Woolly Aphid on Box

Between Spring and Early Summer little white, fluffy looking dots may start appearing on box hedging and topiary. These are woolly aphids, a small sap sucking insect feeding on the soft stems of box. Woolly aphids are actually black aphids who cover themselves in white, waxy secretions for protection. Infestations are rarely bad enough to cause any lasting damage to the box so rather than using chemicals, I prefer to brush the aphids off with a stiff brush. Another way to control woolly aphids is to encourage their natural predators into the garden. Ladybirds, lacewings and hoverfly larvae are excellent…

box tree caterpillar

Five Ways to Beat the Box Tree Caterpillar

The box tree caterpillar is back and its numbers are increasing. If you’ve got the caterpillar in your garden then you will know the havoc it can cause, stripping box plants of their leaves in a very short period of time. Box tree caterpillars are relatively easy to spot when you know what to look out for. The obvious signs are small areas of densely woven webbing and below this small grit-like black balls. This is caterpillar poo! Closer investigation will reveal the box tree caterpillar, protecting itself within the webbing and box leaves. This behaviour makes it very difficult…

Improve the Health of Box Topiary and Hedging with Regular Mulching

Spring is the perfect time to mulch underneath box hedging and topiary. Mulching is an excellent way to improve the health of box and encourage thicker, bushier growth. Buxus sempervirens has a very shallow, wide-spreading root system. Soil around the base of box will be disturbed and removed overtime by weeding, watering and Winter weather conditions. This may leave the root system exposed and at risk of drying out, which will affect the health of the box. A regular application of mulch every Spring is a good way to protect the roots and help retain moisture in the soil during…

Discount Code for Box Tree Moth Pheromone Traps

Box tree moths will be on the move soon. They are active between May and October and can have up to three life cycles in a year, usually lasting six to eight weeks. Breeding can sometimes occur earlier if the weather warms up. So I usually put my box tree moth pheromone traps out by the end of March. The traps act an early warning system revealing when the male box tree moths are moving around and a new life cycle is about to begin. It’s a good time to spray box hedging and topiary with a biological insecticide when…

Simple Plastic Bag Test to Diagnose Box Blight

Correct diagnosis of box blight is important in order to know how to respond to this potentially devastating disease. Box blight can be treated with a combination of fungicides and improvements in gardening practices if diagnosed quickly before the infection has spread. Symptoms of box blight include browning of the leaves and patches of defoliation. Black streaks maybe visible on the stems and small white spores on the underside of the leaves. Discoloration of box leaves and defoliation could also be the result of nutrient deficiency. This is why a correct diagnosis is important as the box plants may just…