Caring for boxwood or 'buxus' is extremely easy. These are popular shrubs gardeners grow into hedges and other unique shapes. Once established, these bushes require very little time and energy beyond pruning. Read more below to learn more about how to grow beautiful and healthy plants that add color to the garden all year!
Planting boxwood shrubs in a group is ideal although they are perfectly fine being planted all on their own. Most landscapers enjoy how formal they look when used as edges and since they are so dense, they prune well into decorative shrubs as well. These shrubs are often used in wreaths, garlands and other Christmas decorations.
Spending some time and attention when planting your new boxwood shrubs gives them the best possible start. Consider the mature size of the variety you have when you space plants for a hedge. Fall & spring planting yields the best results, but you can plant the shrub in the summer with additional care.
Mulching boxwood shrubs is essential to their growth. Their roots grow very shallow so they require protection from the heat. A three inch layer of organic mulch is ideal starting at the trunk of the shrub and working your way out about a foot or so all the way around. Boxwood shrubs need a well-drained soil or their roots will rot. They can be planted in full sun but thrive in a partially shaded area.
Water your newly planted boxwood well, and then about once a week for a year or so. After it has matured, you should be able to back off watering. Drainage is crucial; the roots need moisture but should not sit in soggy soil.
Boxwoods don't need much fertilizing, but a boost of balanced fertilizer each spring can promote green growth. As long as your soil balance is okay, you probably can get by on that. We've got tips on how to apply fertilizer for your boxwood.
Pruning boxwood is easy, even fun. The plant is easy to shape into a hedge, round ball or topiary. Prune your plant each spring to ensure new, healthy growth. Spring also is the time to check for winter damage, which is easy to cut at the tips just above a healthy, green leaf. Otherwise, just spruce up and shape as needed.
You can grow boxwoods in nearly any container for a stunning combination of shape and color. The pot needs to be at least as wide and tall as the shrub's root ball and have good drainage. Caring for boxwoods planted in containers differs a little from caring for those planted in the yard.
You really can't go wrong with any variety of this popular shrub, but some can handle cold – or sun and heat – better than others. What are the hardiness zones of the variety you love? Beyond that, any boxwood is easy to care for and prune. Do you want a low hedge or container plant? Or a tall, narrow variety for topiary? Are you anxious to fill in your hedge or border? Some boxwood varieties grow a little faster than others.
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