How to Plant Boxwoods


You can purchase new boxwoods in bare-root form, balled and burlaped or in pots. The most common way you see them is in pots. Boxwoods are shrubs that withstand pruning and are often used for landscaping in front of homes, along property lines and throughout other landscaping areas in the yard (i.e. around pools or other buildings in the backyard). If you purchased bare-root plants, soak the roots in water for at least eight hours before planting to ensure the roots are properly hydrated.

Step 1

Measure the length of the area for the shrub line. Multiply the number of feet by 12. This will give you the total inches of the shrub line. Divide that number by 18. Boxwoods are generally planted 18 to 24 inches apart. If you want to plant them 24 inches apart, divide the total inches by 24. The result is how many plants you will need. For a 5-foot hedge with the boxwoods spaced 20 inches apart, you need three plants.

Step 2

Dig the planting holes for all the shrubs twice as wide as the root ball and as deep as the root ball. Boxwoods prefer looser soil, so if you have heavy soil such as clay, amend 50 percent of the soil with humus.

Step 3

Fill the planting holes with water. Center the boxwoods in the planting holes and backfill with soil (backfill with amended soil if you amended the soil). Gently tamp the soil down as you are backfilling.

Step 4

Mulch the boxwoods with 3 inches of compost or pulverized bark. Water them with at least an inch of water. Watering deeply encourages deeper root growth and healthier plants. If a plant is healthy, it better resists viruses, fungi and pests.

Step 5

Water with an inch of water every week. Fertilize the boxwoods with flowering shrub and tree fertilizer once per year in the spring. Prune the boxwoods in the spring for dead and decaying plant matter. Prune throughout the season to keep the boxwoods uniform.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Humus
  • Compost or pulverized bark


  • Benefits of Mulch
  • Growing Boxwoods
Keywords: planting boxwoods, mulching boxwoods, prune boxwoods

About this Author

Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.