Don’t be afraid to prune it, this will also make the plant more vigorous! Topiaries are living garden statuary and can be molded into any shape your imagination can envision. About one-third of the bush should be thinned each year, since boxwoods keep their foliage for three years. Hand-pruning is the better practice, over shearing, in order to keep shrubs healthy. 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. In early June, you can give them another boost by applying 10-10-10 fertilizer, available in your local nursery, around the drip line of each shrub. However, trees and shrubs may also need some special care to maintain a pleasing shape and stay healthy-looking. 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. Otherwise, if you're … Pruning only the outside stifles growth of leaves inside the plant and reduces air flow which increases the possibility of disease and insect infestation. We recommend making the cuts at least 2-3 pairs down from new shoots. This is because pruning then will spur new growth that won't harden off in time for winter and be killed by the cold. The temperature must be above 40 degrees, and it cannot rain on the plant after the product has been applied. Boxwood is beloved for its versatility in the landscape. Pruning is a maintenance practice that can be beneficial to a woody landscape plant when properly performed. But, don’t over do it. The best time to trim boxwoods to shape is during the first few years. With rather dense hedges pick pruning should also be done to increase the longevity of the plant. 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. 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. Young plants actually benefit from frequent shearing. Boxwood is perfect for creating shapes in your garden or designing hedges. Specializing in Boxwood hand-pruning to thin, shape, and reduce size. Even more mature plants can benefit from late season waterings, especially after a dry fall season. Boxwood bushes have an undeserved reputation and should be a welcome addition to the modern landscape. As with all shrubs, you should be asking when the best time to trim boxwoods might be and when should you prune. 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. Seasonal Pruning. This type of fertilization should be done three or four times per year, starting in April and ending by the mid-July. By Teresa Odle. Pruning Winter Gem Boxwood. We prune this hedge every two years. Over time, the soils acidity should be supplemented with an acid-based fertilizer. A single, intense pruning season creates unwanted stress on the shrub. Stage-wise Pruning. Shear or prune outer branch tips to shape and reduce size. New growth that emerges following pruning is tender and can die if exposed to a frost. The plant can also be protected by wrapping it in burlap, or enclosing it in a burlap tent. This liquid fertilizer is mixed with water and applied the same as you would water the plant (see product for specific details). Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. are broad-leaved evergreen, deer-resistant shrubs that are typically used as foundation plantings and backdrops for planting beds, topiaries, and formal gardens.There are many species and cultivars available. Boxwood care and growing tips to get the most from these versatile evergreen shrubs. There are two basic approaches to handle pruning of mature boxwoods: 1. Don’t prune boxwood during the fall or winter months. The varieties are largely based on leaf size and growth which can range from one foot tall to twenty (.3-6 m.). Making sure you are trimming boxwood at the right times of year and properly will ensure great looking structure and forms year round. It is also preferred where a more drought-tolerant shrub is needed. Get our latest news by Greenmail. Members of the genus Buxus include about thirty species and 160 cultivars, including Buxus sempervirens, the common American boxwood. Boxwood shrubs (Buxaceae, or Buxus) are a hardy evergreen shrub that is easy to prune and provides a great anchor or backdrop in your landscape. My boxwood has become one of the defining features of my farm, along with the antique white-spruce fences enclosing the fields and the allées of trees I planted. This plant grows and develops best in acidic soil. Photo: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org Key Points. Boxwood, like most shrubs, needs a cleaning out of dead or twisted branches that can be harmful to the bush. japonica, the Japanese boxwood, is one of the most popular shrubs for low hedges. That said, these handy evergreens do need occasional pruning. Before and after the steps shown above have been taken. 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. Introduced to America in 1652, boxwood shrubs have been gracing gardens since colonial times. They want a low-maintenance plant the requires minimal to no pruning. Boxwood can even die if it is pruned at the wrong time of year! Aiming below the ultimate height I want the shrub to be. 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. Pruning Boxwood for topiary can be tricky, especially when the desired shape is a spiral or some type of animal form. Gardening: how to grow and care for boxwood; Treatment: fighting against boxwood tree moth; Season for trimming boxwood. 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. In general, most pruning is Mulch is also important to acid loving plants. Repeat pruning through summer as needed. 