2 new box topiary balls – box blight or transit stress/ frozen water droplet marks?
I’ve just received 2 new box topiary balls from an online retailer and am concerned they may have box blight – both plants look a bit patchy in places, have quite a number of leaves with brown spots on them and are shedding dry brown/black leaves at a pretty heavy rate. The retailer is adamant that they are healthy and say the leaf shedding is down to transit stress whilst the brown spots are due to the plants being watered when the weather has been freezing, causing water droplets to freeze and mark the leaves, then sent me a picture of a hedge with advanced box blight with a kind of “that’s not box blight, THIS is box blight” comment. I completely understand that plants get transit stress and will drop some leaves but this seems more than that, if it carries on this way they’ll both be half bald by the end of the week! Re the water droplets, my understanding is that box is pretty hardy, tho the website doesn’t specify the variety, just describes it as “premium quality buxus”. We live in the north and have a large, thriving box hedge at the front of our house in a very exposed spot, so it’s been through similar conditions to those described by the retailer and I can’t see the same brown spots as on the new plants. Here are 3 close-up photos, I’ve little to no experience so would be very grateful for any feedback – I don’t want to put them out near a healthy box if they may have box blight. Retailer is also saying if I want to return I can have a refund but will be liable for the return costs as “these are live plants and do recover once planted out, they are not faulty like a cd player which is not alive”.