How to remove honey fungus – the plant which can wreck your garden

How to remove honey fungus – the plant which can wreck your garden


Honey fungus can cause havoc in your garden and ruin your plants. Honey fungus is a white fungal growth which appears between the bark and wood, usually at ground level. It is the most destructive fungal disease in UK gardens and can attack many woody and herbaceous perennials. But how exactly can you remove honey fungus?

How to remove honey fungus

Honey fungus is the common name for seven fungi within the genus Armillaria.

The fungus spreads beneath the soil, infecting and killing the roots of perennial plants.

Honey fungus “blooms” in the spring when it becomes visible, blossoming yellow-brown to honey-coloured toadstools with a unique white ring around the stem.

READ MORE: Carol Klein: Gardening expert on what ‘does more harm than good’

You can prevent honey fungus from appearing in the first place by creating a physical barrier in your garden.

Bury butyl rubber or a heavy-duty plastic sheet in your soil to block rhizomorphs.

The sheet or rubber should protrude around an inch above soil level to be most effective.

Undertaking regular deep cultivation will also help you to break up rhizomorphs and limit the spread of the fungus.

Which plants are most prone to being impacted by honey fungus?

Frequently affected plants include: Alnus (alder), Elaeagnus, Spiraea, Aucuba (spotted laurel), Escallonia, Syringa (lilac), Chamaecyparis (false cypress), Ligustrum (privet), Thuja, Choisya (Mexican orange), Photinia Viburnum, Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Weigela, Crataegus (hawthorn), Rhododendron, x Cuprocyparis (Leyland cypress), Cupressus (cypress), Salix (willow).

The following trees are most often affected by honey fungus: Metasequoia, Salix (willow), Juglans (walnut), Cedrus, Sorbus (rowan), Cercidiphyllum, Laburnum, Syringa (lilac), Ligustrum (privet), Thuja, Liquidambar, x Cuprocyparis (Leyland cypress) and Cotoneaster.

These scrubs are most often impacted: Salix (willow), Forsythia, Sorbus (rowan), Cotoneaster, Ligustrum (privet), Syringa (lilac), Viburnum and Weigela.





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