Q. I have two acubas in containers that are looking terrible. limp, wilted. Some black leaves.
I'm sorry to hear about your aucuba troubles. They are such lovely plants but only marginally hardy in our area. Plants that are in containers are even more exposed than those in the ground as there is less soil to warm and protect the roots. They are also likely to be in a position where they are exposed to winter winds rather than being huddled in a border.
So in all likelihood, you re are probably seeing winter damage due to cold and drying winds. Hardy plants usually recover on their own from such damage but a potted aucuba could be fairly severely damaged. If you would like us to take a look at a photo of the plant and make a judgement on the extent of damage, we would be happy to. The only way to know with certainty that your plant will recover, however, is to wait and see if it begins to grow again with the start of the growing season. In the meantime, pull them as close to the walls of your home as possible and give them whatever wind barrier you are able to offer.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information