How to Prune a Buxus Sempervirens


Buxus Sempervirens, also known as common boxwood, according to University of Connecticut, is grown widely in the southern US. It is native to Asia, Europe and Africa and is hardy to USDA hardiness zone 5. Buxus sempervirens is a broad-leafed evergreen shrub, like holly, that grows up to 20 feet tall and is usually used as an ornamental or hedge plant. It prefers moist soil and full sun to thrive. For healthy growth, prune Buxus sempervirens in mid to late spring or summer, advise The University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners.

Step 1

Remove any dead, damaged or diseased foliage at the base of the Buxus sempervirens.

Step 2

Thin the interior branches of the boxwood. Pull back the dense foliage on the boxwood reach into it at a depth of 6 inches. Cut back several branches from the inside at the base of the boxwood. Remove 10 percent of the branches from the interior of the boxwood.

Step 3

Remove any over reaching branches from the exterior of the Buxus sempervirens in order to maintain the shape of the shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • University of Connecticut: Buxus Sempervirens
  • Clemson University: Boxwood
  • US National Arboretum: Thin Boxwood for Improved Plant Health
  • University of Rhode Island: Pruning Guide
Keywords: prune boxwood, prune Buxus Sempervirens, pruning Buxus Sempervirens

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.