You may have been planning a more elegant, formal garden for some time now, which means you’ll be thinking about using some boxwood shrubs to form borders, hedges or maybe even a low maze for the kids.
Boxwood plants, or Buxus, are ideal for this task as they are dense and evergreen and do well either planted in the ground or grown in containers. There are many varieties of boxwood available to cater for different tastes and to achieve different looks. If you buy your boxwood shrubs from The Tree Center you can ask for help with choosing the perfect types.
Using boxwoods as a feature
You can use these plants as a focal point, or as a border, as a foundation plant or to line a walkway; whatever you use them for, they add formality and elegance to a setting.
Tips for planting your boxwood
Boxwoods need full to partial sun in order to grow at their optimum rate, so you’ll need to take this into account in your plans. They also need well-draining soil, although the type of soil is less important.
Don’t just think about the changes of sun and temperature during the day, you’ll need to think about how the climate in your garden changes all throughout the year. If you’re somewhere that gets very hot in the summer, you’ll need to provide shade and frequent watering. You should water quite deeply, as a quick sprinkle won’t get to the root zone of this plant so easily. You should water once a week at least until your boxwood is two years old and established.
Make sure you plant the shrubs to the same level they were at in their nursery, as any change here can lead to stress and even death.
Shade and shelter
As well as giving them shade, you’ll also need to place your boxwoods somewhere where they’ll get some shelter from strong winter winds, or they may get a condition known as winter bronzing.
Boxwoods are quite shallow-rooted so a good layer of mulch which extends to a foot or so beyond the crown will help to retain moisture in the soil, just be careful not to cover the trunk with it.
These are easy-going trees, although if you want to keep them as a sheared hedge you’ll need to get busy! Pruning and shearing can be the most demanding aspects of boxwood care, but it’s well worth it in the end. With older boxwoods you’ll need to thin out limbs to let some sunshine into the deeper foliage.
Boxwoods are a bit picky with pH, needed between 6.5 and 7, ideally. You should test once a year and if the pH is out of ideal range, treat the soil with either lime or sulfur.
Pests and problems
The most common pest is the boxwood leaf miner, so if it strikes, treat the shrubs with organic preparations or insecticides. If the soil is soggy, you may get root rot.
These are valuable plants as they grow slowly, so make sure they grow right!