dead boxwood hedge


It got a disease and is dead. Can I pull it out and just replace it with new boxwood plants – is the soil safe.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners concerning your boxwood.

We have numerous posts on our website concerning the treatment of boxwood moth as well as boxwood leaf miner. Simply type Boxwood into the Find it Here bar located to the right of the page.

The answer to you question depends on what caused your boxwoods demise. Boxwoods has been plagued with several issues recently.  Boxwood blight has been a problem in Ontario since 2014 while damage from the box tree moth larvae which was first detected in Etobicoke in 2018 has now spread more widely in Toronto and was a major issue for gardeners last year. Boxwoods are also infected by boxwood leaf miner.

The following information on all three of the above pests are from some of our archived posts:

In the case of boxwood blight, some experts recommend not replanting boxwood in the same spot in the event that the blight spores are still active in the soil.  However, if care is taken to select more blight resistant varieties and follow the practices outlined in our post then successful replacement is possible. See Boxwood Blight 

The horticultural association for landscape professionals, Landscape Ontario, has been monitoring and controlling the spread of box tree moth in Toronto for several years. Box tree moth larvae can be effectively managed with a safe biological insecticide – registered for use in Canada. If you identify the caterpillars eating your boxwood in May contact Landscape Ontario promptly. They can advise you on managing box tree moth and refer you to a professional to administer the insecticide. For more information Rejuvenating boxwood plants damaged by box tree moth

Boxwood Leafminer (Monarthropalpus flavus), is the larva (immature form) of a small, orangish mosquito-like fly. Here is a link to a previous Toronto Master Gardener posts on ‘time to deal with boxwood leaf miners’, which you may find informative: Boxwood leafminerBoxwood Shrubs Infested

Lastly, this link on Boxwood alternative will provide alternatives to your boxwood should you decide to replace them..”

May 26, 2021