My 2-year-old small boxwood shrubs are getting dried leaves on some branches. I have been cutting them out and spraying with Sevin. What should I do now?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Myra in Oklahoma: Without seeing a sample it is difficult to determine exactly what is going on with your boxwoods. I assume you have seen insect activity and this is why you are spraying Sevin. There are a few different insects that like boxwoods, but in most cases they are not detrimental to the plants. It is always important to have the insect identified before spraying any product on your plants. This way you are not wasting time and/or money if the product is not labeled for what you are dealing with. You can take a sample of the foliage to your County Cooperative Extension Service to have the horticulture agent rule out any insect or disease issues. It is good that you are removing the dead foliage but sure to dispose of all foliage that you remove, do not leave it on the soil around the plants. The problem could also be moisture related; even established plants require extra water during really hot and dry periods. Keep the soil moderately moist but not sopping wet. A thin layer of mulch no more than 2 inches will help retain the moisture levels and keep the weeds down. Boxwoods are pretty tough plants and if the root system is healthy, more than likely they will be just fine.