Q: I have lived in this house for two years. When we moved in, the cleyera was thick and growing like crazy. Not anymore. I’m thinking my frequent trimming (cutting the shoots off the top to avoid blocking the windows) might have harmed the plants. They receive zero direct sun and no supplemental water or fertilizer. Any tips or recommendations?
A: I’m going to theorize that lack of light and your persistent pruning did have something to do with the decline.
Entomosporium leaf spot is virulent on tender new leaves that grow after pruning. Once the leaves became infected, the disease spread to the rest of the plant…but the lack of sunlight prevented those leaves from mounting much of a defense.
The leaf spot is hard to stop. I recommend you use loropetalum or another smaller growing shrub to replace the cleyera.