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. Boxwood is easy to grow and thrives under many conditions that would defeat a less sturdy plant. How to Prune a Green Velvet Boxwood. St. Louis Boxwood also offers a combination of hand-pruning and shearing, or simply shearing for all shrubs to reduce size and to shape. Pruning, and caring for boxwood. Beware! They can range from one to two feet (.3-.6 m.) high to ten feet (3 m.) high. Boxwood or box (buxus sempervirens) add structure and formality to a garden at the … Trimming Boxwood – When To Trim Box Read More » Used as a hedge, nothing provides a better screen against an unsightly view. This form of pruning is required besides the ornamental clipping discussed above. This allows you to shear the plants for a longer time without letting the plants get too large. Boxwoods have fallen out of favor with some gardeners in recent years. The fall is the best time for boxwood planting and mulching, while the winter is the ideal time for pruning, thinning, and protection. Buxus, more commonly known as boxwood, is a broadleaf evergreen that makes a neat landscape shrub or can be made … The gardener simply wishes to plant the shrub, water it, perhaps fertilize it a bit, and nothing more. Therefore, for some plants to thrive, they need to have special care. Shearing or trimming may be done with hand shears or with electric hedge clippers. When pruning, consider using a line to keep the hedges straight. How to Prune Boxwood Shrubs. They also remember how much time and effort it took to keep them in formal rigidity. Most of these boxwood are better than 20 years old. Pruning should be done in early spring before leafing out. For formal hedges, you will need to prune this evergreen shrub to maintain that neat and tidy look. Boxwood hedge, rescued and being brought back in line. In today's fast-paced lifestyle, many home owners seek shrubs that require very little care or pruning to thrive. Pruning should be done in early spring before leafing out. Japanese boxwoods figure prominently at a number of historic sites in the Far East. Soil can also be acidified with soil sulfur, aluminum sulfate or cotton seed meal, however, these products will not fertilize the plant. As well as encouraging new growth pruning is essential for controlling the spread and shape of the boxwood. Even when chosen for a particular size or shape, an errant branch or twig may need trimming. If the plant is in open soil it should be mulched and get a good watering in early November if the soil is dry. For best results pruning should start when the plant is young and stayed with year to year. When the boxwood is wired you must take care not to damage the delicate beige bark. This will ensure that there is wood in the branch to promote new bud growth. A liquid fertilizer, Miracid works well. Pruning is the only care that is actually needed, and even this can be converted from chore to passion, when the art of topiary is mastered! To protect the plant, spray it with an anti-transpirant (such as Wilt-Pruf) in mid to late November. Shear or prune outer branch tips to shape and reduce size. Boxwoods can be pruned any time but late summer and early fall. Boxwood bushes simply don’t need much care when compared to other landscape shrubs. These shrubs are fantastic for shaping, but if you would like to have a specific shape, do so in the first few years of growth. English boxwood: I believe pruning English boxwood properly is the best step towards good health and should be the first step in any plant health care program. 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. The best time to trim boxwoods used in topiaries is in the spring before new growth begins. This will encourage branching and new growth, which will result in denser growth and defined shape. 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. The best part is that after planting a boxwood in your garden, you only need to prune it once a year. It is the removal of all or most of the most recent growth. Read more from our Boxwood Bulletin archives on Spring Care Fall Care Winter Care Repeat pruning through summer as needed. They are healthy, but have grown dense. 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. Sign up. Depending on the size and shape of your frame, you may need more than one plant to fill the form. A secondary pruning may be … Trim out dead or damaged branches. To consistently provide the best landscape services and customer experience in southeastern Wisconsin. Buxus microphylla var. They seem to outgrow themselves, becoming so tight that everything on the plant’s interior dies from lack of sunlight. When the right cultivar is chosen, they need very little pruning. English boxwood becomes dense, too dense for their own well being. The top of this tee-pee like structure should be left open. As the plant matures pruning or shearing can shift to early Summer after the new growth has matured. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! This shrub all often used in mass or as a hedge but their care can be the same if used as a specimen. Boxwood in a foundation planting. Wintergreen Boxwood Care. Pruning is a call to grow, so I try not to prune later in the season. You can adjust the amount based on the size of your boxwood. Six weeks later, sprinkle 2 cups of the Eve’s Recipe mixture around large boxwoods and 1 cup around small boxwoods. Boxwoods have fallen out of favor with some gardeners in recent years. Severely pruning boxwoods can kill the shrub. Grow beautiful boxwood hedges and topiaries, how and when to prune boxwoods, and boxwood landscaping ideas. For those boxwood shrubs shorter than about 3 feet (1 meter): the best time to prune … Let’s see how it takes shape. Care and Pruning for Decorative Topiaries. Pruning This is a formal boxwood hedge that we took in hand after it … Boxwoods, because of their dense foliage, often die out in the center from a lack of sunlight. Boxwood (Buxus spp.) This shrub all often used in mass or as a hedge but their care can be the same if used as a specimen. Winter protection may be needed, however, for the first few years after installation, or if the plant has been under stress. Sign up for our newsletter. Evergreen plants should begin the shutting down process in August, so when the winter comes, they are completely dormant. 