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Master Gardeners Warn Of Plant Threatening Fungus

A common landscaping plant has recently fallen victim to a fungus that is easily spread to other plants in the yard by latching itself onto gardening tools. The boxwood is the household name for the small leafed, bushy plants that spruce up the front of anyone's home, but maintaining these bushes is contaminating clippers and other tools, spreading that fungi to the other plants.

The Christian County Master Gardeners have seen cases sprout up recently that will require action to end the dying of the boxwoods. Linda Smith, a Master Gardener says that boxwoods’ purchased within the past five years are susceptible to this new fungus.

Volutella blight is the browning stems that protrude from the boxwood that carries the fungus. Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi says the browning will spread until the fungus has affected every part of the plant. Podeschi also mentions that boxwood blight could spread more aggressively.

The Master Gardeners' advice would be to disinfect your gardening tools. The tedious process would require the gardener to wash the tool in a mixture of ten parts water to one part bleach between every cut.

Linda Smith says sprays can be used as a preventative measure. Smith continued by saying an uptick has been noticed by area farmers and Master Gardeners of fungi traveling through the air, infecting flowering plants. This has brought more labor and guidelines for cultivators to watch out for.

The Master Gardeners Gwen Podeschi and Linda Smith appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

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