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Let’s talk Buxus

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Buxus, boxwood, whatever you call it, it is one of the most used shrubs for hedges and topiary worldwide. There are a few different varieties and forms here are a few.

Buxus sempervirens ‘Graham Blandy’ is a narrow columnar growing buxus that’s needs very little trimming to keep its upright form which makes it an ideal choice for narrow gardens like up the side of driveways. After 5 years it can reach the height of 2m while only being .5m wide.

Buxus ‘Green Gem’ is a dwarf buxus which only grows just over ½ metre wide with a naturally rounded form/shape. This is a great choice for small topiary balls in your garden or a low hedge. This variety has a greater resistance to the Buxus blight that the sempervirens variety.

Buxus microphylla ‘Koreana’ has leaves that are a little larger and more rounded, it also has a great resistance to the blight. It is a relatively fast growing buxus growing to .6m high and a width of 1m so another great choice for hedging of balls.

The most common Buxus that we see in gardens is Buxus sempervirens which says it only grows to 1m high and 1/2m wide but I have seen it much higher than that left untrimmed.

Care of your Buxus to keep your hedges or topiary in shape and looking great trim at least twice a year. August is a great time before they pit on their spring growth and then again after Christmas when their new spring growth has hardened off and turned dark green. Trimming when their growth has hardened off also reduces the chance of the plant getting sunburn. Only trim on nice fine days when all the leaves are dry and there is no rain forecasted. (All plants should be trimmed on fine days) This reduces the chance of fungal diseases entering the fresh cuts on the plants. A good idea is to spray with copper after trimming to minimize the chance of disease entering the plants.

Buxus roots go for gold under the ground, so it you have them as a hedge it can be a great idea to root trim them every couple of years so that their roots don’t compete with the roots of your other plants in the garden.

If you buxus are in pots it is a really good idea to feed them at least 3 times a year to keep them at their best, feed in August, November and again in February. Feed your Buxus that are in the ground every six months, so say August and February. So pop out and grab some fertiliser now so that you are all prepared to feed them next month.

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