Pest Alert – Volutella Blight on Boxwoods

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man looking through microscopeIn our Henderson County Plant Clinic we diagnose plant problems for gardeners, landscapers, and farmers. We get live samples as well as digital samples via email. Recently, we received some images of sick boxwoods to diagnose.

Luckily for the client, the disease is Volutella Blight which is a fungus that slowly kills boxwood. This is much better than BOXWOOD BLIGHT, which kills plants in less than a week!

In this case we suggested the gardener should prune out the dead branches, then fertilize to encourage the branches of the other plants to fill in the gaps. If the damage is extensive then they may even have to cut out the dead plant.

Volutella Blight on boxwood

One of the things that is causing with the problems with these boxwoods is the intense hedging/pruning year after year. When you shear plants back to the same height year after year, plants get weak. The new growth each year is where the plant gets most of its food from photosynthesis; you can’t prune plants that tight year after year without affecting the health of the plants. Plants need their new leaves. We suggested not pruning these for a while to let the plants put on some new healthy growth.

Copper-based fungicides are good at protecting the plants that are not already affected but will not cure the affected branches and plants that are dying.

If you have sick plants, you can email Horticulture Agent Steve Pettis your plant problem pictures to and he will let you know what is wrong with your plant if he can.

Written By

Steve Pettis, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionSteve Pettis, Jr.Extension Agent, Agriculture - Consumer and Commercial Horticulture Call Steve Email Steve N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center
Updated on Nov 30, 2020
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