Bloombux outwits the box tree moth

The RHS has issued a warning that it has received around five times more reports of the pestilential box tree moth (Glyphodes perspectalis), blight of Boxwood trees nationwide, compared with this time last year, saying: “There is a possibility of more generations than usual if we have a warm autumn.“ How best to tackle box tree moths was the most frequently asked question to the RHS team at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, who were also asked about the best alternatives to box plants.

The hardy ornamental Bloombux – a species of rhododendron – really shines and remains unaffected by the box caterpillars. not only eliminating the problem of disease, but also producing spectacular blossom and neat, dense foliage. The INKARHO breeding also makes Bloombux tolerant to lime, allowing it to thrive on nearly any well-draining garden soil. It really starts to shine in late spring, when its lavish blooms are guaranteed to attract admiring glances.

During the peak season of May to June, Bloombux’s gorgeous, bee-friendly pink and magenta flowers reach up to 8 cm in diameter, and are suitable for planting in containers as well as in garden beds. Once the flowers have faded its emerald-green evergreen foliage will stay looking good throughout the autmn and winter, long after other plants have shed their leaves,  making it the ideal choice for boundary hedges.

Bloombux is also resistant to temperatures as low as -24°C, which is another advantage it has over boxwoodsassociated with boxwood plants, which are far less tolerant of extremes of cold or heat. With its relatively low height of up to 70 centimeters, Bloombux is easy to care for and won’t run out of control, making it a great choice for professional landscapers and amateur gardners alike.  The best time for pruning is after flowering, to ensure that the new flower buds for the next year are not cut off.

The problems associated with box plants are coming increasingly to the fore and none of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens featured this traditionally popular bush, as the native Asian box tree moths take hold in the UK, with their caterpillars doing the most damage between March and October. A mild Autumn could bring a further generation of the boxwood-munching pests.

RHS Senior Entomologist, Dr Stephanie Bird, said: “Box growers now face this insect across the whole of the country,“ adding that “gardeners may need to make tough decisions, considering which plants they love and want to retain versus replacing with an alternative.”

Bloombux plants are very widely available in the UK and can be purchased from garden retailers nationwide, including The RHS, Crocus, Primrose, Grasslands Nursery and Cowell’s Garden Centre

Scroll to Top