The Q&A Archives: Feeding Japanese Boxwood

Question: Can you recommend a good fertilizer/food for my Japanese boxwood and when/how much to feed?


Answer: Ideally, fertilization should be based on a soil test. If you haven't had your soil tested, bear in mind that many boxwoods are killed by excessive fertilizer applications. For the year you transplant it may be best not to fertilize or to use an organic material such as cottonseed meal which will slowly release nutrients. The second year, apply a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 at the rate of 1/2 cup per 100 square feet of planting bed. The best time to fertilize is early spring before new growth begins. Be sure to distribute the fertilizer evenly over the planted area but not closer than 6 inches from the plant stem. Avoid late summer fertilization, because it can stimulate growth that is more susceptible to cold weather.

Boxwood is a shallow-rooted plant and will suffer during hot, dry weather. Mulch with a 3- to 4-inch layer of pine straw or other organic materials to conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and help keep the roots cool.

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