Boxwood (75 photos): planting and proper care
Unpretentious decorative boxwood is a godsend for fans to decorate their garden with beautiful and dense shrubs. Evergreen crown is easily served by molding, is not afraid of frost and easily tolerates wintering in our climatic regions. Boxwood is equally good for a single planting, framing borders and flower beds, creating hedges. And we will tell you how it happens and how to care for it!
Evergreen boxwood or buxus is included in the family of the same name originating from the east of Asia and the Mediterranean. In Europe, designers and decorators instantly appreciated it, and some varieties can be grown in flowerpots and even decorative bonsai compositions. The boxwood crown grows for a long time, but it turns out elastic and lush.
Thin shoots harden and stiffen over the years as boxwood grows, but still remain elegant. Its small rounded leaves with a shiny glossy surface hold tight to short sturdy petioles. The plates are smooth and solid, not dissected, but in some varieties slightly elongated.
Different varieties of boxwood vary in size: from compact dwarf to tall and sprawling shrubs to several meters in height. But bear in mind that it will take years for lush seedlings, because the average growth of boxwood is about 60 mm per year.
With the onset of spring, decorative boxwood blooms and is completely covered with fragrant small paniculate inflorescences. By the end of the season, they form fruit-boxes in which elongated seeds hide.
Types of boxwood
In nature, there are hundreds of types of boxwood, but in landscape design only a few dozen of them are used. All of them are decorative and unpretentious, but be sure to find out about the characteristics of your variety before planting.
In fact, this is the title variety of the whole family, which came to us from the Mediterranean and Caucasus regions. It is rather a powerful branching tree than an ornamental shrub, and upwards it grows to several meters.
Bear in mind that evergreen boxwood is one of the most heat-loving, so it is hard to winter in cold latitudes. Powerful straight branches are covered with small glossy leaves with a matte yellowish inside. Pale green small flowers densely cover the bush in the flowering season.
Among evergreen boxwoods, compact decorative varieties are also found. For example, for medium-sized hedges, Suffruticosa with smooth egg-shaped leaves is suitable. And for neat decorative balls - a miniature Elegance with thin shoots and fringed foliage.
A miniature and elegant variety is used to create indoor and garden bonsai compositions. Its leaves are one of the smallest, and due to the long growth, the proportions of decoration are not violated for years.
It is a western variety native to the Balearic Islands, southern Spain and Portugal. It is also found in some regions of Morocco and in the Atlas Mountains. It is notable for the largest leaf blades up to 3-4 cm, it grows rapidly, but loves heat and does not tolerate winters.
Unlike its southern counterparts, the eastern shrub from Japan and China is better resistant to low temperatures. It easily grows to 1.5 meters in diameter, and the length of oval leaf plates reaches 2-3 cm. Another feature is aromatic lush inflorescences, collected from small pale flowers.
In the cool, shady areas, the small-leaved boxwood Winter Gem feels best. It is also good for decorating borders, flower beds and decorative compositions. And for curly molding and sculpting, take a look at Faulkner.
Colchisian buchus is a real relic, which is listed in the Red Book. In the natural environment, shrubs are known that lived up to 600 years and grew over 15 meters. During this time, the woody trunk expands to 35 cm in diameter, but the leaves still remain small.
Boxwood Flower Heinz
The original decorative variety is notable for the bluish tint of foliage. It is a compact squat and slowly growing shrub that tolerates winters well in our latitudes. It is often used to create green carpets with ornaments and to decorate borders.
The dense tree bush is interesting for its dark and fleshy leaves, which perfectly accumulate moisture. This variety coexists well in shady areas and on limestone soil with good drainage.
The main secret of a healthy and beautiful boxwood is proper planting and soil selection. After this, the shrub practically does not cause problems: it is enough to protect it from cold, drafts and wind.
Boxwood easily tolerates hot summers and high temperatures up to +35 degrees. The main thing under such conditions is diffused light or light partial shade, so that burns do not appear on the leaves.
Cold winter is a difficult period for an evergreen shrub, which is not very resistant to frost. To prepare, at the end of autumn, spend a strong and plentiful deep watering, which is enough for the whole season. Mulch the area around the root system with needles or peat, but not with dry leaves that can be shed.
