My life can feel pretty crazy at times. So I like to have some order to it, and sometimes that plays out in the garden. I think boxwood plants, also called box, genus name buxus, are the epitome of orderliness. Their shapes and lines in the garden can be so pleasing to the eye. They are easy to grow, shapeable, and are perfect for borders.
They are also easy to propagate. I like the idea of saving money, so we did a mass propagation last summer by simply taking cuttings and planting them in raised beds. The Royal Horticultural Society website is where I go to ensure I’m on track with my gardening. You can click here to see their tips on propagation. We kept the cuttings watered and weeded through the fall and winter.
Now, there are different theories on when to plant out those cuttings. You might decide to wait several years to replant them, or not! I chose to wait only the one season, and plant them out in what would normally be spring, but what actually turned out to be winter weather. Fall is another option for planting them. So honestly, I don’t know how they’ll fare, but they are still looking O.K.
We spaced the new plants about 12 inches apart. We have box in two other beds. One is well established (which is where we took the cuttings from), and the other is still filling in. Box is slow growing, and easy to shape. It can grow in full sun, or in shade.
Like I said, it is an easy to grow plant! There are two important things to remember: young plants shouldn’t be allowed to dry out (not an issue here!), and equally as important is they shouldn’t be allowed to sit in waterlogged soil. The later could be an issue here in Ireland in winter. They like to be fed, which I’ll do in the spring, well, now really but I was hoping the weather would improve a bit first.
Young hedge should be cut back by a third in May to promote full, “bushy” growth. Mature hedging should be trimmed in August. This is also the time to shape topiaries. The difference between May and August trimming is that in May the freshly cut new growth branches are left susceptible to weather damage and diseases. In August the new growth branches are simply stronger (hardened off). The last grouping, old neglected plants (imagine!), do well with a hard pruning in late May.
Please just ignore this small tree in the corner of the picture above, which needs to be relocated!
I am looking forward to seeing how this bed fills out with both the roses and the hedging.
I will keep you updated on how the newly planted boxwood fare! Hopefully, there will be good news to report 🙂