Why Are My Shrubs Turning Brown and Dying?

Why are my shrubs turning brown and dying? This is a question often asked by stressed homeowners who want their landscaping to remain beautiful. According to Charlotte’s professional shrub care, your shrubs become brown or die from various issues.

The professionals explain what causes this unsightly problem, how to rectify it, and what to look out for. If you want your shrubs to remain beautiful year-round, read the following information on shrub care from the Frady Tree Care professionals.

Extreme Temperatures 

Very hot or freezing temperatures can harm your shrub’s health and appearance. You can do a few things to mitigate the damage during summer, such as watering your plants thoroughly and slowly on a frequent basis.

Before planting shrubs on your property, research the species that fare well in your location. North Carolina has warm summers and cold winters, so find a variety that works well with frost and warmth.

Freezing temperatures affect the health of your shrubs too. Before the first frost, coat your shrubs with an anti-desiccant powder or spray to prevent winter damage.

Consider covering your shrubs in plastic tarps or blankets. Doing so allows your shrub’s roots to absorb nutrients from the frozen soil.

Over and Under Watering 

Always water your shrubs slowly and deeply. This process helps your roots absorb the water, allowing them to hydrate before the water dissipates. Over watering causes root rot, which will brown or kill your shrubs.

Many ask, “Why are my shrubs turning brown and dying?” They assume they must water the shrubs more and, in doing so, drown the roots and cause death. If you’re unsure of your plants’ watering needs, reach out to a professional for help.

Under watering causes dry, dead branches that make your shrubs appear unsightly. The following are signs of under-watered shrubs:

  • Weak or limp leaves
  • Extremely dry or compacted soil
  • Brown spots

Signs of over- and under-watering appear similar. Call a professional for an inspection if you’re unsure.

Over and Under Fertilizing 

Over-fertilizing can cause browning, burning, and more. Fertilizing helps your plants, but if you burn their roots or leaves, it can kill them. Prevent over- or under-fertilizing by requesting a soil sample to determine your soil health.

Knowing your soil health guarantees that you adequately feed plants and stops you from over-fertilizing the soil. Your environmental conditions will dictate your fertilization requirements; do not guess or assume your soil’s needs.

Pests and Diseases 

Several diseases and pests can turn your shrubs brown, killing them. Some common North Carolina shrub pests and diseases include the following:

  • Powdery mildew: a fungal disease that discolors leaves and flowers
  • Leaf spot: small reddish black spots on leaves
  • Botrytis blight: gray or translucent spots on leaves and flowers

Find a professional if you believe you’re dealing with a disease or fungal infection. You must deal with these issues quickly and effectively to mitigate damage. Pests will eat away at the leaves, stems, and roots, causing massive damage and causing the shrubs to die over time.

Contact Frady Tree Care 

Call our team if you need help determining the reason for your shrub’s poor appearance. We’ll help you diagnose and fix the issue to extend the lifespan and health of your plants. The healthier your plants, the higher your property value and curb appeal.

Contact a Frady Tree Care certified arborist with any questions about your plant health and care regimen. If you’re still wondering, “Why are my shrubs turning brown and dying?” call Frady Tree Care at (704) 644-2516 and request an estimate in Charlotte, NC, and the surrounding areas.


Frady Tree Care has the most reliable and professional tree services in the Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons & High Point, NC areas! Our team is a third-generation certified and fully-insured arboriculture firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we are the tree service experts you can trust.


Charlotte Office

8640 Charlotte University City Blvd.  Suite A3-241        Charlotte, NC 28213
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Lexington Office

402 W. 4th Avenue,    Lexington, NC 27292
Phone : (336) 236-1006

Salisbury Office

1460 Henderson Grove Church Rd,
Salisbury, NC 28147
Phone : (704) 644-2516

Winston-Salem Office

1035 Shalimar Drive.      Winston-Salem, NC 27107
Phone : (336) 236-1006

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