How to Use Boxwood Shrubs for Beautiful Garden Landscaping
Boxwood shrubs are shrubs from the box family which has been used by gardeners for landscaping for hundreds of years. There are numerous historical gardens which are well known for these shrubs. Bexus or Boxwood is a genre which comprises nearly 70 species. Classically, to make garden borders and hedges, boxwood was used particularly in English gardens but it can also be used as an accent plant. Gardeners can either make use of Boxwood shrubs themselves or use them in combination with other plants to form a foundation planting. These shrubs can be used as a screen, to separate one area from another or to define or enclose an area. They can be used as a background with other colorful plants.
These shrubs are available in various mature sizes. A type of little leaf Boxwood, Apple Green is of 12-24 inch while a Japanese Boxwood cultivar known as Morris Midget is even smaller. Some common Boxwood cultivars which grow about 6 feet tall are Edgar Anderson and Aurea Pendula. Japanese, common, Fastigiata, and National Boxwood are some other types of boxwood that can grow about 12 feet tall if they are not pruned.
The native range of common boxwoods shrubs includes southern Europe, northern parts of Africa, and western sections of Asia. In these regions, this type of boxwood grows on the hillsides, open woodlands, and in the wild. Some boxwood can easily survive in the cold as well such as Japanese Boxwood Shrubs.
A wide array of boxwood grows well in damp and cool soil. Mulch can also be placed around the roots. As the roots are shallow, other plants cannot thrive below the boxwood shrub. There are very little side effects of pruning on Boxwood unless it is done late in the growing season which eventually exposes the shrubs to winter damage. In some exposed locations, the winter winds can cause harm to these shrubs. Nevertheless, it is easy to transplant these shrubs from the containers.
Forms of Boxwood Shrubs
These shrubs are available in multiple forms. Some of them can form globes while some form columns. Some of the varieties only lie on the ground in a prostrate manner. The growth of different varieties also varies such as some shrubs grow very quickly while some have a very slow rate. Pyramids and weeping shapes can also be formed in some cases. Most of the varieties sport a dense texture and tiny foliage.
Shrubs Boxwood Planting
Boxwoods should be planted in well-drained soil. They should not be planted in a wet area and instead should be in the partial sun. They can tolerate sunlight if it is not too strong. The hole should be dug wide but should not go deeper than the roots as it may kill the plant. For quick growth, rich loamy soil should be used around the root ball. The soil should be firmed and watered properly. A regular watering routine is beneficial as it moistens the entire root ball. In this manner, the plant will have healthy growth while less watering may stress it. Mulch, pine needles, bark, and wood chips can be added to keep the roots cool and moist. Boxwoods also need to be fertilized twice during the growing season.
Shrubs Boxwood Pruning
To keep the shrubs in the right shape which suits your landscape, they have to prune and sheared. This will boost the density and compactness of the plant and will enable it to develop more thickness and branches. Dead, diseased, or dying branches also have to be removed. However, care should be taken as over shearing and pruning can damage the shrubs. Other plants should not be planted near boxwood as their roots are shallow and require more space.
Types of Boxwood Shrubs
There is a multitude of boxwood shrubs that can be used for designing the landscape. Some of the most common types are listed below:
2. English Boxwood Shrubs
Also known as true dwarf Boxwood, it grows very slowly and has tiny leaves. It grows about 3 feet tall and has a fine texture.
3. Japanese Boxwood
These are quick growing species which are about 8 feet tall. It also has different forms that can be used for different purposes.
4. Chinese or Korean Boxwood
These also include different cultivars that can survive colder temperatures and have been in use since the 1960s. They mostly grow about 6 feet tall.
Boxwoods are commonly used all over the world for landscaping for good reason. They are easy to plant and maintain and let you quickly and easily create clear natural borders on your landscape. Visit your local brewery today to see if you can start to use any of these on your property today.
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How to Winterize Boxwood Shrubs
You might think its time to give your green thumb a rest, once fall comes. But that is not the case. Even though the blooms may be long gone from your garden, there are still things that need looking after. Doing the work in the fall ensures that your plants will survive the dangers of winter disease and damage and that you will be rewarded with a healthier garden come spring.
If you do not have a wide knowledge of plants and shrubs, you may not know which plants need winterizing and how you should go about it. For example, many people wonder if evergreen shrubs even have to be winterized.
Most feel that evergreens are an important part of the winter landscape and that any attempt to winterize them would take away from their visual impact. But these shrubs can be damaged by winter weather, so unless you are willing to risk losing your evergreens you should do a few basic things to protect them from snow and ice.
To winterize evergreens, you should start with pruning. The best time to prune is later in the fall, when all the leaves have fallen, but not too late; too much snow or ice build-up on the branches and they will break. Remove any small or weak branches to avoid this kind of breakage. Your shrub will be much more likely to withstand the winter snow and ice without them.
Next, place a wire cage around the shrubs. You can use chicken wire attached to poles in the ground to build this kind of cage. Once a cage is in place, you want to cover the plant by wrapping the cage with a burlap. This will keep out the wind and moisture. If you have a row of your shrubs, you can build a tent-like or tepee structure over them using plywood and bamboo.
You want to make sure to place mulch around the base of the boxwood shrubs. This will aid in preventing moisture loss during the winter. Shrubs rely primarily on stored water during the winter months so you want to do as much as possible to ensure that the stored water stays in place and that browning does not occur. Mulch will ensure that the plant retains its stored water. It will also help to regulate the temperature around the shrub. You can also spray shrub leaves with an anti-desiccant to help the leave retain moisture.
Extreme changes in temperature can put stress on your shrubs and disrupt the root system.
All of these steps will winterize your shrubs and ensure their health and safety during the long winter months. The steps are simple (watering, pruning, covering, and mulching), but they will make a huge difference to your boxwood shrubs and reduce the risk of winter damage such as breakage and browning.