Why Are My Boxwoods Turning Yellow? (12 Reasons)

why are my boxwoods turning yellow
why are my boxwoods turning yellow

Boxwoods, also known as boxus, is a genus with about 70 species from which people can select. These grow as small shrubs and can make your garden look beautiful.

The plant is usually considered low maintenance, making it a great plant option.

Even beginners should be able to keep the plant healthy as it does not require much effort. However, people should understand that many things should be kept in check when growing shrubs.

This is because these can grow quickly and should be controlled to prevent issues. People have recently been asking, “Why are my boxwoods turning yellow?”.

If you have the same problem, this article should help you get an answer. We will provide you with some common reasons for the problem you are running into and solutions that can be used for them.

Why Are My Boxwoods Turning Yellow?

  1. Watering Your Boxwoods

When growing boxwoods, the first thing people should keep in check is the amount of water the plant is getting. Most varieties of shrubs require tons of water daily, which is why people should keep this step in mind.

If your boxwoods are not getting the water required, that can easily prevent them from getting discolored. When watering the shrubs, people have to use enough water that it gets collected inside the soil of their plants.

Insufficient Water

This can be quite difficult as the liquid might start spreading around the garden. To prevent this, mulches are made around the plant, which are small walls of soil surrounding it.

These can gather the liquid inside them so your boxwoods can always access water. Aside from this, making sure that there is no drainage system around the plant is another important step.

This is because water can start to seep out of these tunnels and escape the boxwoods. That said, one more thing that people should take care of includes all the other plants in their garden.

There is a high chance that these might require a low amount of liquids which is why keeping them away from all the water is necessary.

If you don’t do this, the problem with your boxwoods will be fixed, but the extra water will kill all the other plants in your garden instead.

Growing flowers with similar maintenance steps is a great way of preventing this problem.

  1. Aging Plants

Boxwoods are slow-growing plants and will naturally age over time. As a boxwood age, it can lose its vigor, even if cared for properly.

Due to nutrient deficiencies or other environmental stresses, old or aging plants may suffer from yellowing leaves.

Boxwoods can suffer from transplant shock, especially if they are moved to a different location in the yard or garden.


To avoid this kind of shock, when moving a boxwood, clean it regularly for the first few weeks and continue to provide adequate nutrition.

  1. Environmental Stressors 

Incorrect pruning techniques can also cause stress in your boxwoods, leading to yellow leaves. To properly prune boxwoods, cut back no more than 1/3 of the plant’s height or width at one time.

Too much sun can also cause yellowing leaves, as boxwoods prefer partial shade in hot climates. If your boxwood gets too much direct sunlight, move it to a shaded location and water it regularly.

  1. Severe Nematode Infestation In Plant

Nematode infestation is a dangerous disease that boxwoods are known for catching.

These usually cause your plant’s roots to tangle together or even form knots that can stop its growth. As the infestation progresses, the leaves on the plant start getting discolored and eventually rot away.

The problem can be quite annoying and dangerous as your boxwoods will soon die if not taken care of.

When fixing the issue, people must act quickly, as nematodes can only be cured during the first few weeks. If the infestation has already spread, replacing your plants with new ones is your only option.

On the other hand, if you notice the problem early, people can start taking out some soil from their garden and then heating it inside their oven.


The warm soil helps cure the plant from this infestation, and the leaves should start turning back green within a few days.

  1. Winter Damage

Finally, most people already know how long boxwoods can last them. Considering this, if you notice that your plant is running into issues, then it can easily be from winter damage.

During these seasons, many branches from the variety can get damaged or even die out. Although, people have to cut all of these and remove them before the bloom time of the shrubs.

This is because having dead leaves and branches stuck in the boxwoods can prevent their growth.

Simply pruning the plant every year once winters have ended is a great way of ensuring that this problem never appears. Even if you run into it, removing the dead leaves and branches should be enough to fix it.

