Branches Grow Leggy, Loose - Excess Water; Fertilizer
Santolinas respond to overfertilization and overwatering by overgrowing. They loose their characteristic compact habit and develop long branches. Do not fertilize them. Make sure that the soil drains well and allow them to make do with normal rainfall.
Stems Grow Woody, Coarse - Old Age
After several years of good growth and repeated clipping, santolinas may develop thick, woody stems. Often the foliage on these stems becomes thinner, showing the stems. The plant becomes coarser looking, more shrub-like. This is a normal result of aging. Many homeowners choose to replace plants when they develop this problem.
Santolina Rarely Have A Pest Or Disease Problem
Santolinas growing in full sun, under correct soil conditions rarely have any significant pest or disease problems. If they are in soggy soil and/or are overwatered they may develop a fungus on their stems and foliage. Leaves may wilt, and eventually turn black and die. Prune back leggy plants and remove any dead or dying stems. Avoid crowding the plants so air can circulate around them. Dig up heavily infected plants together with any adjacent soil and discard them in the trash to prevent the spread of the fungus. Spray lightly infected plants with a garden fungicide available at the garden center. Use flowable sulfur or dust them with lime sulfur or Bordeaux mixture. Several applications may be needed to achieve control. Where possible improve the drainage of the soil by adding sand or gravel. Change the location of the plants to a sunnier spot.