Plant Diseases/Boxwoods

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Question
Unhealthy Boxwood
Unhealthy Boxwood  

Healthy Boxwood
Healthy Boxwood  
Ms. Johnston,

I have been tending to two Boxwood bushes I planted last year on each side of my garage. One side (by side of house)is doing good, green and getting larger. However the other side is not faring so well. I talked to my uncle, who has some experience with landscaping and such, and he mentioned that the problem is lack of iron. He suggested my purchasing Ferric or Ferrous Oxide, but I cannot find it and local places have no idea.

Might you know what I can do to save this boxwood?

Thank you
Jody Blake

Answer
Dear Jody, I don't think the problem with your boxwood is lack of iron.  It can turn the leaves yellow, but generally the pattern is green veins with yellow margins, not this all-over bronzing of your plant.  This plant really looks so bad that I would be tempted to start over on that side.  It isn't healthy and it won't catch up to the other one.  You would do much better to get another boxwood.  One thing I can definitely tell from the picture is that this boxwood has been considerably more stressed than the other one.  The soil looks very poor.  I would get a bag of landscape mix, or even topsoil, and mix it into the soil before planting another one.  It also looks like it is drier than the other one, but that could be because your soil is poor and won't retain water very well, and also the other side has mulch.  I think if you replace the plant and amend the soil with topsoil or landscape mix and apply mulch,  you would have much better results.  You might also want to give the new plant a bit of root stimulator when you plant it to give it an extra boost.  If you want to try to nurse the unhealthy one along, I would still remove it from the area and replant in a pot for the time being and try to give it extra attention.  Now as far as purchasing Ferric or another iron product - look for Ironite.  It is the best product out there and widely used by gardeners.  You should be able to find that product in most gardening centers.  I hope this information helps you.  Please write back if you have further questions.  Good luck.  Melissa

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Melissa Johnston

Expertise

Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.

Experience

35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Organizations
Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

Publications
none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Education/Credentials
Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of Allexperts.com and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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