Boxwood, long popular with homeowners for being versatile, easy to prune and largely resistant to deer browsing has recently come under fire from a very dangerous fungus.
Boxwood Blight, a fungal disease that first reared its head in the United Kingdom in the 1990’s, has made its way to the United States with reported cases in North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
There are several symptoms to keep an eye out for. The leaves of an infected Boxwood will initially display brown lesions before they quickly turn a yellowish brown and begin to defoliate. Black lesions may also appear on the stem of the plant. While the plant will try to regrow, repeat infections will take a toll and could eventually lead to death.
Management of Boxwood Blight requires aggressive measures. When purchasing a new boxwood, be sure to first inspect the plant for symptoms. Once you have your plant home, it’s best to keep it away from other boxwoods for at least one month. When you are ready to plant, find a spot that with adequate drainage that isn’t overly moist. Once planted, you should observe your plants daily or weekly keeping an eye out for suspicious symptoms.