How to Revive a Buxus Plant? | How to Revive a Boxwood Plant?

Buxus hedges are an excellent choice for gardeners because of their durability, tolerance, and ability to be trimmed frequently to the desired shape. 

The leaves of boxwood should be green at all times. Your plants may be dying if the leaves turn brown, yellow, or drop. Buxus plants may become wilted if they are not watered regularly. Other diseases could be affecting your buxus plants, including root rot, root rot, and nematodes. The challenge lies in taking care of them during all seasons. Boxwood can be affected by drought stress and winter burn, and it is more likely to die if it isn’t taken care of. Your Box plant’s survival chances will increase if you diagnose the problem quickly. 

This post of AGRIKULTURE TODAY will show you how to revive a buxus plant and recover dying boxwood.

Best Buxus Planting Conditions

It may be that your Buxus plant is dying from not being planted in the correct place. For example, Box hedges need partial shade and protection against high winds. They do not thrive in full sun or windy conditions.

Buxus can become dehydrated if the summer heat is extreme. Regular watering of boxwood plants should be done to keep the soil moist. Depending on the weather, you can soak the soil twice a day to promote growth.

Mulch can also promote growth by providing nutrients and water retention. Also, we recommend clearing the Buxus of any fallen leaves or other plant debris. These conditions can encourage the growth of diseases and fungus, which is very common in Buxus Hedging plants.

Solving Common Boxwood Problems

Even though the odds of your boxwood dying are slim, you can still save it with proper care. We are here to help you to revive a dying boxwood.

Revive Dying Buxus

Boxwood or Buxus is an evergreen shrub that appeals to all landscapers and gardeners worldwide. This plant is great for elegant and formal landscaping. You can choose from a variety of boxwood varieties. They are great for growing as a hedge or as a houseplant.

Buxus Turning Brown in Summer

This is most common in summer when you grow outdoors. These symptoms can be found in lawn shrubs or gardens. It can also occur in small amounts in potted boxwood.

Reasons for Boxwood turning Brown

Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight could be a result of boxwood turning brown. As the main symptom, brown leaves on your boxwood could signify boxwood blight. Similar problems might also affect your boxwood, such as browning during the summer.

Drought Stress

Boxwood’s leaves turn brown if they don’t get enough rain or irrigation for a long time. Drought stress is the root cause of browning in newly planted boxwood. If the center of your boxwood leaf turns brown, you are likely suffering from drought stress.

Boxwood Leafminer

In late winter, leafminers begin their journey as partially-grown larvae. The larvae begin to multiply as the temperatures rise. They are most active in summer. They live in leaf blisters, where they feed on tissue. These leafminer larvae become adults and emerge from the leaves, creating a hole. This can eventually lead to brown spots on the boxwood leaves.

Volutella Stem Canker or Volutella Blight of Boxwood

Volutella, a fungal pathogen, is caused by Pseudonectria Buxi. This is additional insect damage to the leafminers. Like leafminers, it begins the journey in spring and spreads to the bark, and infects the branches. Part of the boxwood can die in extreme cases.

Also Read – How To Save A Dying Plant?

Prepare your Boxwood for Drought Stress

These are the steps you can take in order to prepare your boxwood for drought stress.

  1. Choose the right soil type for your boxwood. It is best to shop for all-purpose garden soils that adapt to external conditions.
  2. Add a layer of mulch 3 inches above the soil. This moisture-holding mulch will keep the soil from drying out.
  3. If your boxwood starts to wilt, water it immediately.
  4. Liquid fertilizers can be a great way to feed your boxwood.
  5. Harvest rainwater and use it to water your boxwood plants.

Defending Boxwood Against Insect Attack

It would be best if you protect your boxwood from the attacks of insects. These steps will give your boxwood an advantage against insects.

