Buxus Care Guide and Tips
The common boxwood or box (Buxus sempervirens) is a species of hedge that continuously features modern garden design. You’ll often see them trimmed and shaped to add definition to borders, decorate porches, and so much more. The Buxus is extremely popular because it can withstand harsh and versatile conditions, which are so typical of the UK weather system.
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Before planting your box, you have to make sure the roots don’t dry out, whether you’re using it as a single shrub or part of a hedgerow. Once you’ve potted the box, you have to keep the soil moist but make sure there’s plenty of drainage, especially if it’s growing in full sun. On the other hand, if you’re growing it in the shade, it’s still important to keep it moist but it won’t scorch if it dries out.
If you’re planting a common box as part of a hedgerow, you’ll need to make sure there’s plenty of space for the roots to settle and each plant to grow. As a rule, the Buxus sempervirens should be planted no more than 30-40cm apart. However, if you’re planning a compact cultivar, you can plant them 10-15cm apart.
When it comes to full sun versus shade, there’s no right or wrong. However, as mentioned previously, if the box plant is in full sun, you have to use high-quality soil and make sure it never dries out.
Pruning and Trimming
To keep a boxwood looking aesthetically pleasing, you’ll have to adopt a pruning routine, which involves removing the dead parts. Although there are no serious rules on when to prune your box, it’s generally best to do it in late winter or early spring. The reason for this is that the plant is just about to enter its annual growth period.
If you want to keep a well-shaped boxwood, then don’t be afraid to touch up the plant throughout the entire growth period. However, you should keep in mind that you will cause plant stress every time you prune or trim the bush, so regular pruning/trimming might only be suitable for healthy boxwoods.
Box plants can withstand versatile conditions, but you should give them the best shot at a healthy life. Before planting your box, you should make sure it’s not contaminated by conducting a soil test. If the results are between 6.5 and 7.5, feel free to continue planting. However, if the soil is too acidic or alkalic, you may have to make some changes before you continue.
Every UK gardener knows how much it rains, and this can have a detrimental impact on box growth. Although this plant favours moist conditions, waterlogged soil will stunt plant growth and will likely begin to kill it.
Your plant will need feeding to ensure strong growth, especially if the soil conditions are poor. The best time to feed the soil is in spring and it should be done using an all-purpose fertiliser at 70g/square meter.
Pests and Diseases
Boxwood can also suffer diseases throughout the year including box sucker, box blight, box rust, and mussel scale. These types of issues often indicate soil problems, so a little investigation will be required. As well as diseases, Buxus can have growing issues with pests like the caterpillar feasting on its leaves. However, you can use our combined Buxus foliar feeds and box caterpillar treatments from spring to autumn.
Growing and caring for Buxus is relatively straightforward if you follow the advice outlined above. However, if you’d rather take the stress out of making your garden look sharp this summer, call us now.