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Box Hedge and Bush Problem - Please Help!

I have a small box hedge at the front of my house and in the space of a month, half of it seems to have turned broen and died. Can anyone tell me what is going on? Is there any way to bring it back to life, or do I need to start again?!



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,279
    Blight or the caterpillar of the box moth.
    Lots of gardens affected nowadays
    One current thread here
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,567
    And another thread. It's not great news l'm afraid.
  • Oh no. Doesn't make for good reading!

    I had a large bush out in the back garden. Trimmed it one day and the next week half of it looks like it has died. Is this likely the same problem?

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,567
    edited September 2021
    I would say your first set of photos show damage by box caterpillars. If you have a look inside and around the bottom of the plants you will more than likely see hundreds of tiny eggs. I think the caterpillars may have gone by now, l haven't seen any on my plants for around a week.
    As for the second photo, l'm not quite so sure, that could be blight. Hopefully someone can confirm. You would be so unlucky to get the caterpillars and blight in the same garden. 
    Edited to add, on closer inspection l think it is caterpillar damage on the second one.
  • Thanks. My wife says shes seen caterpillars on the hedge at the front.

    I just can't believe how quickly they have killed the bushes!
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,436
    All my Box came out this weekend.All around 20 years old.
    It will be an on going problem for years and really not worth the hassle of treating with chemical or biological sprays every season.
    Best to get rid of sooner rather than later.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,279
    I think the phrase 'cut your losses' is the appropriate one here @christian.morton.

    It's a shame, but the rapid spread, once it takes hold, means you're constantly fighting. Life's too short  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,306
    So sad to see and yet B&Q in South London was laden with plants...without a warning of the potential issue. Asked them to maybe consider withdrawing them from sale in the South East on Twitter and they said they'd pass on the message/info. The retailers can really help educate potential buyers and even promote alternatives, they had ilex on sale anyway. As we know by now, it's not a matter of if but when they will be attacked. 

    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • I'm not the most knowledgable gardener and never knew about this before!

    I'm South East London Bromley area. Sounds like a hot spot for this.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,279
    Look at it as an opportunity for something new - and less stressful  @christian.morton    ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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