Is this Boxwood Blight or Volutella Blight

Asked June 17, 2020, 9:19 AM EDT

My client is wondering what to do with her boxwood, should we cut take it out and dispose of this? Or is there a remedy. She noticed brown patches appearing maybe two years ago so its rather slow growing. The boxwoods are planted in a line. Wouldn't all of them be dead by now if it were blight. If its Volutella, can we just remove dead patches of box and treat with fungicide?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

This does not look like boxwood blight. Boxwoods with boxwood blight (caused by the fungus Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum) typically lose their foliage rather than hold on to dead leaves. Please refer to our boxwood blight article for information and photos of what to watch for, https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/04/01/boxwood-blight-in-maryland/

This looks like it may be old winter and leafminer damage. For both issues, our recommendation is to prune out the damaged areas and thin out the plants to allow for better air circulation. Healthy new growth will fill in during the growing season. Please refer to our video on the following page for information on how to correctly prune and thin boxwoods. Shearing is not recommended. You want to let sunlight and good air circulation into the plants. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/volutella-blight-boxwood
Discard pruned branches in the trash, not compost.

Also, here is information about managing the most common problems that tend to occur in boxwoods, https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/boxwood-preventing-and-managing-common-pests-and-diseases

Marian