.
It is possible that there are nematodes feeding on the roots and diminishing the plant's ability to get water and nutrients from the soil.
Another North Carolina Cooperative Extension site provides descriptions of several problems affecting hollies.
The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect & Disease Control by Barbara Ellis (Rodale, 1996) says that Ilex roots grow close to the surface, so perhaps the size of the root ball is not abnormal.
University of Connecticut's Plant Database has general information on this plant.
To determine what exactly is causing the plant's ill health, you may want to bring pictures and samples of the affected parts of the Ilex to a Master Gardener Clinic.
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Make new plants by taking softwood cuttings. Cuttings Through the Year, a booklet published by the Arboretum Foundation(available for sale at the Washington Park Arboretum gift shop) suggests which plants to propagate month by month and how to do it. A few September plants include: Rock Rose, Salal, Lavender, Holly, Penstemon, evergreen azaleas, Sweet box, Salvia, California Lilac and many others.
For a tutorial on taking softwood cuttings go online to a Fine Gardening article complete with clear color photos: www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/g00002.asp
Season: All Season
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Garden Tool: In late spring watch out for seedlings of invasive plants bindweed (perennial morning glory), English holly and English ivy. Birds love to eat ivy berries, which are only produced by mature plants that have stopped climbing. The berries ripen in late winter, just in time for birds to "sow" the seeds in your garden. These three weeds are easy to pull up when their root systems are still undeveloped.
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April 19 2012 16:02:30