Brown Spots and Dead Branches

Asked May 17, 2018, 7:17 PM EDT

Good Evening, I have a plant we use the leaves for cooking and I had in the house all winter but since taking it outside a week ago it now has brown spots and the branches are dying :( I have a similar problem with 2 boxwood plants drying up. Could it be related? Thank you,

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

The plant looks like it has a soft scale on the stems. This is a sucking insect that can cause yellowing, decline, etc. We notice the plant has thorns. We are not sure of the type of plant in the photo. It looks like it may be a type of citrus. Let us know so we can offer information on care, control, etc.

Here is some general information on soft scale. Keep the plant from your other healthy plants. It is possible you may be able to remove with a soft toothbrush. Otherwise, you can take outside and spray with an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Be sure the plant and insect are on the label and follow all directions carefully. Some houseplants are sensitive to chemical sprays, especially soap. Multiple treatments may be necessary. Outdoors scale is kept under control by beneficial insects. Spray your houseplants with insecticidal soap or oil before bringing them back indoors in the fall.

Boxwood - The problems are not related. Boxwoods in general can be susceptible to several fungal diseases, insect, and abiotic issues (cultural and environmental). If stressed by poor site conditions such as drought, poor drainage, poor planting techniques, over mulching, etc. it is not uncommon for them to be susceptible to possible insect and disease problems. Send us photos of the whole shrub and affected foliage so we can see what you are dealing with.