Boxwood evokes images of stately, English country homes or whimsical, leafy animals. It is a hardy, attractive ornamental shrub found throughout Europe and North America. The following will provide a guide to help you plant your boxwood.
There are many different varieties of boxwood, so be sure to purchase one that is ideal for your area and climate. You can find good quality boxwood at local garden centers and nurseries. Boxwood is an evergreen shrub with a long history dating back to ancient times. The Greeks and Romans used it for decoration. Evergreen shrubs stay beautiful all year because they never lose their leaves or green color. Boxwood grows rigid branches that sprout small, dark green, oval-shaped leaves, and these ornamental shrubs can be formed into topiaries, formal hedges, or bonsai trees.
Ideal conditions for growing the evergreen shrubs are shady or partially shady areas, moist soil that drains water away from the plant, and soil with an acidic pH level. The range for the soil is a pH of 6.6 to 7.5. Use lime to bring up the pH level if it is low. Mixing in compost or peat gives the soil added nutrients.
When to Plant Boxwood Ornamental Shrubs
It is best to plant boxwood in the spring or early summer.
Keep boxwood 12 inches apart when planting them in rows. Boxwood that is planted in a flower bed should have 4 feet between them.
Size of the Planting Hole
The size of the boxwood root ball is determined by measuring the container. Take that measurement and double it to know how big to dig the planting hole. The depth of the planting hole is about an inch shorter than the container.
Planting the Boxwood
Remove boxwood from the container, and place it in the center of the planting hole.
Preparing the Soil
Add compost or peat moss to the soil.
Filling in the Planting Hole
Push the soil into the hole around the boxwood. Occasionally stop and pack the soil down before filling in another layer. Lightly water the soil as you work with it. Packing in the soil and watering while planting eliminates air pockets to help the shrub grow without complications. The top of the boxwood root ball should be visible above the ground after planting. A boxwood root ball buried under the ground can become diseased due to poor water drainage.
Mulch for the Boxwood
Apply 1 inch of bark mulch around the boxwood without it touching the trunk. Mulch protects the roots, retains water, and reduces the growth of weeds.
Watering the Boxwood
Water your newly planted boxwood regularly. Allow the ground to dry out before the next watering. Once the boxwood is established, it only needs watering during long periods of drought.
Fertilizing the Boxwood
Do not fertilize the boxwood the first year. After the first planting season, you can use a 14-8-10 fertilizer for boxwood.