2019 Gardening in the Northern Neck
Boxwood Blight Identified in Reedville
What is boxwood blight?
Boxwood blight is a serious fungal disease that results in defoliation and decline of susceptible boxwood. Once introduced to a landscape, boxwood blight is very difficult and costly to control with fungicides. The major means of spread of this disease is by movement of contaminated plant material (e.g. container or field-grown boxwood, boxwood greenery used for holiday decoration), but boxwood blight spores can also be spread on pruning tools, clothing, equipment and anything that might have contacted infected plants. Home growers can best protect their boxwood by following the measures listed in the Virginia Cooperative Extension publication Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight in the Virginia Home Landscape.
Symptoms of Boxwood Blight
The most characteristic symptoms of boxwood blight on susceptible boxwood cultivars are brown leaf spots that lead to defoliation and black streaking on boxwood stem tissue. Generally, the black streaking on the stem tissue is indicative of boxwood blight. Other conditions may cause brown leaf spots and defoliation on boxwoods; however, those symptoms seen with the black streaking on the stem indicates the presence of boxwood blight. Some cultivars of boxwood can harbor the boxwood blight pathogen, yet show no symptoms; these cultivars are considered partially resistant (also referred to as “tolerant”) cultivars. Fungicides can also mask symptoms of the disease on susceptible cultivars.
What to do if boxwood blight is suspected in a landscape
Virginia growers should submit suspect plant samples for diagnosis to their local Virginia Cooperative Exten¬sion (VCE) office (http://www.ext.vt.edu/offices/).
• Collect symptomatic boxwood samples (stems with black streaks, leaf spots, or defoliation) and double-bag in sealed plastic bags before transporting to your Extension office.
• Plant samples should be accompanied by a completed plant diagnostic form (456-097), available at the county Extension office.
Download the Virginia Cooperative Extension publication Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight in the Virginia Home Landscape
Visit the Boxwood Blight Task Force web site
Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program and the Virginia Tech Plant Disease Clinic Boxwood Blight Video Series
Welcome to the Northern Neck Master Gardener (NNMG) web site, your gateway to responsible, science-based gardening information for Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland Counties. We are an organization of volunteers with a common interest in gardening and community service.
The Master Gardener Program is an educational program of Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) drawing on the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities - Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. Working with Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland Counties, we are able to bring the knowledge and expertise of Virginia’s land-grant universities to the people of the Northern Neck.
Our organization supports a variety of programs specifically targeted to the unique growing conditions and environmental concerns of our largely rural region, which is bordered by two major river systems and the Chesapeake Bay. Activities highlighted on this web site include: science enrichment programs in the schools; seminars and workshops for gardeners; gardening advice; horticultural therapy for seniors; a speakers' bureau; shoreline advisory services; and specialized gardens demonstrating basic gardening principles.
We invite you to attend our programs, visit our teaching gardens, and come to us with your gardening questions. You can reach us by email, by visiting or calling Virginia Cooperative Extension offices, and by stopping by our booths at farmers markets and special events throughout the area.
The Northern Neck Master Gardener Association is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Annually, we contribute thousands of volunteer hours in the four counties of the Northern Neck. In 2017, Northern Neck Master Gardeners contacted more than 19,300 people and contributed 11,857 hours to the community valued at $317,175. In addition, the Northern Neck Master Gardeners' Facebook page reached more than 17,000 people. Statewide there are more than 4,000 active Master Gardener volunteers serving almost all of Virginia's counties and independent cities.
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
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