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How to Revive Red Tip Shrubs

By Sarah Morse

Red tip shrubs, also called red tip photinias, frequently develop a fungus called leaf spot, which rapidly spreads through the population, killing most of the shrubs. If your red tip shrub is dying, it is most likely because of over-watering or leaf spot. If the plant has recently developed leaf spot, there is a chance that you can revive it if you act fast.

Adjust your watering schedule. If your shrub is dying and it is not yet infected by the leaf spot fungus, then it is probably not receiving the correct amount of water. Once the plant is established, which is usually after three to six months, it only needs to be watered in droughts. Otherwise, the plant will develop root rot and begin to die.

Transplant the red tip shrub if it is not in soil that is well-drained. Too much water soaking the soil around the plant will promote fungus and cause root rot. Transplant to an area with full sun and well-drained, rich soil for best results. The plant also needs good air circulation, so make sure it is not crowded by other shrubs.

Apply a fungicide recommended for leaf spot if your plant has contracted the fungus. Apply immediately after noticing the spots and then every 10 to 14 days after that, 10 days during wet weather and 14 during dry weather. In hot, dry weather you do not need to apply it at all.

Prune the shrub in winter after it has gone dormant. Take out any dead or diseased branches and leaves. Make sure you rake up the leftover leaves and apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to cover any that you may have missed. This will decrease the amount of fungus spores in spring.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch

About the Author


Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.