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Boxwood Blight

Did you know that boxwood greeneries and decorations could carry the boxwood blight pathogen to your property, destroying your boxwood plantings and threatening those of your neighbors? The disease can spread quickly.  Symptoms include brown leaf spots, black streaking on stems, and defoliation.

Boxwood Blight Prevention Recommendations:

  1. It is advisable to purchase and use non-boxwood plant materials for fresh-cut greenery decorations. This is particularly important for homeowners, private and public institutions with boxwood plantings on their properties.
  2. If fresh-cut boxwood greenery is highly desired, homeowners, private and public institutions must be sure to verify boxwood materials used are NOT infected with the boxwood blight pathogen. These practices include, but are not limited to, checking with the vendor to determine if:
    • The greenery producers are located in areas known NOT to have boxwood blight
    • The greenery producer’s materials were from his own production facility or another grower(s) and
    • His own boxwood production facility or other growers who supplied the boxwood materials have enrolled in the Boxwood Blight Cleanliness Program?
  3. When the holiday season is over, all greenery decorations need to be disposed of properly – double bagging them immediately then throwing in the trash can to be taken to the landfill without delay to avoid any unnecessary complications.
  4. Use 70% alcohol or Lysol Spray Brand III with 58% alcohol to sanitize everything that has been in contact with the greeneries and decorations.

Questions about boxwood blight in your garden?  Call the Henrico Extension Office at (804) 501-5160 or email Ed Olsen, Horticulture Extension Agent, at

Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight in the Virginia Home Landscape

Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force