WSU Extension


Boron deficiency 
Green algae 
Phytophthora leaf & twig blight 
Red leaf spotting 
Brown soft scale 
Cottony camellia scale 
Holly bud moth 
Holly leafminer 
Lecanium scale 
Orange tortrix 

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Caption: Boron deficiency on walnut
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Holly : Boron deficiency
(revision date: 4/23/2014)

Boron deficiency in holly is characterized by the appearance of spots on the leaves. The spots initially are red to purple and irregularly shaped on the upper surface. They appear water-soaked on the lower leaf surface. Later, the spots enlarge and may assume a target-like pattern bordered by yellow. Premature leaf drop may also occur. Leaves of boron-deficient plants are often deformed and stunted. Other problems may cause similar leaf spot symptoms on holly.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • It may be necessary to have the soil tested for boron. Amend the soil as recommended to correct the deficiency. Use caution, as excess boron is toxic to plants.
  • Applying 0.1 lb actual boron to soil in fall around each tree has been effective in 10-year-old plantings. Younger trees require correspondingly less.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Boron deficiency on walnut
Photo by: R.S. Byther