What Do You Know About Boxwood Blight?

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The Best Practices To Control Boxwood Blight

It’s that time of year again! Many New Jersey residents are spending a considerable amount of time outside caring for and investing time into their landscape and lawns. For some, landscaping is a stress reliever and a favorite hobby, adding a sense of accomplishment to their busy week. Planting flower and vegetable gardens are some favorite spring activities, along with planting shrubbery known as boxwood plants. As most individuals know, there is always an ongoing risk of plant disease and pests ruining all the hard work. Boxwood blight is a new form of disease that even the most experienced gardeners are dealing with. So, what is it?

What is Boxwood Blight?

Boxwood blight, also known as box blight, is a fungal disease that affects the family of boxwood plants. The fungus, Calonectria pseudonaviculata, is quite aggressive in attacking the leaves and stems of the plants, causing defoliation and decline in appearance. Even though the fungus doesn’t kill the plant roots, once a plant is infected, it is extremely challenging to regain control.

Boxwood blight can be easily spotted if you know what to look for. First signs include brown spots on the leaves, yellow leaves, pink spots, black-striped stems, and a gray-colored fungus on the underside of the leaves. Eventually, the leaves will fall off of the plant.

Control Boxwood Blight with These Tips

While there is no cure for boxwood blight, steps should be taken to minimize fungus mobility, allowing you to regain control of your landscape.

  • Avoid infected plants when they are wet.
  • Clean the bottoms of shoes before moving from the infected area to another.
  • Remove any leaves from clothes and shoes before moving on.
  • Disinfect gardening tools before washing.
  • Wash gardening tools, gloves, and clothes after every use.
  • Dispose of all infected plant clippings and debris.

Steps to Aid Boxwood Blight

After familiarizing yourself with disease prevention, you are ready to remove it from your landscape.

  1. Remove the infection.
    Allowing the leaves to lay around the plant base creates a new place for the fungus to grow and thrive. Remove all of the remaining leaves on the plant, along with any debris lying at the base. Remove the layer of mulch and soil around the bottom of the plant since it is likely infected with the fungus as well.
  2. Clean up afterward.
    Once you have removed the leaves, stems, and dirt, it should be disposed of properly to avoid further contamination from the fungus.

If you are struggling to control boxwood blight in your backyard, now may be the time to call a professional. Perennial Lawn Care helps New Jersey homeowners with their lawn care and pest maintenance. Contact our office today to learn more about treatment and prevention plans!

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