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. Plant age should be taken into account when deciding when to prune boxwoods. Trimming boxwood is a chore that only needs doing twice a year at most as box grows slowly. These evergreens will perform well through most winters. Repotting: Repot the boxwood every two to five years depending on its age and size. ... Boxwood (Buxus), Myrtle (Myrtus), Holly (Ilex), Rosemary (Rosmarinus), and Brush Cherry (Eugenia). Oops! Common Boxwood Varieties: Learn About Different Types Of Boxwoods, Boxwood Shrub Pests – Tips On Controlling Boxwood Insects, Planting A Giving Garden: Food Bank Garden Ideas, Giving To Food Deserts – How To Donate To Food Deserts, December To-Do List – What To Do In December Gardens, Artichoke Seed Plants: When To Start An Artichoke Seed, Propagating Houseplants: Can You Grow Houseplants From Seed, Grass Clipping Composting: Making Compost With Grass Clippings, Turning Your Compost Heap – How To Aerate A Compost Pile, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables, Gratitude For The Garden – Being Grateful For Each Growing Season, 7 Reasons To Do Your Garden Shopping Locally, Thankful Beyond Words – What Represents Gratefulness In My Garden. There are various shapes of topiaries such as a cone, pompon, and pyramid, but the most popular are the spiral. Shearing, or pruning of boxwood, is the most time-consuming part of boxwood care when they are grown as a hedge, but you will be rewarded with a healthy, long-lasting hedge. Boxwood hedge, informal outline, restriction pruning. It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. If your boxwood has become overgrown, all you'll need is a pair of sharp, clean pruning shears or loppers. Whether you prefer your boxwood clipped and formal, or rustic, these care tips will help you keep boxwood looking great all year long. The new growth that appears after trimming boxwood bushes may not have time to harden off before frost. Pruning Wintergreen boxwood should be done after the new growth appears in the spring to keep desirable shape and size. Train smaller branches to conform to the structure and prune larger branches to prevent them from growing toward the outside of the form. Knowing a few basic tips about tree and shrub pruning practices can help homeowners achieve a more beautiful landscape. Directional pruning techniques can be … 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. Keep it about 6 inches from the stem of the shrub to avoid stem rot and possible rodent damage. How to Trim Overgrown Boxwoods. Boxwoods can be trimmed at any time of year, but, for plant health, it’s best to avoid shearing in the late fall. Prune boxwood to thin out the individual plants to improve air circulation. Wire marks will be visible for a long time. Mature boxwoods, shrubs that are more than three-seasons old, need heavy-duty pruning. 4. The timing for this application can be somewhat tricky. It is for zones 6 to 9 and has mature dimensions of 6 to 8 feet tall by 10 to 15 feet wide. Using a bypass pruner, reach inside the shrub down to about 6 inches and prune off a few of the inner stems. Boxwoods are hardy, durable shrubs. Aside from watering and mulching, growing boxwood is a low maintenance task, unless you wish to keep them as a sheared hedge. Common boxwood tolerates hard pruning and extensive deadwood sculpturing very well. A 2-4″ thickness of bark or needle mulch should surround the plant at least as far out as its drip line. In severe winters, however, they may discolor, but will bounce back in spring. Boxwoods tolerate root pruning well. 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. Boxwood is a shrub that requires very little work. By Kimberly Toscano. Pruning Tips: Boxwood bonsai can be easily trained and pruned using the clip and grow method. Boxwood – Pruning, Winter Care and Fertilizing. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript! Most of the soil, all of the rainwater and all of the ground water in southeastern Wisconsin is basic or alkaline. Pruning is best done in late spring or summer. It is such fun to watch guests get excited when they visit my stable and see the 650-foot … Their compact evergreen leaves add texture and form to the garden when all else falls to winter’s sleep. One last note: if you don’t mind a little extra work, boxwood shrubs make excellent topiaries. Improper pruning – The picture below shows these boxwood before pruning. Severe late summer pruning followed by a cold winter could even kill the entire shrubs. Easy to care for, boxwood thus doesn’t need any care other than pruning. Removal of larger branches or pruning boxwoods is used to remove diseased or dying branches or to refurbish plants that are past their prime. Certain shrubs can fit this requirement once established. Then after that, only prune lightly to maintain the desired shape. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring. They also remember how much time and effort it took to keep them in formal rigidity.