Monday, October 8, 2012

Box Blight Variety Trials

Box blight is a new disease to the U.S. and is caused by the fungus, Cylindrocladium buxicola.  Box blight can seriously affect the appearance and aesthetic value of boxwoods. Typical symptoms include circular leaf spots with dark brown to purple margins, dark brown to black stem lesions, blighted foliage, and eventual leaf drop.  Under humid conditions,  white fuzzy spore masses can be found on infected stems and leaves.  Disease develops rapidly in warm, humid conditions and is more severe in shade conditions.  Boxwood varieties differ in their susceptibility to box blight.  A recent study determined that B. sempervirens types are more susceptible to box blight.  B. microphylla var. japonica 'Green Beauty', B. sinica var. insularis 'Nana', B. harlandii, and B. microphylla 'Golden Dream were all found to have some level of resistance to box blight.  Be sure to remember that some boxwood varieties are limited in their optimal plant hardiness zones.  
Box Blight Symptoms
For more information on Box Blight, click here.  For more information on the boxwood variety trials, click here.