Help needed - Buxus Harlandii

Hi guys, I hope that you’re all doing more than well and enjoying the first days of new bonsai year. I’m writing in hope that the TCPBB (The Circle of Powerful Bonsai Brains - as I secretly call you) can somehow find an answer to the question which won’t let me sleep… Below are the pictures of my beloved box. Still very young and in training only for a short period of time. Despite that I love it.
It is cultivated as indoor tree. A few weeks ago it started to show a discoloration in some of the leaves. I live in the middle of europe and we suffer from a terrible lack of light for last two months or so. The tree was placed next to a south facing window. My initial thought was that the little box is stressed from the insufficient lighting conditions, so I’ve placed it under a glass container and put a growlight above it. Unfortunatelly this does not seem to help and the discoloration is spreading.
Could anyone please suggest what should I do to save him? Thank you all for your help, Jan

(And please excuse my English)

Hi Jan,
i know that Buxus isn’t winterhard but i wouldn’t left it inside as well. I’m not sure if the warm temperature is the problem but i would try to find a light place with temperatures around 10°C. I have mine in a non-heated wintergarden and it does fine. Beside a ficus i wouldn’t put any bonsai inside even if they are often selled as “indoor” bonsai.
I hope it will help.

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It could be box blight:disappointed_relieved:

I’m kind of sad, because it looks like you’re right. I’ve been looking more into the box blight disease and it seems very likely. And as I understood, there is no cure for the tree. Seems like I have to wave goodbye to this one :frowning:

If it’s any conciliation, you are not the only one.

Nothing useful to contribute other than condolences. I’m in the process of transitioning from “indoor in the winter and hope it works” to “cold weather frame outdoors” for exactly this reason. We’re all with you in your loss. :frowning:

I just lost a Harland to the same thing. Slow unstoppable death. Sprayed copper, daconil, mancozeb and two others I cannot talk about. Lost a beautiful japonica also, but very quickly. Someone warned me about Buxus but I had never had a problem until 2 years ago. Then pow, right in the kisser, twice. I have two healthy japonica’s still thriving. Going to take hospital precautions re:spreading infection. If I see a branch tip having problems, I will cut well below the tip, if I can, probably remove the entire branch. Won’t be buying any more Buxus. I feel your frustration because I really like Buxus, especially the Harland.

Hi All,
It was probably my mistake. I’m more into broad-leafed trees so I tent to study more about them. This little box was just something I’ve enjoyed to look at during long winter months. It always reminded me that there is a spring behind he corner. But I learned my lesson. Always try to learn the most about all the species you’re cultivating…

Boxwood blight can be identified by the stems of affected leaves turning black about the same time the leaves drop. Blight is not curable but can be prevented, it needs a regular schedule of rotating fungicides. Virginia Tech is doing alot of research on blight. I double checked
and harlandii is included in the list of varities that is most resistant to blight. If you have any other boxwoods I would start to spray them as a preventative measure. Also clean your pruners uou used on the infected plant. It spreads really easily. It can spread via our clothes as well.

I’ve never had any luck with boxwoods. I don’t know if it’s the heat, disease, or a complete lack of knowledge of the species, but I can’t keep one alive for more than a few seasons. I love the way they look though.

Might grab a $6 half gallon and try again. XD

As far as I’m concerned, it is the extent of humidity that killed it… Seems like the more humid the environment is, the easier it is for the fungus to spread. My conclusion is that it was me, who killed it. I was too concerned about the dry air that I went the other way and created an invironment too humid. That’s how you unconsciously kill a tree.

Boxus also will have less stress when it gets some afternoon shade. They have fine shallow roots, they also need to dry out slightly between watering. If you give them too much water and keep their feet wet they will die quickly. The dwarf varieties do not take pruning off all the foliage. At work i literally take care of thousands of American, English and Koreans boxwoods. I have a love- hate relationship with boxwoods.

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I thought before i start a new topic i ask in this thread.
I bought a buxus last year and being now in the repot time i am wondering if buxus need some specific soil because the one i bought is potted in a completely black soil. It is no garden soil, it has a diameter of 2mm (0.08 inch) and is pretty hard like dry akadama. I have to admit that i have no idea which soil it is.
Anybody any idea what soil this could be and can i repot it in a simple 1:1:1 mix or do they really need any special soil?

I would use the typical 1:1:1 mix. Boxwoods are pretty easy when messing with their roots.

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