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Green Thumb Alert! Know How to Propagate & Care for Boxwood Shrubs

Boxwood refers to large shrubs or small trees that belong to the Buxus genus. Many varieties of boxwood are popular in modern landscaping and are used for hedges and topiary. Let us learn how to care for boxwood shrub and how to propagate it.

Aarushi Chadha
Professional and experienced gardeners believe that boxwood stems can be removed during the hardwood, semi-hardwood, and softwood stages

The best way to propagate a boxwood plant is by rooting its stem cuttings. Let us learn the best time to remove the cutting, how to prepare it, and finally plant it in the garden.

When to remove the stem cutting?

Professional and experienced gardeners believe that boxwood stems can be removed during the hardwood, semi-hardwood, and softwood stages. If your plant is in the softwood stage, the best time to remove a stem cutting is three to four weeks after the plant has started to put our new growth. You can remove a stem cutting during the semi-hardwood stage when the plant is in the active growth stage and has produced a new flush right before autumn. Stem cutting from a plant that is in the hardwood stage is procured when the plant is dormant.

Choosing the right stem cutting

While looking for the right stem cutting, choose a stem that is at least 4 to 5 inches long, has several leaves growing from it, doesn’t have any flower buds, and seems healthy and disease-free. Remove the cutting in the morning with pruning shears or a cutting implement, that have been cleaned with rubbing alcohol or bleach to disinfect. The ideal time to remove the cutting is in the morning.

Prepare the growing medium

We recommend preparing your own medium and not using store-bought potting soil. At the propagation stage, your boxwood stem cutting requires a clean medium that is well-draining and low in nutrients. This is because nutrients can encourage the cutting to rot. In a small container mix 1 part clean builder’s sand, 1 part peat moss, and 1 part vermiculite. Prepare the cutting by removing the leaves on the lower part of the stem and scraping the bark from that side of the cutting.

Planting the cutting

Bury the stem cutting in the medium. Water the medium and place the temporary pot in a sealed plastic bag. Place the bag in a location that receives bright and indirect sunlight. Water every day. And check for roots every week by tugging slightly on the cutting. When properly taken care of, the cutting will develop roots in three to four weeks, once that happens, transplant the cutting into a larger container filled with a rich potting mix. Place this pot near a sunny window and wait until spring to keep this plant outdoors.

Caring for boxwood shrubs

Boxwood shrubs can survive in direct sun and partial sun exposure. It is recommended to plant them in an area that is bathed in shade to protect them from the hot summer and afternoon sun. This shrub thrives in well-draining soil and prefers a low pH. A young boxwood shrub needs to be deeply watered regularly for the first two years. As the plant matures, it is able to survive in low water conditions. Make sure that the shrub is watered properly and that excess water is draining properly.

This is because this shrub is prone to root rot. This plant can be fed fertilizer right before the active growth period to encourage new and fast growth. Occasional pruning is required to remove dead branches and leaves. It should be noted that you can prune the plant anytime during its active growth period but it should not be pruned in the winter. This plant is susceptible to winter damage. Therefore, during the winter cover the plant with a burlap wrapping.

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