Box Blight Affecting Hedges

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A fungal disease that causes bare patches and dieback is wreaking havoc to widely used hedging plant “Buxus Sempervirens”. Thought, to be caused by record rainfall in 2012, the fungal disease has been highlighted by the Royal Horticultural Society receiving over double the number of diseased samples than in 2011.

RHS principal plant pathologist Beatrice Henricot, who is working on fungicide trials for the disease said:

"There have been more plants sent in because it has been so wet throughout the growing season. Once the disease starts, it is very difficult to control.”

Henricot believes some garden centres have unwittingly help spread the disease by selling diseased stock, and that the problem originates from people bringing foreign plants into the country from other parts of the world.

As a result of the disease, sales of the hedge have dropped by 50%, whilst alternatives have seen an equivalent rise.    

Whilst they work on a cure, the RHS recommends only limited clipping of the shrub.

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