Chances are, nearly every gardener is familiar with Boxwood shrubs. They're a staple for any gardener's tool belt, and for very good reason!
Why Should I Plant Boxwood Shrubs?
It's not difficult to think of some very compelling reasons as to why someone would want to plant some of these beauties in their landscape. Let's go through a few of the most popular ones.
They Have Incredibly Dense Foliage
Their leaves are petite and plentiful. Therefore, they appear essentially seamless in the landscape. This is why people love using them for elaborate topiaries and sharp formal hedges. They take on shapes beautifully, so you can achieve just about any look that you want in the landscape. Additionally, they have a slow to moderate growth rate, so you won't have to constantly re-shape your plants throughout the year.
Boxwood Shrubs are Extremely Deer-Resistant
We get questions all the time about deer-resistant plants, and we almost always say the same thing. Few plants are completely deer-proof from a starving deer. However, Boxwood shrubs are about as close as you can really get to deer-proof. Deer HATE the taste of their leaves. So much so, that you would be hard-pressed to find an actual account of them being eaten by deer. That doesn't mean it hasn't ever happened, but it does mean that as long as there is almost anything else for them to eat, they will leave your Boxwoods alone.
Their Leaves are Evergreen and Consistent
These are some of the most reliable shrubs that you can plant in your landscape. Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter, they don't change much. You might have some mild lightening or darkening during particular seasons, but overall they'll keep your landscape looking great throughout the year with minimal additional care.
Planting Boxwood Bushes
What Type of Boxwood Shrub Should I Plant?
There's one for just about any landscape. Some grow quite large, some are shorter and more compact. Some grow upright, and others feature a naturally rounded growth shape. Fortunately, they all have similar planting requirements, so you really just need to pick one that suits your needs. If you want a more considerably sized variety, the Japanese Boxwood gets upwards of 8 feet tall at maturity. Therefore, this is a perfect choice if you're trying to grow a large privacy-screen hedge. On the other side of the spectrum, the Baby Gem Boxwood reaches only 3 feet tall and wide. It also has a round growth habit that requires very little, if any, maintenance.
Where Should I Plant Them?
These plants grow well with Partial to Full Sun exposure. So try to plant them somewhere where they will have 3 or more hours of direct sun exposure.
They generally have low-water requirements across the board. So avoid planting them anywhere where that stays consistently moist. Good drainage is essential to their long-term success in the landscape.
They're tolerant of a wide range of soil types. A neutral pH is optimal, between 6.8 and 7.5. If the soil is notably above or below that range, consider amending it with some dolomitic lime (raise pH) or elemental sulfur (lower pH).
How Do I Plant Boxwood Shrubs?
First, determine the planting location(s) for your plant(s).
Next, dig a hole that's about three times the width of your plant’s rootball.
The hole needs to be deep enough that the top of the plant’s root ball is even with or slightly above the natural ground around it.
Mix your native soil with some rich garden soil or composted manure to provide extra nutrients for your growing plant.
If your soil is clay-rich, we recommend mixing pine bark in with your soil at a ratio of about 1:1. This improves the drainage and breathability around the plant’s roots.
Place the plant in the hole and fill in around your plant with your soil mixture.
Use a hose to soak your new planting and settle the soil.
Water your new planting twice per week in average weather conditions. Water more often in extreme drought/heat conditions, water less often in wet weather. After the first growing season, your Boxwood shrubs will rarely need supplementary water.
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