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Buxus caterpillar attack

I planted my lovely buxus this January, unfortunately looks like most of them are half dead from buxus caterpillars. I don’t want to use pesticides as they kill bees and other insects. Is there any chance they will recover? 😢 Photos show the damage. 


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,628
    I'm sorry, I don't think those will recover.

    I'm giving up as well and will take nearly all my box hedging/balls out. Don't want to spray at all and don't want the maintenance issues either.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Has anyone tried xen-tari? I have found some reviews online saying that it is helping and it is environmentally friendly as it only targets these caterpillars. 
  • Some forum members had success with it...but it all depends if you want to have another ongoing maintenance chore and of course how many you have planted. I replaced mine with yew and euonymus and haven't regretted it one bit. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,933
    I would agree. It will just be a relentless chore trying to fix that - if it even could be fixed.
    I'm glad we don't have any of these problems up here.   ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • bédébédé Posts: 2,967
    edited September 2021
    Small signs that the caterpilar visited last year, but I have been more vigilant this year.  So far, none.  Perhaps the Surrey weather has not been to their liking.

    Fairygirl:   Yet!
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,925
    Some of our box plants in the back garden have been attacked for the first time.
    We have quite a lot of box in the front and back gardens and l have an awful feeling that it's the beginning of the end. Having said that, l have ordered some nematodes to try and prevent it from spreading, but life's too short if they don't work and l will be looking into replacement plants.
    We visited my parent's house yesterday on a flying visit and a quick glance makes me think their hedge has been attacked as well.
    I am trying to look on it as a new planting opportunity, we have had many years from these hedges, but it's very disheartening all the same.
  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 862
    edited September 2021
    I’ve used XenTari for three years now (1 box per year), and it seems to work. I don’t buy moth traps but in late spring when I notice a moth or two or there is some webbing I spray XenTari every few weeks during the growing season.

    I only have three box plants, having swapped over to Euonymus japonica ‘Green Spire’ for my other topiary, so it’s a relatively light task. Makes me feel like a hairdresser when doing it 😄

    Cambridgeshire, UK
  • Was surprised to find out that it's a treatment not officially approved for domestic use. Wonder if they will approve it eventually.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,628
    I feel the same as you @AnniD, I have lots of box hedging and box balls that I've lovingly looked after for at least ten years. I've noticed in the last few weeks more and more have been attacked by the caterpillars so I'm thinking of taking the whole lot out. This will also simplify my garden and cut down on the chores which I now need to think about. I'm sure it will give the garden a new lease of life and more moisture for the remaining plants, including lots of roses.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,925
    @Lizzie27, if it was up to me, l'd start taking the whole lot out, especially in the back garden .
    However my OH wants to wait and see if the nematodes work, so to keep marital harmony l've agreed although l think it's just postponing the inevitable. I don't want to be doing this every year for the forseeable future ☹.
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