BOXWOOD HEDGE TURNING YELLOW and Dying

Asked June 28, 2017, 4:14 PM EDT

hi. I have a bunch of boxwood hedges and they have all started to turn yellow. As you can see in the photos, I have started to cut away the dead portions, but my questions is, what more should I do. Is it a disease, is it lack of water. I live in Columbia, MD and I have given it no additional water. They are about 3 feet in height. I just moved into this house in December at which time only one of them was party dead, and now whether the same symptom are spreading to others or the others have a different issue, I have no idea.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

As you have guessed, your boxwood are stressed, by a combination of factors.
Boxwood can have multiple problems, including pests and disease It appears that you may have some Volutella and perhaps winter injury, but we can't tell all details from your photos.
We can tell however, that they have not been managed in the past in ways that tend to keep them healthy. They are tightly sheared, and the branches are too thickly packed. Those plants should have about half the mass that you are currently seeing. It will be challenging, but you can slowly correct this over time.

You are doing the right thing by removing dead material, which will allow you to see what you have left. Thinning the plant will help, as will watering, as they are shallow rooted.
To get started, take a look at this page from our website about Boxwood:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/boxwood-culture-and-diseases-including-boxwood-blight

Here is a video that discusses boxwood pruning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U46_6bvkIA&index=38&list=PL13D4BEA3D39CE765

Finally, here is our page on Boxwood Decline:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/boxwood-decline-trees-and-shrubs

If you decide after pruning that you don't like what's left and can't live with it until it recovers, it may be a good time to consider pulling them out and planting something new that you like in this area. Fall would be a good time to do that.

cm