We helped plant a couple pontinella goldfingers for a friend along her house, in full sun. The soil while not tested seemed to have a lot of sand. It seemed to drain properly and is a mulched bed. We have had a lot of rain lately. Our friend travels and she claimed that she did water the shrubs when home as they are getting established. I know they don't need too be overwatered. We had a few really hot days in between several rain days. When we went by the other day, the bushes looked dead. I don't know if they are in shock, underwatered, something is going on with the soil. Any idea regarding care, how to troubleshoot this, and how to check if they are dead? I read somewhere abou scraping the bark to see if there is green underneath.
I thought these were fairly hearty shrubs. We have a few in full sun and recently planted them without issue. Thanks in advance!