Tie the boxwood to the supports and cover it with a cloth as soon as the temperature drops below -10 degrees. This also applies to stump forms, and decorative hedges. A special non-woven material or even a regular burlap in several layers will do.
Boxwood feels good in almost any environment: in the shade, under direct sunlight, in diffuse lighting. There are separate varieties for shady regions, and there are southern boxwoods adapted to the heat and the scorching sun.
Usually boxwood in the open ground is quite natural watering during rainfall - it easily tolerates even short droughts. But if you grow a shrub in a pot or tub, water it daily, and in the hot summer also have a small shower.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
Frame varieties require top dressing from mid spring to late summer. In order not to burn the rhizome, use solutions diluted in warm water based on specialized mixtures specifically for boxwood. A common problem is the appearance of red and brown leaves, which indicates a lack of nitrogen.
Boxwood is a lush shrub that can be molded at its discretion, so it needs pruning regularly. It is best to do it in the middle of spring - this will not do him any harm. On the contrary, boxwood, which is regularly cut, grows faster, thicker and more magnificent.
Most often, gardeners form balls and cones from a shrub that look elegant with neat, rounded leaves. The form does not need to be changed regularly: just give it once, and then maintain it. You can cut boxwood every month, but the more often you do this, the more intensively watering and top dressing must be done so that the plant restores resources.
Even a neat decorative tree can be formed from boxwood to decorate the site. Cut off completely all the lower shoots and stems, except for the strongest and strongest in the center. Soon new branches will begin to sprout on it, which can be shaped into a spherical crown.
Boxwood planting and propagation
Evergreen shrubs are propagated by all classical methods, but not all of them are convenient enough. For example, seeds are more often used by plant breeders than gardeners in everyday life. It is difficult to manage with them, they easily lose their germination capacity, they require special processing.
Planting material should not be germinated immediately in the ground: only in moistened tissue. Before this, stratifications and the introduction of a special growth stimulator should be addressed. At first, the seedlings remain under the film and need constant feeding and fertilizer.
Lush shrubs are easy and convenient to propagate by layering: choose a strong and young shoot from below, tilt it to the ground and fix it. Leave a strong support rod for the top and wait for the seedling to root. It does not require special care: it is enough to water and feed it along with the mother plant.
Layers are good for continuous compositions and long hedges. An alternative method of propagation is cuttings, which are carried out in early spring. For planting material, trim thin but strong 15-centimeter shoots that have not yet begun to stiffen.
Cut off all the leaves from the bottom of the cuttings, treat the sections with charcoal and leave the sprouts for a day in the stimulator. After that, they can immediately be planted in open loose soil. The rooting process takes up to 2 months, and during the first year the seedlings must be carefully covered from winter frosts, and if possible - brought into the room.
It is recommended to transplant boxwood in the spring, and then until the fall it will finally take root and will better survive the wintering. Adult bushes are transplanted with an earthen lump - so they adapt faster in a new place.
Pest and Disease Control
For all its density and impressiveness, decorative boxwood is practically not susceptible to disease. Popular varieties are distinguished by strong immunity, are resistant to pests and are almost insensitive to external conditions.
Among parasites, the most common gall midge, which uses shrubs to create masonry. The plant weakens, fades and begins to look worse, but this can be avoided. Larvae eat up a leaf plate, quickly develop and even winter directly on a bush.
Sometimes on the box you can find aphids, ticks and felt, but the principle of dealing with everyone is the same. Inspect foliage on both sides regularly and remember to take prophylactic insecticides.
Excess moisture leads to rotting of the root system, so watch carefully for watering. Sometimes boxwood leaves become stained, and the shoots begin to die. This is an indicator of rot or fungal infection, so carefully cut and destroy all damaged fragments, and treat healthy bushes with fungicides.
Boxwood - photo
Do you dream of a beautiful, healthy and lush green corner on the site or in the house? Especially for you, we picked up these photos with interesting solutions for planting and shaping boxwood. Get inspired!