Do you have Boxwood Blight? Symptoms to be Looking Out For:

Filed under Plants, Misc by Lauren Cook on .

    There's a new plant disease reaping havoc in landscapes and gardens in the U.S.  No cases have yet been identified in Illinois, but the new Boxwood Blight, or Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum, has appeared in states such as North Carolina, Conneticut and Oregon.

How Do You Know if You Have Boxwood Blight?


Symptoms for Boxwood Blight begin by the appearance of dark or light brown  spots on the leaves of boxwood.  The leaves will eventually turn completely tan before falling from the plant.  An infected boxwood shrub will defoliate and dark brown lesions will appear on the stems.  The boxwood will eventually die.

How does Boxwood Blight Spread?

Boxwood Blight is most likely spread by water, like rainwater or irrigation water.  The disease may be further spread by introducing an infected plant to a group of healthy boxwoods.  All boxwoods can act as host to the pathogen, but English Boxwood (B. sempervirensHo 'Suffroticosa') and Common or American Boxwood (B. sempervirens) may be more susceptible.  Some of our favorite boxwoods are Korean and American Boxwood hybrids, such as 'Green Velvet', 'Chicagoland Green' and 'Green Gem'.  The shade-loving groundcover, Pachysandra terminalis, may also serve as host to the disease.

How do I get rid of Boxwood Blight?

Currently, the best method for eradicating Boxwood Blight is to detect and destroy.  So far, no fungicide has proven to be effective in treating Boxwood Blight.  Make sure to purchase boxwood plants from a reputable nursery to avoid introducing disease to your home landscape.