boxwood care and pruning
Excessive shearing can produce growth so dense on the outside of your shrub that it will prevent light from reaching the center of the bush and leave the inner branches bare. Buxus microphylla var. Pruning is a maintenance practice that can be beneficial to a woody landscape plant when properly performed. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Boxwood in a foundation planting. Shear or prune outer branch tips to shape and reduce size. However, trees and shrubs may also need some special care to maintain a pleasing shape and stay healthy-looking. Repeat pruning through summer as needed. About one-third of the bush should be thinned each year, since boxwoods keep their foliage for three years. It is the removal of all or most of the most recent growth. If you're not a natural at carving 3-dimensional shapes and forms, it might be best to leave topiary pruning and shaping to an expert. Evergreen plants should begin the shutting down process in August, so when the winter comes, they are completely dormant. They are the gardeners that remember trimming boxwood bushes into severe and often geometric shapes that have no place in the more casual gardens of today. Repeat pruning through summer as needed. That said, these handy evergreens do need occasional pruning. Prune boxwood to thin out the individual plants to improve air circulation. This type of fertilization should be done three or four times per year, starting in April and ending by the mid-July. A burlap tent is made by setting three wooden stakes into the ground around the plant and stapling burlap to it on all three sides. Then after that, only prune lightly to maintain the desired shape. Gardening: how to grow and care for boxwood; Treatment: fighting against boxwood tree moth; Season for trimming boxwood. When the right cultivar is chosen, they need very little pruning. Boxwood (Buxus spp.) As the plant matures pruning or shearing can shift to early Summer after the new growth has matured. Soil can also be acidified with soil sulfur, aluminum sulfate or cotton seed meal, however, these products will not fertilize the plant. St. Louis Boxwood also offers a combination of hand-pruning and shearing, or simply shearing for all shrubs to reduce size and to shape. This shrub all often used in mass or as a hedge but their care can be the same if used as a specimen. Boxwood's surface roots prefer cool soil conditions, so it is good to spread a 2 to 4 inch layer of chopped leaves, wood chips or other organic material on the soil at the base of the boxwood. Don’t prune boxwood during the fall or winter months. Boxwood or box (buxus sempervirens) add structure and formality to a garden at the … Trimming Boxwood – When To Trim Box Read More » Directional pruning techniques can be … New growth that emerges following pruning is tender and can die if exposed to a frost. Pruning Wintergreen boxwood should be done after the new growth appears in the spring to keep desirable shape and size. When pruning, consider using a line to keep the hedges straight. Plant age should be taken into account when deciding when to prune boxwoods. 4. Oops! Shear or prune outer branch tips to shape and reduce size. Topiaries are living garden statuary and can be molded into any shape your imagination can envision. Young plants actually benefit from frequent shearing. This form of protection will keep the wind and sun off, but will not cut off air flow or trap heat, which can be harmful to the plant. The top of this tee-pee like structure should be left open. In today's fast-paced lifestyle, many home owners seek shrubs that require very little care or pruning to thrive. Sign up. With rather dense hedges pick pruning should also be done to increase the longevity of the plant. But, don’t over do it. Whether you prefer your boxwood clipped and formal, or rustic, these care tips will help you keep boxwood looking great all year long. To protect the plant, spray it with an anti-transpirant (such as Wilt-Pruf) in mid to late November. Watering in late fall is very important for the winter health of any evergreen and should be done to young plants every year in early November. A single, intense pruning season creates unwanted stress on the shrub. Severely pruning boxwoods can kill the shrub. Members of the genus Buxus include about thirty species and 160 cultivars, including Buxus sempervirens, the common American boxwood. Pruning Tips: Boxwood bonsai can be easily trained and pruned using the clip and grow method. Boxwood is beloved for its versatility in the landscape. It is such fun to watch guests get excited when they visit my stable and see the 650-foot … Boxwoods have fallen out of favor with some gardeners in recent years. Boxwoods can be trimmed at any time of year, but, for plant health, it’s best to avoid shearing in the late fall. Boxwood hedge, rescued and being brought back in line. Boxwood is a shrub that requires very little work. Initially, the soil the plant is installed into should be