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Boxwoods are slow-growing, evergreen shrubs that are planted to create a modern and elegant landscape design. In addition, boxwoods’ perennial nature makes them the ideal ornamental plant to use for formal hedges and entryways. Around 70 species of boxwood shrub are primarily derived from the two common boxwoods in cultivation: the common boxwood and littleleaf.


Boxwood dieback/flagging is often caused by:

  • Volutella Blight
  • Structural Damage
  • Salt Damage
  • Pet Damage


Boxwood Blight may cause brown blotches and dark leaf spots on your boxwood shrub. It is a disease caused by spores from the fungus Calonectria pseudonaviculata. Aside from dark leaf spots, other symptoms of Boxwood blight may show white sporulation found on the undersides of the infected leaves and narrow black streaks that may develop on green stems.

Dead Leaf Spots

The boxwood leaf miner is a severe pest that causes prominent yellow blisters on the boxwood leaf. These yellowish “blisters” are indicative of larvae feeding. When infected leaves are ripped open, they will show tiny yellowish maggots.

Leaf Curling/Cupping

Boxwood leaf curling/cupping is often caused by:

  • Psyllid

Moldy Leaves

Boxwood moldy leaves are often caused by:

  • Powdery Mildew


Wilting in boxwood shrubs can be caused by structural damage or necrosis. Necrosis is the death of cells or tissues. Necrosis is not a disease itself but rather a symptom of another disease of general stress. One disease that necrosis can signify is Phytophthora, a fungal disease that arises from the soil.

Overwatering, or poor soil drainage, can also cause wilting in boxwood, leading to root rot.


Pennsylvania can experience extreme freezing during the winter, and the weather may take a considerable toll on your boxwood. In addition, damage caused by winter damage (freezing soil, winter burn) will be visible if leaves start turning yellow during spring.

Yellowing and curling leaves can indicate a severe root rot problem. Treating root rot is all about improving soil drainage.

Boxwood yellowing/browning is often caused by:

  • Pet Damage
  • Volutella Blight
  • Structural Damage
  • Salt Damage
  • Phytophthora Rot

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