Box blight cases have more than doubled since 2012, according to the RHS’s annual list of most prolific garden diseases (released today).
The disease hits the topiary and hedging plant buxus sempervirens, and as such could have disastrous results for both British gardeners, and some of our most famous and historical public gardens.
Symptoms are bare patches and die-back, giving an unsightly look to the plants, which traditionally have been used to create structural, evergreen shapes that are often the back-bone to many a well-designed garden. There is no effective cure, and ultimately plants may have to be destroyed.
Record high rainfall has been blamed for the recent increase in cases sent into the RHS. With the possibility of further wet summers in the uk, we would recommend that anyone thinking of planting buxus sempervirens at least considers some of the RHS recommended alternatives:
Berberis buxifolia ‘Pygmaea’
Berberis × stenophylla ‘Corallina Compacta’
Berberis × stenophylla ‘Irwinii’
Berberis × stenophylla ‘Nana’
Berberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpurea Nana’ AGM
Euonymus fortunei (various cultivars)
Hebe cupressoides ‘Boughton Dome’
Lavandula angustifolia cultivars
Osmanthus delavayi AGM
Santolina chamaecyparissus AGM
Taxus baccata ‘Semperaurea’ AGM
Let us know if you have had success with any of these, or if you have photographs of them being used as a buxus replacement in other gardens.