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Your buxus leaves turning yellow don’t necessarily mean that your plant is in serious danger. It could be due to the plant’s natural life cycle, or how you’re watering or fertilising it. It could be an early sign of under and over-watering, which eventually turns into brown leaves, as discussed in this guide.
Carry on reading to learn other reasons and more into watering below:
Sometimes during the colder months, the tips of your buxus leaves may turn yellow. You can also see this at the edges of the leaves. This is because of the lower temperatures and is a natural occurrence.
What to do
Nothing. Just wait until spring. And then clip away any discoloured areas and apply a genera fertiliser in spring to give them the best start.
Watering problems which cause yellowing leaves
Both under-watering and over-watering your buxus results in the leaves turning yellow as mentioned earlier. In the first case, it’s because the plant doesn’t have enough water to send up to the leaves. In over-watering, it’s because the roots are too saturated with water to breathe and can’t send nutrients and water up through the plant. This can also lead to root rot, more on this below.
If you’re under-watering, the soil will be very dry; in over-watering, the soil will be soggy.
Also, if your buxus is in an area in which winds blow through, the yellow discolouration may occur because of the drying effect of cold winds.
What to do
In under-watering, give your buxus a good drink of water and try to let just let the surface of the soil dry put between watering.
In over-watering, remove some of the wet soil, and replace it with dry soil. While you’re down in the dirt, check the state of the plant’s roots. If some are brown or black and squishy, your buxus has succumbed to a fungal disease called root rot.
Root rot causes harm to your plant and can spread up the stem. For details on how to deal with this and save your buxus, please read Phytophthora Root Rot – prevention and treatment.
In both cases, make sure the excess water from watering drains away from the base of the plant, whether it’s in the garden or in a pot.
Is nutrient deficiency the cause of the yellow leaves
The advice under Fertilising in How to plant, grow and care for Buxus (boxwood) states that you don’t need to fertilise this plant much. However, leaves with yellow tips can indicate a lack of the appropriate nutrients for the buxus plant. And especially if the leaves also turn copper coloured.
What to do
If you’ve only applied fertiliser once in the spring, give your buxus another dose to pep it up. However, if you’ve already given fertiliser to your plant several times, check the package to make sure that it’s a balanced fertiliser and is suitable for the buxus plant.