Griselinia Hedge Dying? Proven Ways to Nurse it Back to Health

Griselinia hedge dies mainly due to root rot. The honey fungus affects the roots of the Griselinia hedge and can kill the hedge if you don’t treat it early on. Griselinia leaves turn black when the plant suffers from frost damage. Leaf spot disease can also affect the Griselinia hedge. It could be caused by viruses or fungi.

Griselinia is commonly known as New Zealand broadleaf or Kapuka. It’s an evergreen tree and is native to New Zealand.

The leaves are large, and ovate thus making the hedge beautiful. Its apple-green color is soothing to the eyes and makes for the best hedging plant in my opinion.

Griselinia hedges attract various types of birds thus making your garden awesome!

Issue - SymptomsTreatment/Prevention
Root Rot - Dropping leaves, pale color Water only when soil is dry, improve drainage, use Trichoderma
Honey Fungus -Wilting, yellowing, plant death Remove infected plant, soil, replant with resistant species
Frost Damage - Blackened leaf tips, new foliage Prevent with sulfate of potash in autumn
Leaf Spot Disease - Brown spots, leaf lossPrevent wet leaves when watering, treat early to avoid leaf loss

Root rot in Griselinia

Griselinia suffers from root rot when the plant is overwatered. Waterlogged conditions pave the way for a variety of fungal/bacterial infections.

Root rot is very bad. It kills the plant from beneath and we won’t even know until it’s too late. The disease spreads in the soil. The leaves begin to drop and they turn pale.

Only water the hedge when the soil is dry. You can check the soil for moisture with your fingers (2 or 3 inches of soil).


Sometimes root rot is caused by algae called Phytophthora. Phytophthora is usually referred to as a water mold.

Moist soil is a good habitat for Phytophthora, so make sure there’s good drainage for the hedge plant.

When there’s too much water near the roots, Phytophthora spores become mobile and reach the roots.

Leaves may become yellow or brown or fall off if infected by this algae.

You may need to test the soil in question. After making sure of its presence, treat the plant accordingly.

To treat: You can add a beneficial bacteria called Trichoderma to the soil. Alternatively, you can dig the plant and dispose of it. Replace the affected soil too.

Honey fungus on Griselinia Hedge

Honey or bootlace fungus can cause a lot of damage to the roots of Griselinia. This fungus grows near stumps of dead trees. This fungus causes wilting, and yellowing of leaves, and eventually, the plant will die.

That’s why it’s better not to plant trees near stumps of dead trees.

If an infected plant is found in your garden, then remove the plant and all of its roots and the surrounding soil.

Replant in the same place with a resistant plant.

Griselinia frost damage

Leaftips in Griselinia turn black when the plant is suffering from frost damage. If the damage has been done then there’s nothing you can do. Just wait for new foliage.

This is quite damaging to the plant and is an aesthetic loss too.

You can prevent frost damage in these hedges by feeding them sulfate of potash in the autumn.

Other insects can infect this hedge plant too, like Aphids, scale, and Weevils. But it is quite rare.

Griselinia leaf spot disease

Viruses, fungi, or bacteria can cause leaf spot disease in Griselinia. Leaf spot disease is usually an aesthetic problem in Griselinia and it isn’t considered fatal to the hedge. The disease causes little damage to the hedge.

Leaf spot disease spreads to healthy plants in wet conditions. So, make sure the leaves don’t get wet when you’re watering the hedge.

Brown spots appear on the affected leaves. The disease is usually confined to a part of the hedge, you need to treat the plant as soon as you notice this.

If the plant is left untreated, you’ll notice massive leaf loss on your Griselinia hedge.

How do you take care of Griselinia?

Taking care of Griselinia hedges is easy, but some beginners may run into some issues. Here’s how you should take care of New Zealand broadleaf.

When should a Griselinia hedge be trimmed?

You need to trim the Griselinia hedge once a year. Ideally, the trimming should be done in late spring/early summer. It can also be trimmed in late August/early September.

Griselinia roots as you may already know need trimming once in a while. People usually advise trimming the roots once in 6 weeks.

You may want to trim the dry roots as soon as you see them. This prevents moisture loss from the plant, and the hedge will look good.

How often do you water Griselinia?

Professional gardeners advise watering the Griselinina hedges two to three times a week. Deep watering is ideal.

Add a good layer of mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Use organic mulch if possible.

In the rainy season, water only when the soil is dry. You can check the soil with your fingers (up to 2 inches deep).

What do I feed my Griselinia hedge?

Griselinia needs fertilizer to reach the desired size. Ideal fertilizer for this plant has Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potash.

When the plant is growing, feed it in May/June and again in August. Bone meal or Poultry pellets can also be used.

You need to feed it more as it grows big. You can stop feeding it once it reaches the desired height.

You can feed it again if it looks weak or hungry.

Will Griselinia grow in shade?

Griselinia can grow in full sun or partial shade. This is because the hedge plant is an evergreen.

Can Griselinia be grown in pots?

Yes, Griselinia can be grown in pots to restrict the growth of the plant.

Its size is based on the size of the pot. So, it can be grown all year round in a pot.

Will Griselinia grow in clay soil?

Griselinia grows very well in damp, clay soil.

It’s a very good choice for people living in areas with clay soil. You won’t need to improve the soil in any way.

Is Griselinia poisonous to cattle?

It has never been reported as poisonous to cattle. So it’s completely safe to have this hedge near a pasture.

Griselinia littoralis planting distance

Planting distance is quite important when it comes to Griselinia.

If you want to grow a hedge quickly, then plant them 60cm apart. If not, then plant them 75cm apart.

Wrappin’ it up

You may want to pay close attention to your Griselinia and observe the signs.

Look out for any signs and act accordingly and soon you’ll get to know about the hedge plant well.

Happy Gardening :))