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DNR warns Hoosiers about plants sold at Home Depot containing boxwood blight

Boxwood Blight WEB.JPG
Posted at 9:43 AM, May 30, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is warning Hoosiers about a shipment of boxwood plants that contain the boxwood blight fungus that were sold at Home Depot stores in the state.

Boxwood blight is a fungal disease that infests members of 'Buxaceae family' and is transported through the nursery trade. Host plants include boxwood, Japanese spurge and sweetbox. The DNR says annual inspections of nursery stock have verified that the pathogen is not indigenous to Indiana and is not found in local nurseries.

The DNR says the fungus can lay dormant in drier conditions, but can be found on all above-ground portions of infected plants. It presents itself as dark leaf spots and causes rapid defoliation, which typically starts on teh bottom of the plant and moves toward the top.

The infected nursery stock is being pulled from 13 Home Depot stores by nursery inspectors and representatives of the Cottage Garden, where the fungus is thought to have originated. They will be disposed of in a manner that will prevent the pathogen from spreading to other stock.

Home Depot currently sells several varieties of boxwood and the only species that has tested positive for the fungus so far is the Korean boxwood, although DNR is testing other species to ensure it has not spread.

If you have purchased a Korean boxwood from a Home Depot store in the past month contact the DNR for further guidance at 1-866-NO EXOTIC.