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How to Grow Boxwoods From Seed

By Karen Ellis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Boxwoods are nice as borders or hedges.
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The boxwood is a versatile landscaping shrub that can be used in formal or casual gardens. It can be allowed to grow freely or trimmed to a round, oval or box shape. Homegrown boxwoods are usually started from cuttings. However, this evergreen bush can be grown from seed, as it germinates easily. It will take between 30 and 190 days for the seeds to germinate, depending on the variety you choose. Plant in the springtime after the last frost has passed in your location.

Place the rough side of a square of sandpaper rough side up. Put six or seven seeds onto the sandpaper square. Place another square of sandpaper, rough side down, over the top of the seeds.

Rub the two squares of sandpaper back and forth approximately five times. Scratching the boxwood seeds is necessary for germination. It is called scarifying.

Prepare the soil. Dig down, with your shovel, about 6 inches into the ground where you wish to plant the seeds. Break up the soil and any clods. Remove any rocks or other debris.

Place 2 inches of compost over the soil. Sprinkle a balanced fertilizer, with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, over the top. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the amount of the product to use.

Mix the soil, compost and fertilizer together all the way down to the bottom of the 6 inches. Rake the soil evenly to prepare for planting.

Push your finger into the soil to make a 1-inch deep hole. Drop one seed into the hole. Push soil over the top of the hole. Different varieties of boxwoods require different spacing. Be sure to follow the seed manufacturer's suggestions.

Sprinkle water over the planted area immediately after seeding. Only moisten the soil, gently. You don't want to dislodge the planted seeds. Sprinkle the soil two times per week during the first month. Switch over to watering once per month after that time period.


Things You Will Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Boxwood seeds
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer


  • A hedge of boxwoods are generally spaced 3 to 5 feet apart.
  • Boxwoods can also be grown in pots or wood containers to place on a patio, porch or deck.

About the Author


Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.