  1. Nutrient Deficiencies 

Boxwoods are evergreen shrubs, typically planted in landscapes to provide year-round greenery. However, when your boxwoods start turning yellow, this can signify something is wrong with the plant.

Boxwoods require six essential nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), and sulfur (S).

Lack of Nutrients

When any of these nutrients are lacking, it can cause yellowing leaves. Deficiencies in nitrogen and phosphorus are often to blame for yellowing on boxwoods, as these elements are important for healthy leaf growth.

  1. Pests and Disease 

Boxwood blight infects boxwoods, causing yellowing leaves. This type of infection develops slowly, so it’s important to inspect your boxwoods regularly for signs of pests and disease.

Early detection is key for preventing and treating boxwood blight.

  1. Poor Irrigation 

Overwatering or irregular watering can cause yellowing leaves in boxwoods. If your boxwoods are turning yellow, ensure that you regularly provide adequate water.

Also, ensure to avoid over-fertilizing your boxwoods, as this can cause them to become stressed and vulnerable to disease.

  1. Poor Soil Conditions 

If your boxwood’s leaves turn yellow, it could indicate that the soil is unsuitable. Boxwoods need well-drained, acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.

Poor Soil Condition

If your soil is too alkaline or has poor drainage, this can cause yellowing leaves in your boxwood. To improve the health of your boxwood, you can add organic materials such as compost and manure to the soil.

  1. Inadequate Sunlight 

Boxwoods need at least four hours of sunlight daily to remain healthy. If your boxwood is not receiving enough sunlight, it could be causing its leaves to turn yellow.

Try moving your boxwood to a sunnier spot or supplementing with artificial lighting.

  1. Temperature Extremes 

Boxwoods are sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. If your boxwood is exposed to temperatures outside its ideal range, it could cause the leaves to turn yellow.

Ensure your boxwood has adequate protection from extreme temperatures throughout the year.

  1. Fungal Growth

Although boxwoods are generally hardy shrubs, they are vulnerable to fungal growth that can turn the leaves yellow.

Fungal diseases such as volutella blight or phytophthora root rot can cause foliage to become yellowed with small black spots. Additional signs of a fungal infection may include stunted growth, thinning foliage, and branches drooping.

To prevent fungal growth, ensure proper planting and care of boxwoods. Planting in soil that is well-draining and does not remain overly wet can help to reduce the risk of fungal infection.

How to prevent Boxwoods from turning yellow?

Many people enjoy the lush and vibrant green foliage of boxwoods in their gardens. Unfortunately, this may sometimes be disrupted by the yellowing or discoloration of some or all of the leaves.

To prevent this, it is important to consider a few factors that can cause boxwoods to turn yellow.

Soil pH Balance: The soil pH level of the area in which your boxwood is planted plays an important role in whether or not its leaves will turn yellow. Boxwoods prefer slightly acidic soil, with a pH range between 6 and 7.

Soil testing kits are available at garden stores and online, so you can check the pH balance of your soil and make any necessary adjustments.

Fertilizer: Using the wrong fertilizer can also cause boxwoods to turn yellow. Generally, slow-release fertilizer is best for boxwoods, as it will provide them with steady and balanced nutrition throughout their growing season.

Water: Boxwoods need a consistent moisture supply to thrive, but overwatering can lead to yellow discoloration in their leaves.

It is important to check your soil regularly and provide adequate water only when needed. Mulching around the base of your boxwood will help.

With these tips, you’ll be able to prevent your boxwoods from turning yellow. Remember, it is also important to keep an eye on the affected plants so that you can take prompt action if a problem arises.

With some extra care and attention, you should be able to maintain the lush green foliage of your boxwoods for years to come!

1 thought on “Why Are My Boxwoods Turning Yellow? (12 Reasons)”

  1. My boxwoods had heat damage from a gas power washer resulting in many yellow leaf patches! What should I do?? Can I spray paint the yellow leaves with water based green paint??


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