  1. Closely inspect and identify leaf tunneling. To kill any larvae, squeeze the leaves with your fingers.
  2. You can identify infested leaves, and you should pick them up as soon as possible.
  3. Harvest-guard is a product that prevents flies from landing eggs on your boxwood leaves.
  4. Diglyphus isaea is a parasitic insect wasp that attacks leafminer larvae. These wasps are available commercially and can be used to combat insect infestation.
  5. You could also use botanical insecticides as an alternative. These natural pesticides are much less harmful than synthetic chemicals, and they can be used quickly to combat insect infestation.

Yellow, Orange, or Brown Leaves of Boxwood

This is a common sign of Nutrient Deficiencies or Winter burn. The soil contains three essential nutrients: nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. Poor soil conditions often cause this problem.

Also Read – 

Identifying Nutrient Deficiencies in Buxus 

High soil pH and low nutrient levels are closely linked. The soil pH value will change if the nutrient level is too low or high. Boxwood should be grown at a pH of 6.0 to 7.2. We have seen garden soils in the USA with pH levels ranging from 4.5 to 6.5. To grow boxwoods, you need well-drained soil. If the soil nutrients are insufficient, you might consider adding food to the soil. 

If you notice tinged leaves with reddish-orange after or during the late winters, it could signify low nitrogen. It could also be a sign of winter white burn or drought stress. You can detrain by performing a soil or foliar test in late July/early August.

Identify Winter Burn in Boxwood

Boxwood can be challenging to grow in a cold environment. Many gardeners who live in cold climates reported that their boxwood leaves turn yellowish-brown frequently. This is due to excessive snow melting moisture and ice-cold temperatures.

These weather conditions can lead to winter burn, which causes boxwood leaves to turn yellowish or rusty. Winter burn can cause severe damage to your plants. Winter burn can spread quickly and infect healthy boxwood if you don’t act fast.

Photosynthesis is the process by which water is converted to energy. During this process, moisture is evaporated through the leaves of plants. Plants can’t replace water and become dehydrated during extreme cold or drought. The leaves can turn yellowish-brown at an earlier stage and, in severe cases, die entirely.

Prevent Winter Burn in Boxwood 

Even though the odds of saving your boxwood from winterburn are slim, it is possible to identify and treat the problem early. You can restore your boxwood to its original health with the proper steps.

  1. You can get a head start by starting preparations before winter arrives. There are many boxwood varieties available. AGRIKULTURE TODAY recommends choosing one that is more tolerant to cold. The Wintergreen Korean boxwood is an example of this. It has a higher tolerance to cold temperatures. Winter burn can be avoided by choosing a boxwood with a higher tolerance to cold.
  2. Your boxwood will be protected from winter burns by selecting the right time to plant. Your boxwood will be more robust and vigorous if you plant it in the spring. This will allow your boxwood to grow and have enough winter burn strength.
  3. Pruning your boxwood in the summer is a terrible idea and should be avoided. Pruning stimulates new growth at this time of year, and leaves will not suffer the wrathful winter.
  4. To retain moisture in your boxwood, add a layer of mulch. Mulch will help retain moisture by preventing water from freezing in the soil. Mulching will avert winter burn because boxwood requires water to remain healthy.
  5. Boxwood with winter burn will benefit significantly from fertilizer, particularly granular. We do not recommend liquid fertilizers as they can freeze in winter. Granular nutrients are slower to release and provide more nutrients over a longer time for more remarkable survival.

Regular Pruning of Boxwood after Winters

The growth rate of Buxus drops dramatically in the winter months after they have grown in the summer. The winter can be hard on buxus plants, especially if it freezes. This is because the plants lose water and may die from the new growth. This can cause severe cracking of the branches and stems, making spring look unattractive.

These brown, cracked branches can be trimmed to make room for new, healthy growth in spring. The Buxus can start to revive itself with healthy wood and green stems.

Sometimes, however, the entire plant can become brown and cracked. To revive the Boxwood shrub, you can trim the whole plant down to the stem. You may lose the Boxwood shrub, but trimming the dead plants gives you the chance to grow new life.

