Wax Leaf Ligustrum Is Turning Brown

Q: I planted twelve wax leaf ligustrums the last week in May to border my backyard. Eight of them are doing great but one completely died and three more look like they are slowly dying. The leaves are turning brown and most of the lower half of the bushes is bare. They all receive the same amount of watering. 

A: Despite your description, I think parts of the root balls got too dry. Despite watering them all the same, soil density and percolation can make water that is applied to the soil surface travel in unexpected ways underground. The last 60 days have had an average high temp of 89. That’s a lot of heat stress to put on a new shrub. Continue watering faithfully but make sure the soil around the root ball of each one is saturated before moving to the next.

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