The Q&A Archives: Boxwoods And Holly

Question: I planted a holly bush, and three Japanese boxwoods for the first time this year and I am wondering if I should wrap them with any kind of cloth or burlap to help protect them over the winter. I live in zone 5. The Holly is doing great, but my boxwoods seem a little weak. Some of the leaves look like they've been chewed through. Since it is their first year, should I deal with this in the Spring? Thanks.

Answer: Both the holly and the boxwood are winter hardy in your area. They should be just fine without any protection. Wait until spring to clean up any damaged plant parts. If you prune lightly in the spring the plants will respond by putting out new growth. If there's significant insect damage on some of the leaves, the plant will probably drop them and produce healthy new leaves. Watch your plants carefully for signs of insects next spring. Once you discover what's eating the leaves you can remove the culprits by hand-picking, or by spraying them off with stream of water from the hose.

Good lucks with your new plants!

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