Growing Boxwood Plants


Boxwood, also known as Buxus sempervirens, is an evergreen perennial shrub commonly grown for its compact growth habit and ease of care. The plant flowers during spring, producing small, green, visually inconspicuous flowers. The flowers produce a strong, heady aroma that attracts beneficial insects, though some individuals may find it displeasing. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa, the plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9 and thrives throughout the warmer regions of the United States.

Step 1

Plant boxwood plants during mid-spring after all danger of frost has passed. Choose a planting site that receives partial shade to full sunlight throughout the day and consists of well-drained, moist soil.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig a hole in the soil of equal depth and twice as wide as the root ball of the boxwood plant. Loosen the roots with your hand and insert them directly into the hole. Gently cover with soil and water lightly to collapse any air pockets.

Step 3

Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil surrounding boxwood plants to deter weeds, improve moisture retention and insulate the soil. Replenish the mulch as often as necessary throughout the growing season to keep it around 2 inches thick.

Step 4

Water plants once per week during the spring, summer and fall to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Increase the frequency of watering to twice per week during periods of extreme heat or drought. Pour water directly over the soil to prevent disease.

Step 5

Feed boxwood plants twice per year, once during early spring and again in midsummer. Use a granular 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer to provide proper nutrition. Water after applying to release the nutrients into the soil. Apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 6

Prune boxwoods once per year during late winter before active growth resumes in spring. Use pruning shears to remove any damaged, leggy, overgrown, bare or diseased limbs to improve appearance and health of the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Granular fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Virginia Cooperative Extension Publications & Resources: Boxwood
  • University of Connecticut Department of Horticulture: Buxus sempervirens
  • "Georgia Gardener's Guide"; Erica Glasener and Walter Reeves; 2004

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: boxwood plants, Buxus sempervirens, growing boxwood

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including