Underwatered Forsythia Bush Leaves Turned Brown And Dropped Off

Question From: S. Agner - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Q: I planted 5 forsythia bushes in early spring and had drip lines put in for them. For some reason 2 of them got too dry and the leaves were wilting before I realized they were not getting enough water. I have watered them by hand but all the leaves have turned brown and dropped off the plant. Is the plant dead or will it come back? Is there anything I can do like trim the branches back?

A: Sherri, After setting drip lines it is alway a good idea to check two or three times to see if they are working adequately. Scratch the bark of the stems to see if there is some green. If so cutting them back by a third may help. Keep them watered but do not fertilize until late winter. Good Luck, Nancy and Happy Yardening.