What’s wrong with my boxwood and can I save it?

Asked April 12, 2019, 6:53 AM EDT

One of my large, old boxwoods is slowly turning brown. This started in March and I’m worried that it is dying. Is there something I can do to save it?

Prince George's County Maryland soil boxwood boxwood decline plant care abiotic issues t2

5 Responses

Boxwood are susceptible to multiple issues, including diseases, pests and environmental damage from things like winterburn or too much mulch.
You will need to do some sleuthing for things like rodent gnawing on trunks or stems, and comparisons with photos and symptoms with the information and highlighted links contained within our educational pages like this one:

The following page shows the best cultural/growing tips for them and diseases that boxwood can be prone to. The good news is this doesn't look like Boxwood Blight:


Thanks Chris! I will look around. Just for some additional detail, this boxwood was transplanted from another place on our property to replace a similarly sized boxwood that had slowly turned orange, then brown, and then died. We discovered that we had an underground gas leak, which I attributed to the decline of the first boxwood. The leak was fixed and this one was transplanted in the fall and appeared to be healthy through the fall and winter. It only started changing color in March. The old boxwood, also started turning color in late February to early March, and then eventually died by October of last year. I'm worried that this one is headed in the same direction. Do you think it could be something in the soil? Because the new boxwood was planted in the same place as the old one.

Ahhh. If that boxwood was moved in the fall, we can attribute that to transplant shock.
Moving a mature shrub necessitates a good deal of root loss and stress which can show up in the leaves.
We suggest waiting for new growth to come and see how it goes. If we go into a period of drought or we get less than an inch of rain a week (can put a tuna or catfood can out to measure), offer supplemental water.


Ok, thank you! Is fertilizer recommended?