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Wondering if I have box blight on my Buxus Sempervirens?

I have five metal troughs with three plants in each which make up a small hedge along the edge of a paved area - I've just noticed a number of dead leaves of one of the plants in. Before I take actionand remove the plant, can anyone advise if it looks like blight from their experience?

I'm in the W.Midlands UK. The plants are in a side passageway, they get sun in the morning but are mostly in shade. They are about four years old and were last clipped at the start of June.

Many thanks!

Box1 Box_2



They look healthy enough but it maybe just general damage. Box blight tends to turn the leaves brown.

'There are two organisms which cause Blight in the Genus Buxus; both are fungal and they can occur together. Volutella has been around for many years. It is caused by Volutella buxi resulting in browning of the leaves and dieback of branches leaving bare patches in hedges and topiary specimens. It spreads in wet humid conditions - pinkish spores appear on the undersides of leaves and are carried in water splashes to new sites. Fallen leaves carry the disease over the winter and new spores are produced in the spring. They enter the plant through clipping cuts and other damage to leaves and stems.

Not all brown or dead patches are caused by Box Blight, it could be caused by dog or tom cat urine if it is at the bottom of the plant, as they 'territory mark' the same spot repeatedly and this scorches the leaves. If the dead area occurs suddenly and not gradually this could be the reason - the blight tends to develop slowly.
Late cutting can lead to frost damage later causing the outer leaves to die giving a white surface on hedges and topiary. This may be mistaken for Blight, but the underlying foliage will be green and will regrow. To avoid this any trimming should be carried out no later than September to allow new growth time to harden off.

The other Box Blight, which is more serious, has only been recognised in the British Isles since the mid 1990s, but is causing great concern. The fungus Cylindrocladium buxicola produces symptoms similar to Volutella with defoliated plants. The leaves develop dark brown spots which enlarge to affect all of the tissues, patches of greyish fungal growth appear on the underside and asexual spores (conidia) are soon released to spread the infection. Black streaks appear on the stems. The spores are capable of penetrating the cuticle so wounding is not necessary for infection to occur.
The disease requires moist conditions to thrive - the asexual spores die in dry conditions. Viable spores have been found in decomposing leaves after nearly a year, so any debris should be burnt if possible - never add to the compost heap.'

Taken from

1 Oct, 2011


Ther are pictures too.

1 Oct, 2011


Could be blight - check the back of the brown leaves, if it is blight, you should see signs of spores, little tiny things like flecks on the back. If the leaves are just brown and crispy with nothing on the back, then it probably isn't.

1 Oct, 2011


I tend to give my Box hedges a good shake every one in a while to get rid of dead leaves and any debris. I would check the leaves for spores as Bamboo has said, but to it looks like normal wear and tear - I get leaves that die off like that and all I do is prune them out. The Buxus you have look a healthy green colour.

1 Oct, 2011


Thanks to all for your advice, really helpful, I'll check for spores and keep an eye on it :)

2 Oct, 2011

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