North West Topiary
Box plant disease and pests
There are a number of common problems with box plants, most can be treated, good garden hygiene and early action are the best approach, below are a few of the common problems, with some tips, contact us and we can help you in managing these.
Box - Volutella
Volutella is caused by a fungus, typically this shows up as dead brown leaves (still attached) and dead brown twigs, but no black marks. Early stages show as pink spots on the underside of leaves. The plant shown is quiet heavily infected and interior of plant had a lot of debris and old leaf matter. To treat, clip out all dead/dying material and remove all fallen leaf matter, remove top layer of soil and apply fresh soil, then feed. Plant should recover within 8-12 weeks outside of winter period. Do not compost waste leaves !!
Box - Macrophoma
Macrophoma again is caused by a fungus, leaves will show black/orange markings which will then turn light brown. Top/bottom of leaves will show black spots and this is typically shown when plants are stressed, i.e. after long dry spells or from being waterlogged.
To treat, remove any leaves which present symptoms, again remove all fallen leaf matter, remove top layer of soil and apply fresh soil, then feed. Plant should remain health if outbreak is caught early, monitor and continue to remove any further leaves as necessary.
This is the worst disease for box, plant suffering from blight, will lose their leaves and present black marks on the branches and round markings on leaves, the most effective treatment is to remove the infected material and await regrowth, bad cases should be fully removed, but this can often be prevented. (It is not advised to replant box in same place)
- When you get any new plants for your garden ensure that you keep them quarantined for 3-4 weeks, with-out applying any fungicides or feeds and watch for any of the above problems.
Further information can be found on the RHS website at the following link