We collectively stand at the crossroads between March and April. No sign of cold temperatures is in sight. Even though the new month doesn’t begin until Saturday, the ‘April showers’ mode seems to already be fully engaged. While spring is settling in nicely, there are effects of the autumn past that are showing in many gardens. The delayed reaction to drought has caused many plants, often well established, to suffer from the effects of lack of water. If you are seeing seemingly inexplicable dieback, if not outright death on some plants around your garden, it is likely that last fall’s drought is the culprit.
While there is no cure for death, those plants that have survived, albeit with damage, can often be nursed back from the brink. It helps to look at what particular group your plant is a part of. Conifers and deciduous plants seem to be the hardest hit. Of those two, conifers are the most likely to succumb and therefore least likely to respond. That is to say, if it has completely turned brown or lost all needles, it is unlikely to recover. Deciduous shrubs are a bit more forgiving.
It is likely that your deciduous shrub in question is showing signs of new growth emerging. Simply remove the dead areas above where new leaves are pushing out. With conifers, where there is simply dead branches/tops, those can simply be pruned out/sheared back to remove dead/severely-damaged branches.
Once the pruning chores are completed, it is time to fertilize. Fertilizer provides the nutrition to help these struggling plants recover. I am a firm believer of organics. We highly recommend Espoma® brand organic fertilizers.
The proactive approach to insuring healthy development of root systems and surviving drought of newly planted trees/shrubs/groundcovers/perennials and annuals is in proper soil preparation before planting. Our line of EarthMix® Garden Products has been especially developed with the best organic and sustainable practices in mind. They naturally help your plants develop strong and healthy root systems. That insures success.