3 Questions To Help Diagnose Your Shrub Problems

It is incredibly frustrating when you have a plant (or plants) on your Memphis property that are struggling—and you can’t figure out why. After all, the plants on your property are more than just a monetary investment. They also add value and enjoyment that can be hard to replace.

The last thing that you want is to lose them to some sort of problem you can’t seem to fix.

That’s why a proper shrub problem diagnosis is important. Only once you identify the problem can you really begin to implement an effective solution.

Of course, that’s all easier said than done. After all, you don’t have a degree in horticulture and there are a vast array of problems that could be happening.

Fortunately, you don’t have to have all the answers to get started. To diagnose shrub problems, you can start by asking some important questions. Having this information will also help when you partner with a professional that can assist in getting your plants’ health back on track.

1. What Kind of Plant is It?

First and foremost, making a shrub problem diagnosis should start with knowing what kind of shrub it is. Different shrub problems will affect various species in different ways so this is incredibly valuable information. You also can’t know what is normal for a shrub (and what is a problem) without knowing what kind of plant that it is.

walkway surrounded by plantings and shrubs

Once you know what kind of plant you have, you can look into common problems that the species tends to deal with.

customer researches plant health

In fact, if you mention a shrub type to a Plant Health Care Specialist, they’ll likely already be able to tell you some of the common problems that it is likely to deal with. As an example, Arborvitae tends to be prone to bagworms.

This is how you can start narrowing down the potential shrub problem.

2. Was this Shrub Installed Correctly in the First Place?

So often, a shrub problem may boil down to improper installation.

People tend to overlook just how important proper planting is when it comes to overall health. But everything from planting depth, location, and even proximity to other plants can come into play with the plant’s performance and health.

technician inspecting plants

If the problem does end up being related to planting, there may not be an easy fix. Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove the plant and start fresh with one that is installed properly or better-suited to the location.

While this might not be what you’d want to hear in that situation, you’d probably rather have the truth than have a company tell you they can fix a problem they actually cannot.

3. What Signs of a Sick Shrub Are You Noticing?

Just like various illnesses that we face as humans, health problems in shrubs can present in different ways. It really helps to pay attention to the specific signs that you are seeing so that you can share this information with a Plant Health Care professional.

Signs of a sick shrub include discolored foliage, lesions, deformed leaves, blisters, sticky substances, root rot, and even just overall decline.

Leaf spot disease

It helps to take note of these symptoms and also when they first appeared. Are these new concerns or have they been going on for a while? Do you have any idea how long the problem has been occurring?

While it might feel like this happened overnight, chances are, it’s been sneaking up on you. If you can remember any changes that you previously saw in your shrub, that information can be valuable in making a shrub problem diagnosis.

leaf spot

It will also help to pay attention to whether you are noticing similar symptoms in any other shrubs on your property. If you have different species suffering from the same symptoms, it could relate back to an environmental concern that needs to be addressed (rather than a disease or pest problem).

Enlisting a Professional’s Help for a Shrub Problem Diagnosis

While these questions will help get you closer to a shrub problem diagnosis, you’ll likely still need a professional’s help to ensure you identify the true problem and implement the proper solution.

You’ve already taken one step in the right direction by beginning to answer some of these questions and having that information available to share with a professional.

lawn care professional walks around with client for consult

A Plant Health Care professional can help to diagnose exactly what’s going on with your shrub and implement effective treatments. They can also start your property on a Plant Health Care program that will help your plants to defend themselves against problems in the future. This will help you to protect the investment that you’ve made in your landscape.

For many common problems that plants face here in Memphis, TN, Plant Health Care can give you peace of mind. And by ditching your worries about your landscape, you’ll be able to get back to enjoying it to the fullest.

Ready to invest in protecting your plants’ health at your Memphis, TN or Northern Mississippi home? Request a quote, get your customized plan, and become the master of your landscape.

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Image Source: leaf spot, leaf spot 2

Joey Steele, Lawn & Plant Health Care Manager

Since 2004, Joey has been using his B.S. in Landscape Construction and his turf and ornamental certifications to transform properties in our area. He loves seeing the fruit of his team's hard work and enjoys the many relationships he's formed since joining our team in 2008. He's an Olive Branch, MS native and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young boys, fishing and going to football games.

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