How to save Euonymus with Winter Damage

(Question)

Question: I have a  euonymus  (the large leafed silver-green  and gold-green) which I have grown quite tall.  During the winter it lost  half its  leaves from the bottom to the middle on almost three quarters of the plant.The top was quite lush although now it is losing the top leaves as well. How can I save it?  Should I cut the top off, or fertilize and water?

(Answer)

Many euonymus suffered damage during the past hard winter.  Fortunately the plant is resilient and should recover.  Test to make sure that the plant is still alive by scraping the stem to determine whether there is still  green. Also look for new buds. If the plant has survived  you can prune judiciously making sure that you are not cutting off new buds,  although the dead leaves should be replaced by new growth without pruning.  Most importantly, make sure that your plant is  kept well watered.

If you feel that it’s more than winter damage affecting your plant, however, you should check for euonymus scale, which is quite a common pest. You can find good information about diagnosis and treatment on the Chicago Botanic Garden website: https://www.chicagobotanic.org/plantinfo/euonymus_scale

Good luck!