Better Boxwood® is the first collection of scientifically bred blight-resistant boxwood varieties in the United States.
The culmination of two decades of rigorous selection and testing.
This groundbreaking collection was developed in Europe, a region battling boxwood blight since the early 1990s. The meticulous breeding process was spearheaded by Didier Hermans, a renowned Belgium grower, in collaboration with the Flemish Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, both of whom are at the forefront of the fight against boxwood blight in Europe.
Boxwood blight, a devastating fungal disease, first emerged in the United States in 2011 and has since spread to over 25 states, posing a significant threat to home gardens and historic boxwood collections nationwide. Its impact has been particularly felt at renowned collections like Reynolda, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, where historic boxwood plantings date back to 1933.
Boxwood serves as a cornerstone shrub in both residential and commercial landscapes, making boxwood blight particularly detrimental to homeowners. The disease can rapidly spread, affecting an entire property’s boxwoods and persisting for an extended period. Once blight symptoms appear, replanting with susceptible boxwood varieties is not an immediate option. Unfortunately, traditional boxwood varieties, such as American boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’), are highly vulnerable to boxwood blight.
Although commercially available fungicides can be used to treat blight, the treatment regimen required can be intensive. Planting blight-resistant varieties like Better Boxwood represents the most effective approach to combat boxwood blight. As blight-resistant varieties are increasingly planted across the country, we can effectively reduce the spread of boxwood blight, leading to a decline in the disease’s prevalence over time.