Hardy, elegant, low maintenance…
I wouldn’t mind being described that way at all.
But I am not talking about myself of course…I am talking Boxwoods.
I adore Boxwoods.
There are 4 basic types of Boxwoods English, American, Korean & Japanese.
I put together a sheet for you on Boxwood varieties & characteristics. There you can get information on the 4 types & details on specific shrubs such as size, leaves, growth & more. Click here.
The first Boxwood in America was planted at Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island NY.
Shelter Island is a tiny island situated between the whale’s tail that is the tips of Long Island. I know a lot about Shelter Island as I lived near by & had my wedding reception on the Island.
Evergreen Boxwoods vary greatly in size, shape, leaf characteristics & growth rates. So have a look at this page when choosing so you get the right variety for your garden.
Something you might not know about boxwoods is that they do really well inside!
I have two boxwood shrubs that have been growing inside for months. Both are thriving.
Make sure to position indoor boxwoods in a sunny spot and water deeply, but infrequently.
Remember my Spring hearth? That’s when I first started with boxwoods indoors. The one pictured is so much bigger now & full of new green growth!
All Boxwoods prefer full to part sun, good drainage & organic soil. In addition, they do not like to be buried too deeply. Leave a bit of the crown showing & mulch, being careful not to cover the trunk.
As Boxwoods are shallow rooted, mulching helps protect the shrubs in cold weather & keeps them moist in hot.
Fall is the best time to plant Boxwoods, but Spring is ok too.
Propagation of Boxwood is by stem cutting.
Pruning should be done in the winter. Let’s get more specific on pruning boxwoods…
It is not so much pruning as “plucking” with Boxwoods.
Plucking or thinning is what they need.
Without being “plucked” Boxwoods will be all green & lovely on the outside, but leafless & twiggy on the inside.
Boxwoods are naturally so dense that air & sunlight cannot penetrate without your help.
Never take shears to a Boxwood – that will further promote a green ‘shell’.
To thin out your Boxwoods reach inside the plant in the winter. Cut off stems evenly all around. This will give the shrub looseness, promoting inner growth & inhibiting disease by allowing sunlight & air to get inside.
My favorite pruners are by Felco. Light weight, sharp & strong. Perfect for reaching inside your boxwoods.
If you prune your Boxwoods in the early winter you can enjoy the cuttings as holiday decor.
One more fact, Boxwoods are known to be deer resistant. There are so many deer on Shelter Island, but I bet the first Boxwood is still there, having been avoided by the herds!
I am planning on using Boxwoods in my white garden design at my new ( old ) house, so I enjoyed learning more about them writing this post. Hope you enjoyed reading it.
What is your favorite evergreen shrub?
Don’t forget to get all the detail on several Boxwood varieties here.
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** Kelly **
Oh and, bet you will also enjoy Camellias 101