ball shaped box hedges

Keeping box plants healthy

Keeping box plants healthy can be a bit of a challenge, but there’s now a new, natural and exciting way to protect your box topiary, box hedges and box plants from the box moth caterpillars.

Box plants are a much sought after addition to the garden, adding a classical, elegant and very green structural element to a garden design.

But they are also a magnet for a relatively new and very destructive garden pest that was accidently brought to the UK from Asia. The box moth caterpillar (Cydalima perspectalis) has now established itself in London, Essex, Surrey and Hertfordshire and is spreading rapidly. Its caterpillars have a voracious appetite for box leaves and can defoliate a hedge or topairy when present, which has made keeping box plants healthy a real challenge, so much so, that gardeners often choose not to grow these magnificent plants altogether.

box tree moth caterpillar
Box moth caterpillar. Image: Adobe Stock

The damage that the caterpillars cause can result in severe defoliation and dieback, and so this pest is not only a serious concern for Britain’s topiarists, but could potentially change the appearance of the country’s many historic formal gardens.

Although the Box Tree moth’s biology is not yet fully understood, it is thought that up to three generations can occur each year, and that through the winter months it survives as small caterpillars hidden and protected within their webbing. 

Controlling Box Tree moth infestations that have become established within a mass of webbing is often difficult since the caterpillars are not easily accessible, and this has unfortunately led to the use of broad-spectrum insecticides that potentially harm beneficial wildlife such as pollinators and predatory beetles.

damaged hedge due to box moth caterpillar
Severe defoliation and dieback from an infestation of box moth caterpillar. Image: Adobe Stock

Wildlife safe

Fortunately Richard is ahead of the game, and has been working with some expert entomologists on something that deters the box moth caterpillar and helps to really boost the health of the box plants too. It’s not a pesticide and it doesn’t kill anything, so that makes it a great choice for our gardens.

It’s a world first and has already received amazing accolades from entomologists that wanted to find a way to protect their precious box plants but avoid impacting on the natural balance of the garden and especially garden wildlife. Used as a regular spray, the formulation of natural plant oils has been shown to discourage the box tree moth caterpillars from feeding on the treated leaves, and that they move away to find an alternative source of food.  It’s also been shown that where box tree moth caterpillars have become established, a regular programme of applications onto and into the affected areas suppresses the infestation and enables the infested tree to recover. With the important need for home gardens to become safe havens for Britain’s native wildlife, this product will be of great value.

box plant spiral hedge

Entomologist approval

This new, 100% natural product has been independently tested by Dr. Ian Bedford, previously Head of Entomology at John Innes Institute (now retired) who said ‘having used the product on the box balls in my garden over the summer months, the plants not only looked tremendous, displaying clean and glossy leaves, but the damage being caused by box moth caterpillars was effectively stopped’.

Completely natural

Richard’s new Flower Power Box Plant Health Cleanse & Shine does what is says on the pack. It’s a new and totally natural way to protect box plants from the damage caused by the box moth caterpillars. Handmade in the UK from pure essential oils, this safe natural product also helps clean and shine the leaves so that they look great too.

Box plant cleanse and shine RTU and concentrate
500ml RTU Box Plant Health Cleanse and Shine

Available as a 500ml Ready to Use spray (RTU) and a 500ml Concentrate which makes 10 litres of diluted spray.

100% natural and chemical free. Paraben free. Safe for children, pets, the environment & wildlife.

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