The Right Time (Boxwood Planting)

timing when to plant

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.

we have three round shaped boxwood plants on one side of this bed, with hedging on the other

my established boxwood, hedging a bed that is in transition (but at least the hedging looks good!)

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.

boxwood cuttings in raised beds (gladiolus in the background)

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.

boxwood cuttings (and pumpkin vine) October 2017

A view of our second bed with boxwood hedging which is still filling in, while on the left we have rounded shaped box plants (the newest bed which the box are now planted in is that mess on the far side of this bed)

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.

freshly planted boxwood plants

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.

second bed with boxwood hedging

the first bed where I planted box hedging

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.

our fresh boxwood plantings

Please just ignore this small tree in the corner of the picture above, which needs to be relocated!

some of the David Austin roses in bloom last year – pre box planting

our rose bed filled with David Austin roses now has boxwood hedging

I am looking forward to seeing how this bed fills out with both the roses and the hedging.

Helleborus orientalis Double Ellen Red is a new addition to the Rose bed

I will keep you updated on how the newly planted boxwood fare!  Hopefully, there will be good news to report 🙂

In peace,

1 thought on “The Right Time (Boxwood Planting)

  1. Pingback: Gardening – it’s worth the effort! | Mom in the Garden

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