Box tree caterpillar warfare
We were all hoping that the box tree caterpillar pest would be more under control, but its proven to require some stringent control measures and careful management that only professional gardeners or very keen gardeners would be well rehearsed at.
Knowing that this pest has a life cycle of up to three, possibly four times in one season, (depending on weather conditions) determines when each control measure is done.
The combination of an application of a natural bacterium (not a chemical insecticide) such as Topbuxus XenTari and a foliar feed such as Topbuxus Health Mix (which also controls box blight), ensures that the plants are armed with the correct defense to ensure the new growth is protected and even if this was damaged by a caterpillar infestation, the plant growth is strong enough to recover quickly.
This involves constant observation and as soon as a caterpillar is visible, a spray of XenTari needs to be done to ensure the spread is controlled. Once controlled, it gets followed up with a foliage application of feed to encourage stronger plants and growth. The cycle repeats itself for how ever many times the pest is still around. In a really bad case, you could be spraying every 7-10 days.
Usually Mother Nature will sort things out for us in a typical cold Winter, but the pupae can overwinter until the conditions are just about right for the next round of carnage.
If your garden has the classic Box plant structure as one of the main features and have survived the last four years by some sort of a miracle, then consider yourself very lucky they have not found your stash yet….
As professional gardeners we are offering the box tree caterpillar service as an add-on service to our usual garden maintenance for those that require it.
Please do get in touch if you want us to protect your precious Box plants from these nasty, persistent pests.