Box blight?

Asked August 26, 2018, 4:22 PM EDT

Hello, our box shrubs have really been looking terrible the last few years. I am wondering if they have “box blight” and if so, should we take them out? Thanks.

Prince George's County Maryland boxwood decline shrub

3 Responses

If you or your neighbors have not brought any new boxwoods into the landscape, chances are it is not boxwood blight. This is how boxwood blight is introduced.

There are specific symptoms that differentiate this disease from other boxwood diseases. Look for defoliation, stem cankers, etc. Look at the photos in the above link.

Our boxwood publication may also be helpful

We viewed your photos and this looks like general decline.
We recommend that you prune dead wood and and prune affected foliage back to healthy growth when the foliage is dry. Remove all old fallen leaves and diseased leaves that have accumulated in the crotches of branches in the interior of the plant should be shaken out and removed. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the stems. Work at pruning and thinning the boxwood. Shearing is not recommended. Take your time thinning this fall into the winter. Best time is December through February. Here is our video on pruning boxwood


Thank you!