Boxwood – Diseased Foliage

Q: We have a troubled boxwood and a noticeably unmatched pair. These boxwoods have been in the ground for five years. The yellowing started over a year ago and continues to get worse. Do you have any suggestions? These bushes have irrigation and have been carefully fertilized.

A: I think it’s volutella, a common boxwood disease, but one which usually attacks after stress has weakened a plant.

see Boxwood – Volutella

That said, what can you do now?

Probably the best option is searching for a replacement of similar size (difficult) or replace both plants.

In the right spot, boxwoods can live a hundred years. In the wrong spot, they expire after just a few.

In my experience, boxwood decline starts in the root system. They are shallow-rooted plants, quick to drown if planted near a downspout, quick to dry out if un-watered under a roof overhang.

Other gardeners have commented to me that slow-release fertilizer, like cottonseed meal, Milorganite or HollyTone seems to suit boxwoods best.