How to Grow Boxwood Shrubs

Boxwood is an evergreen plant that grows in small, dense hedges. It doesn’t flower noticeably, but its rich green color makes it good for foliage cover. They work well for borders or near entryways. However, it’s a slow-growing plant, so don’t expect it to be impressive overnight.

A Few Boxwood Facts


As with all plants, be sure you’re placing your boxwood shrubs well. Boxwood typically does best in partial or full sun, so don’t plant it on the shady side of a house. Boxwood shrubs prefer well-drained soil, although it’s not very picky about pH. In very hot climates, try to plant your shrubs so they’ll receive some shade during the heat of the day, and do your best to water them semi-regularly so they don’t wilt. Try to remember your climate will impact the health of your boxwood.

Boxwood is generally hardy, but it has a few pests to watch out for. The most notable is the boxwood leaf miner, which causes the leaves to turn yellow. You can spray the leaves with insecticide to kill the plant, or try for an organic option such as neem oil.

You may also notice phytophthora root rot, a fungal infection. The fungus kills the roots, so the plant has a harder time taking in moisture and nutrients, and eventually begins to die back. To prevent this, make sure you’re not overwatering your boxwood shrubs, and ensure the soil is draining well.

Winter bronzing is a phenomenon where a boxwood’s leaves turn orange in the cold. This isn’t fatal to the plant, but many gardeners find it unpleasant to have. Winter bronzing is often caused by wind exposure.

To avoid winter bronzing, try to plant your boxwood shrubs such that they’re sheltered from freezing winter winds. If your ground isn’t frozen, give your shrubs a deep watering, especially if you live in a region with dry winters. You may also consider using a slow-release fertilizer in spring and fall. If your boxwoods are still bronzing, try spraying the leaves with an anti-desiccant, to keep their moisture in.

Though it takes dedication to reach its full potential, boxwood is a beautiful foliage plant that’s a staple of many gardens. If you plan to install boxwood shrubs around your home, get in touch with us and we’ll walk you through the process. Contact us at DK Landscaping for more gardening tips and advice.

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