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Disheartening to say the least....( ・ั﹏・ั)....


We have always had topiary in the garden, for as long as I can remember…..we are both keen growers, and over the years have produced a beautiful plaited Bay tree, also cloud prunings, all over 30 years old now…..

So it was a shock to discover our Buxus topiary had the dreaded Box Tree Moth, we had been so pleased that none of our plants had ever succumbed to blight, then to find we have Cydalima perspectalis, we were not happy bunnies!!

A few quick facts ….moths lay eggs on the underside of the leaves,.
eggs hatch into caterpillars which spin webbing over their feeding area…then caterpillars develope into pupae,which are concealed within the webbing….so not easy to control!! they can strip the leaves in days!!

On the advice of a Topiary Expert, we have sprayed all our plants, twice so far!! then we will feed them….then spray again!

Our large Box might have to be removed, it is not going to be practical to keep up a spraying regime every year …and we are loathe to keep using chemicals in the garden….

We grow several types of Box, and one of the more yellow variegated ones is clear, it remains to be seen whether this too will succumb!!.

To replace all our topiary would, not only be costly, to match the size of our older plants, but deciding what to replace it with, will be difficult…..the RHS has several suggestions…as you can imagine!!

I feel so sorry for the large country estates with their beautiful old topiary, how on earth will they deal with it?

Apparently this month was accidentally introduced to the UK!! originating from South East Asia!! almost certainly arrived on imported Buxus plants…..another reason to buy British plants only!

The pictures above show the moth and the caterpillar…..also some of our topiary….

If like us you have Box in your garden, inspect it with a fine tooth comb!! We wish we had discovered this pest earlier in the season!!

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that is such a shame. importing pests is the main reason I don't bring 'souvenirs' home from holidays.

lets hope you have a very localised infestation and the majority of your garden can be clear. they look so pretty.

28 Aug, 2019


Thanks Meadow, we were both upset to be truthful, London has suffered the worst with many more counties following behind, unfortunately it is here to stay!!

Seaburn, luckily the moth only attacks Buxus, it has been reported certain birds will feed on the caterpillars, then other articles say they are toxic!!....we shall see!!

28 Aug, 2019


Hi Dd, what a nightmare for you! Especially after years of maintaining and enjoying the topiary and garden. I’ve a box hedge in the front, it’s a slow grower..I’ll be keeping an eye on it. Thanks for your blog and advice.
Your garden looks beautiful. Fingers crossed for you.

28 Aug, 2019


Oh dear I can understand you both being upset, its heartbreaking when you have successfully grown and cherished them all these years and then lose them to something of this nature that actually is completely out of your control, so many of the things our parents and grandparents would have been able to use are now banned or very soon will be....

28 Aug, 2019


What a terrible shame. I would be so gutted to lose a plant i’d been nurturing for 30 years. These pests are only going toget worse with imported fruits, eg and plants, combined with warmer temps in the UK. The moth is beautiful, but behaves the same way as the dreaded Hawthorn Ermine Moth that plagues our hedge every year. They are horrible those webs full of beasties. :(

28 Aug, 2019


It all been said so just sending loads of sympathy!

28 Aug, 2019


Yes, as I do too.

It is an unwanted battle for you to keep your topiary as you love to see it.

Your garden is always such a pleasure to look at.

29 Aug, 2019


How terrible for you DD. I remember your hedges, Karen.
As gardeners we get so much thrown at us from the insect world.

29 Aug, 2019


Linda, we seem to be doing battle with something all the time!! ಠ﹏ಠ
Wildrose thanks for your lovely comment...(•‿•)
Stera, many thanks.....(. ❛ ᴗ ❛.)
Karen, I have not heard of the Ermine moth!! I hope it doesn't cause the same trouble as this moth, we need to stop importing fruit, flowers and veg....that's never going to happen though. Is it ? ಠ︵ಠ
Lincs, it is disappointing, but gardening is a bit of a roller coaster don't you think?'s not the end of the world, but very annoying. ʕಠ_ಠʔ
Kate, many thanks for your kind comments, it is always worse when you have been nurturing a plant for so long, then to find its survival is out of your hands......we shall do what we can though. ¯\_( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)_/¯

29 Aug, 2019


I do hope you are successful with your spraying regime. I can never understand why we have to import plants which we can produce ourselves here & this goes for produce too. I always buy British whenever possible, though we are not yet growing bananas & oranges in the UK.

29 Aug, 2019

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