Chemicals: using a sprayer Allow adequate ventilation around the plants, preferably plant them 30cm apart. Infected stems will have distinctive black streaks and dieback (i.e. This more drastic approach aims is to remove all infected tissues to maximise the chances of removing all inoculum. How to use fungicides to manage box blight effectively: Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you will be lucky enough to eliminate box blight in your first attempt, so it will be important to monitor the plants. You may want to prioritise your efforts to protect the most valuable or cherished specimens. Active Interest Media Holdco, Inc. © Copyright 2020. As the disease spreads, foliage turns straw-colored, then falls off. However, these treatments do not eradicate boxwood blight and must be repeated throughout the growing season. Plants can be affected at any time of year, but the disease is more active and likely to spread in the rainy season. Follow label instructions for use (avoid spraying when rain is expected, but also in bright sunshine or when plants are dry at the roots). 020 3176 5800 Bayer Fungus Fighter Plus and Bayer Fungus Fighter Concentrate have label recommendations for box blight and can be applied up to six times per year. It is important to cut out infection when the disease strikes, even if it is not the normal time of year to trim box. First, make sure it really is boxwood blight by sending a sample to your university plant lab (do package it in a sealed bag though and DO NOT take a sample to a local nursery for identification). The garden and its layout. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. You Might Also Like: This may require reducing width as well as height, Consider applying a fungicide (see below) before cutting and again after two weeks. Re-visit the tips in box blight: keeping it out. Having maintained, as well as designed, gardens for the last five years, I know all about Box Blight. Thoroughly clean any tools used on infected plants with bleach or disinfectant. Doing nothing seldom works in the long term. Fortunately, box responds well to clipping (which is why it is such a good hedge and topiary plant) and will also respond to box blight by producing new shoots. If it does, this action plan should help with managing the outbreak. Destroy or dispose of boxwood clippings. Don’t compost infected foliage. €49.95. In boxwood, often the first symptom noticed is a large amount of rapid defoliation (leaf drop), which is indicative of a severe infection. If plants have been removed, it is best not to plant box in the same place. The greater your knowledge, the more chance you have of overcoming the problem. Remaining box plants should be kept as healthy as possible to promote regrowth after cutting back. Never, ever compost them either in your own garden or at any other […] Chemicals: using safely and effectively Plants (roots and all) confirmed to have boxwood blight, as well as any leaves or branches that have fallen from these plants, should be removed and destroyed by burning, deep burying (at least two feet deep) or double bagging (in plastic garbage bags), … sulphate of ammonia or chicken pellets) as this can lead to dense lush growth that provides an ideal microclimate for box blight to develop, Apply prior to cutting out infected areas to minimise spread of live box blight spores, Apply after cutting at, and adjacent to, sites of infection to clear up latent infections and protect new and uninfected growth, Apply to new growth in risk areas, but try to combine with monitoring for re-infection, Check previously infected areas regularly, but also monitor other areas in case infection has spread, Inspect more closely at any patches, even if they only initially look a little yellow. Bayer Fungus Fighter (Tebuconazole) mentions Box Blight on the label. If the disease does break out steps should be taken to reduce its spread. All rights reserved. You may be able to keep boxwood blight at bay on remaining unaffected foliage by spraying a chlorothalonil-containing fungicide every 7 to 14 days during the growing season when temperatures are above 60 degrees F. Reapply if it rains — the fungus thrives in warm, humid weather. Boxwood blight is a fungal disease spreading quickly across North America. You may think you have dealt with an infection in spring, only to have it develop again in damp summer or autumn weather. Box blight is a fungal disease that causes leaf loss and ultimately weakens the plant. Double bag the trimmings and dispose of them in the trash, burn (where permitted), or bury them at least 2 feet deep in the ground. Choose from one of  four options, depending on the severity of the infection and your priority; Sometimes this can be confused with volutella blight or winter burn; a tissue test at a plant disease diagnostic clinic can confirm boxwood blight. * Start by planting boxwoods and pachysandras in a sunny location, never in … 7 common garden diseases If the infection is in the early stages, cut off all affected branches and clean up debris off the ground. We’ll walk through what to do about boxwood blight below, and don’t miss my lists of cultivars that are resistant and similar plants that make great boxwood replacements. Prune only when the foliage is dry to prevent the spread of mold spores. However, if the plants are wet such as after rain, wait until conditions are dry before beginning cutting back, otherwise you risk spreading the disease further. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we Reduction can be less severe if you intend to use fungicides, Clean pruning tools regularly during process, Cut back all plants showing symptoms to ground level, leaving just the stumps, Plants can be cut back at any time, but beware of the risks of transporting the pathogen around the garden in wet conditions, Remove plants at any time, but beware of the risks of transporting the pathogen around the garden in wet conditions, Avoid planting box in the same place for several years (spores can remain viable on fallen leaf litter for at least 6 years), Lay down a tarpaulin or sheeting before clipping, to make clearing up clippings and debris easier, Remove dislodged leaves and other debris from the canopy after cutting back, Clear away as many fallen leaves from under and around the plants as possible (even a few remaining leaves can lead to new infections), Remove a layer of soil under the plants to get rid of infected leaf fragments. How can I tell what is diseased? It has a mounded habit and doesn’t form flowers. There are no chemical controls named for the domestic use against Box Blights, but one containing a conozole fungicide such as penconazole or triconazole can be used for garden fungal infections, so it may help to slow the spread or prevent a recurrence. All boxwood, including the popular English and American varieties, are susceptible to the disease. Replace with fresh soil (do not overfill), Consider whether the design of the garden is optimal. More air movement discourages the fungus. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. When conditions are dry; Remember that fungicides can be an effective preventive measure, but they are not a … If treatment is needed in spring, consider saving some applications in case it recurs in the autumn. It’s difficult to treat once it has taken hold, however, you can manage it to reduce the damage if you catch it early on. Firstly, be informed and aware. Spray carefully to penetrate the thick foliage. Pruning back to stumps, a more drastic approach if blight has really got a hold. Prioritise your plantings; removing infected, less important, plantings may safeguard prized plantings. Once a plant has been affected, it can spread very rapidly throughout the garden, decimating box hedging and topiary. Controlling box blight: Identifying measures for preventing and managing box blight in commercial nursery and field settings is a work‐in‐progress; researchers are in the process of evaluating fungicides and sanitizers, as well as identifying resistant boxwood cultivars. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. Spores can persist in the soil for up to 5 years, so even a new boxwood planted where an infected plant was removed can become diseased. They may also need fungicide applications to suppress the disease if symptoms show up, but these cultivars rarely show the same kind of devastation. ), Option 2: reduce height by about a half Boxwood shrubs are commonly grown as hedges and as individual plants in … Use a 2-inch layer of mulch, such as pine bark, under plants to keep water from splashing spores from the soil up onto the leaves. Don’t compost infected foliage. Alternative plants may be preferable in high risk areas, Try to create an open environment – avoid overhanging plants (e.g. This will increase air-circulation within the bush. Ultimately weakens the plant and pruning out and removing infected leaf litter or entire plants, and the... ( Tebuconazole ) mentions box blight advice team and water and one part bleach for 10 and! Blight overwinters on infected plant tissue and is spread by splashing rain, irrigation, and! And parterres the inoculum ) that can cause leaf loss and ultimately weakens the plant and over. 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