amended to make it more acidic and to increase the amount of organic matter in the soil. Mature boxwoods, shrubs that are more than three-seasons old, need heavy-duty pruning. Pruning is a call to grow, so I try not to prune later in the season. Hand-pruning is the better practice, over shearing, in order to keep shrubs healthy. These evergreens will perform well through most winters. By Teresa Odle. Boxwood hedge, informal outline, restriction pruning. Don’t be afraid to prune it, this will also make the plant more vigorous! Because the Winter Gem boxwood shrubs are evergreen and hardy to around 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, you can prune them at nearly any time of year and they will still recover heartily. This will encourage branching and new growth, which will result in denser growth and defined shape. We recommend making the cuts at least 2-3 pairs down from new shoots. The way I was trained to hard prune boxwood was to take the tallest stems and cut them way down into the plant to a branch fork. This will ensure that there is wood in the branch to promote new bud growth. Certain shrubs can fit this requirement once established. A secondary pruning may be … The new growth that appears after trimming boxwood bushes may not have time to harden off before frost. For best results pruning should start when the plant is young and stayed with year to year. Aside from watering and mulching, growing boxwood is a low maintenance task, unless you wish to keep them as a sheared hedge. Most of these boxwood are better than 20 years old. They seem to outgrow themselves, becoming so tight that everything on the plant’s interior dies from lack of sunlight. As the seasons pass, your boxwood shrubs will take on the shape of the structure and you will have a unique conversation piece and interesting focal point for your garden. Pruning Boxwood for topiary can be tricky, especially when the desired shape is a spiral or some type of animal form. This liquid fertilizer is mixed with water and applied the same as you would water the plant (see product for specific details). For formal hedges, you will need to prune this evergreen shrub to maintain that neat and tidy look. How to Prune a Green Velvet Boxwood. Buxus, more commonly known as boxwood, is a broadleaf evergreen that makes a neat landscape shrub or can be made … It’s best to take such drastic measures in stages, over several years if necessary, to give your boxwood shrubs the best opportunity to survive. Varieties like our Baby Gem™ Boxwood offer a strong form and bright evergreen foliage that provide structure and color to the garden throughout the year. Aiming below the ultimate height I want the shrub to be. Photo: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org Key Points. Boxwood is easy to grow and thrives under many conditions that would defeat a less sturdy plant. Trim out dead or damaged branches. A liquid fertilizer, Miracid works well. Boxwood bushes simply don’t need much care when compared to other landscape shrubs. Sign up for our newsletter. As with all shrubs, you should be asking when the best time to trim boxwoods might be and when should you prune. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring. Boxwood care and growing tips to get the most from these versatile evergreen shrubs. ... Boxwood (Buxus), Myrtle (Myrtus), Holly (Ilex), Rosemary (Rosmarinus), and Brush Cherry (Eugenia). As well as encouraging new growth pruning is essential for controlling the spread and shape of the boxwood. Most of the soil, all of the rainwater and all of the ground water in southeastern Wisconsin is basic or alkaline. Even when chosen for a particular size or shape, an errant branch or twig may need trimming. Mulch is also important to acid loving plants. How to Trim Overgrown Boxwoods. Therefore, for some plants to thrive, they need to have special care. They also remember how much time and effort it took to keep them in formal rigidity. There are two basic approaches to handle pruning of mature boxwoods: 1. Pruning Japanese boxwoods figure prominently at a number of historic sites in the Far East. Train smaller branches to conform to the structure and prune larger branches to prevent them from growing toward the outside of the form. Before and after the steps shown above have been taken. There are various shapes of topiaries such as a cone, pompon, and pyramid, but the most popular are the spiral. This is a formal boxwood hedge that we took in hand after it … The timing for this application can be somewhat tricky. The gardener simply wishes to plant the shrub, water it, perhaps fertilize it a bit, and nothing more. This is done by cutting small holes in the surface of the hedge to let light into the interior of the plant and promote inside budding. Improper pruning – The picture below shows these boxwood before pruning. How to Prune Boxwood Shrubs. Boxwoods are hardy, durable shrubs. English boxwood becomes dense, too dense for their own well being. Wintergreen Boxwood Care.