Make sure the Boxwood Branches are Aired

It is essential to prune the center of your plant. The plant’s interior can be a breeding ground for disease and fungi. Due to a large number of branches within the Boxwood, the inside can become humid. We recommend trimming the inside branches in the early spring to ensure a successful year. This allows the air to reach the plant’s interior and revive dying Buxus plants.

Root Rot in Boxwood

Root rot is a condition where the leaves of your boxwood turn yellowish-green on one or more branches. Root rot slowly turns your boxwood’s leaves yellowish and dull, eventually leading to their death. Root rot can be difficult to spot as the surrounding branches appear healthy.

Surprisingly, dead leaves can be found attached to branches. These leaves can infect the entire branch they are attached to. Slowly, the infected leaves spread to healthy branches and eventually kill the whole buxus bush.

Root rot is caused by a fungus spreading from soil that has been contaminated. The fungus spreads from the soil to the roots, causing the soil to become infected. While the fungus can live for many years in your soil, it may not cause any harm. It will start to grow if it is given the right conditions.

Researchers have found that root rot is more likely to occur in winter in boxwood that has been exposed to lower temperatures. There is a 10% chance of root rot occurring at moderate temperatures.

Root Rot Treatment in Boxwood 

Root rot is a serious problem that can’t be treated once it has infested the boxwood. The rot is likely to persist in the soil for years, and there will be no way to stop it. It will produce a similar result, so don’t bother replacing your boxwood. Also, replace the soil around your home.

You can take the following steps to prevent root rot in your boxwood.

  • Boxwood can be transplanted with healthy roots. For transplanting purposes, the best root is firm white.
  • Once you have finished gathering roots for transplanting, it is time to replace the soil with one with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Anything in the middle of these ranges will work.
  • You can mix your soil with coarse and perlite to increase its drainage capacity. This will improve drainage and decrease fungus buildup.
  • Do not plant boxwood too deeply in the soil. Keep the soil line of your container where the boxwood arrived.
  • Apply about 2 inches of mulch to the soil. This will help regulate soil temperature and retain water. Remember that transplanted boxwood needs to be watered more often than a boxwood grown in a field. It only requires watering once every 10 days.
  • Keep doing this through winter, and then start feeding your boxwood bone meals in the spring.

Tips to Prevent Root Rot in Buxus

If you notice that your boxwood has root rot symptoms, take immediate action to stop further damage.

  1. Take out the boxwood and wash the roots as much as you can. This may still allow your boxwood to survive.
  2. To stop the spread of this disease to affected roots, it is a good idea to use shears to remove infected parts.
  3. Make sure to sterilize any shears you use when trimming infected roots. The fungal spores can spread more easily to other plants if you don’t sterilize the shears that were used to trim the infected root. Use a mixture of bleach and water in a 1/3 ratio to sterilize your shears.
  4. Choosing soil with a higher drainage capacity is essential when shopping for boxwood soil. This will help reduce the amount of fungus that can cause root rot.

Tips to Take Care of Boxwood in Summer

  1. Mature boxwood should be watered every week once they have been established.
  2. For moisture retention, mulch should be 2 to 3 inches thick. 
  3. When temperatures get extremely high, water your boxwood regularly. It is crucial to water your boxwood periodically and deeply so that the water reaches its root zone.
  4. It is essential to use all-purpose soil to help you care for your boxwood in all weather conditions.

Bringing a Boxwood Back to Life

Boxwood can be a great addition to landscaping, even though they are slow-growing. They come in various elegant styles and offer a range of decorative options. They can be used in tiny homes to add beauty and elegance.

Boxwood can be pretty costly to grow and requires a lot of effort. They are susceptible to many weather conditions, so you need to be careful. Our How to revive a Boxwood Plant guide will hopefully be helpful enough to save your boxwood plant. If you give it some attention, water it well, and mulch properly, your boxwood will be more resilient to all weather conditions.


If you have any more queries, please leave a comment below. If you find this helpful, please share it with other growers of the boxwood plant.

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