cleaned at a car wash) to avoid spreading the fungus from one planting to another. The first description of boxwood blight was from the United Kingdom in the mid 1990s. In the mid-Atlantic area, considered to be the heart of traditional boxwood cultivation in the United States, the primary cultivars were still Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ and Buxus sempervirens, commonly called English and American boxwood, respectively. Always read and follow product labels for safety instructions regarding mixing, handling, compatibility with other chemicals, application methods, re-entry intervals and limitations on amounts of product per acre per year. These can be blended into an effective season-long program, but this list is not meant to exclude similarly labeled formulations and other effective products. Properly clean tools and equipment with disinfecting agents like alcohol, bleach, and other products before and after use in boxwood. However, these treatments do not eradicate boxwood blight and must be repeated throughout the growing season. A schedule such as this has proved to be very effective, particularly if there are minimal infected plants in the area. Her diligent work over 3 years culled out many blight-susceptible varieties. In this case, the boxwood should be clearly isolated by 100’ or more and left unsprayed for a period of 60 days during a period of blight-conducive temperatures and rain. When conducive conditions subside, the fungus will go dormant in the form of microsclerotia or black streaks in the limbs of affected plants or debris. Then the disease will appear, and the severity of the disease will be dependent upon how strong each of the elements are. Dry foliage is important. The Boxwood Blight spore is characterized as heavy (non-buoyant) and sticky, meaning it does not move in the wind but moves physically through water or debris. vii. You should purchase healthy plants from reputable suppliers who are aware of the disease and are taking steps to avoid and control the movement of it. If only one of the elements disappears, then the disease will cease to exist. Current chemical options will kill active spores and suppress the disease. ), but the fungus can also infect pachysandra (Pachysandra spp. Ask if they have been in other landscapes containing boxwood before coming to your landscape. The leaves typically turn brown or straw color, then fall off. Scroll down or click the images below for details. Avoid sites where air movement is blocked by other buildings/ plants/ flowers/ trees. If Boxwood Blight is confirmed, you must be diligent and careful in cleanup. The area should be roped off or temporarily fenced off until the results are obtained. Without these elements, a plant disease cannot exist. A few well-timed sprays would also increase the chances of success. Rubber boots can easily be cleaned after being worn in a landscape with boxwood. Week 7: Mancozeb (Dithane 75DF Rainshield 1.5 lb/100 gal). It would probably take 30 days for any fungicides on the boxwood to break down. Boxwood Blight was found in Europe in the late 1990’s and officially documented in the United States in the fall of 2011. These two names are now known to be synonyms for the same fungus. In June, 2013, boxwood blight was identified in a retail nursery in Delaware, and has been detected subsequently in retail operations, but destroyed. The blight initially presents as dark or light brown spots or lesions on leaves. Fungus first appears as brown or black spots on foliage with yellow or brown rings. Because the systemic classes of fungicides tend to be at risk for development of resistance, it is generally recommended (and often specified on the label) that they should be alternated and tank-mixed with broad-spectrum protectant fungicides such as chlorothalonil or mancozeb. Because blight spores can stick to tools, equipment, spray hoses, etc., sanitize all equipment, shoes, gloves, etc., used in tending and treating boxwood to prevent spread of fungal inoculum to healthy plantings. All three of these must be present for Boxwood Blight to exist. The disease causes severe symptoms including leaf spots, leaf drop, and black stem lesions. Commercial nurseries must have a zero tolerance for Boxwood Blight. It is typically introduced to a plant by contact with infected plants, debris, tools and equipment, clothing, animals, water splash, or other means of direct contact. Some fungicides are locally systemic (within … After the 30 days is up, scouts should carefully check the new plants for blight symptoms. Some fungicides are locally systemic (within the leaf) and offer specific modes of action. By maintaining secure testing methods and standards, NewGen® intends to continue making introductions of superior plants that maintain brand standards. Credit: Dr. Chuanxue Hong, Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center. All tools and equipment should be thoroughly cleaned when moved between different gardens or areas. Later that same year the pathogen was given the name Cylindrocladium buxicola in the UK. Found in Europe in 1990’s. There is a great deal of information available on the internet and other publications on the disease including the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force, and the Horticultural Research Institute’s Best Management Practices. Boxwood Blight research is producing a large amount of valuable information. Nowadays, just the word blight can send gardeners into a tizzy. Clean up as much leaf debris as possible. Boxwood blight or “box blight” is a serious fungal disease of boxwood that results in defoliation and decline of susceptible boxwood. Cylindrocladium buxicola). Week 1: Chlorothalonil (Daconil Weather Stik, 1.4 pt/100 gal). This disease only affects plants in the Buxaceae family which includes Buxus (boxwood), Sarcococca (sweetbox) and Pachysandra (spurge). No fungicides have been found to have curative effects against the pathogen. Among such cultivars, there are various levels of “resistance” (or “tolerance”) to boxwood blight… For this reason, all boxwood, including more resistant cultivars in commercial production should be sprayed preventatively. Prune and plant boxwood to promote good airflow in and around the plant. “Airblast” sprayers, commonly used in the industry and characterized by the strong sideways airflow, could blow detached leaves and plant debris from row to row, possibly spreading disease. NewGen Independence® in a field trial shows natural resistance to Boxwood Blight compared to a less resistant, Buxus sempervirens cultivar. Boxwood Blight’s most characteristic symptoms include circular brown/black leaf spots, dark black streaks or lesions on the stems of the infected plant, and rapid defoliation. BOXWOOD BLIGHT. For a plant to live indefinitely in a garden, it does not have to be perfect, but it must be attractive. Spectro 90WDG (1.5 lb/100 gal) is a combination product that contains both chlorothalonil and thiophanate-methyl. Take great care not to further spread disease. Infected leaves fall off the plant in one to two weeks. Boots should be thoroughly washed, and all tools and equipment should be carefully cleaned as well. Avoid more susceptible cultivars when replanting. vi. A natural infection of pachysandra in the landscape by Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum, the boxwood blight fungus, was confirmed by CAES plant pathologists on 29 June 2012. Figure 6: Spores produced on … Spores are heavy and sticky and are moved on plants by people, debris, equipment, and splashing water. They should also consider decreasing the frequency of sprays during periods of weather conditions unfavorable to the disease. In 2020, Saunders Genetics LLC introduced NewGen Independence® and NewGen Freedom®, two new cultivars which, through years of testing have shown to have better resistance to Boxwood Blight, better resistance to Boxwood Leafminer, and a WOW factor in the landscape. Saunders Brothers, Inc. has donated thousands of plants, given input into multiple research projects, and made every attempt to better educate themselves and the growing community about this disease. Fungicides are used as a means to prevent and control the disease but not to cure it. Boxwood blight is an emerging disease of ornamental and native boxwood plants in the family Buxaceae. Foot baths are an effective way to sanitize employee and customer shoes as they enter and leave a boxwood landscape. of Plant Pathology, NC State University.  The fungus does not need a wound to infect a plant, but it does require high humidity or free water. Boxwood blight is an emerging disease of ornamental and native boxwood plants in the family Buxaceae. After cleanup, wash skin, launder or dispose of outer clothing, and wash boots. Prune any other boxwood in the landscape to increase airflow to maintain dry foliage. 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