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I made a garden in the spring of 2012 with planting of 45 "buxus nano pumila" plants (see attached photos)
This spring the bossi, after having made a luxuriant vegetation, during the period of the prolonged rains (March until June) have started to get sick,
first the leaves were withered, then they dried, in some cases part of the plant, in others on the whole plant (see photo)
It seems that the cause is attributable to a fungus that has attacked the plants, weakened by excess moisture and stagnation of water at the roots.
The soil is clayey in nature, under the plants I did not provide a water drainage system
About 20 plants out of a total of 45 are compromised.
I would like advice from Vs on how much you consider most useful to do in my case to solve the problem:
- decant all the plants, make a draining system (gravel in the lower layer of the excavation) and replant the boxwood (they advised me "buxus Faulkner" - more resistant) adding other healthy ones instead of sick ones
- as above, but at intervals add other border plants (possibly perennials and evergreens) instead of the sick boxwood
- eliminate all the box trees and plant other border plants, given the nature of the land, more suitable to withstand clay soil and near the lawn (but I would mind, my wife and I are lovers of boxwood)
- other (according to indications)
unfortunately spring 2013 was very cold and very rainy, in an exceptional way (hopefully), and the climate caused a long series of problems for many plants, which usually grow without problems in Italian gardens; a typical case is that of your bossi, which are generally cultivated as a border because they are very resistant, have a slow development, and tend to be content with the weather, all characteristics that make them ideal for the purpose for which you have decided to plant them. Just like you say, excess water in the soil is one of the main causes of the development of root rot, which can be lethal to plants, especially when they are young or small. Rotting can also be cured, using special fungicides, but it is clear that if the soil remains soaked with water, it is like trying to cure a cold, while going out barefoot every day in the snow. It is hoped that the climatic conditions of spring 2013 will not be repeated any more, even if in fact that of 2012 was not so different, and therefore perhaps it would be appropriate to make some changes to your boxwood cultivation. If you love these plants, in my opinion it is advisable that you continue to grow boxwood, because if you replace them with other plants, then if next spring is less turbulent you will eat your fingers thinking about how beautiful your boxwoods would have been; from personal experience, when one loves a plant, it is better to adapt the garden in order to cultivate it, rather than thinking of substitutes. My advice is to remove the ditches still in the dwelling, make a nice wide excavation, mixing the resulting soil with sand or gravel, to improve drainage and dough; place at the base of the hole a layer of drained material, such as pumice, gravel, pozzolana, lapillus, and then reposition the old boxwoods, and new boxwoods to replace the dead ones. Since many fungal diseases remain alive in the soil, it is advisable to do a nice treatment at the roots of the plants you will place, or you can treat the soil directly, so as to clean it of mushrooms; there are many fungicides on the market, ask the trusted nurseryman which he recommends and use it scrupulously as indicated on the package.