The Q&A Archives: Boxwood in container during winter

Question: I have 3 wooden planter boxes on my porch. I would like to plant small boxwoods in them. Is there anything I can do to keep the boxwoods in their containers during the winter and still provide them with some protection (temperatures generally about -5 to 5C)? Would lining the inside of the boxes with foam insulation help? If snow piles up around the boxes would that help?

Your suggestions are much appreciated.

Answer: While boxwoods planted in the ground in your region should fare well, planting them in raised beds can expose the roots to some very, very cold temperatures. You're right in thinking about ways to protect the roots during the winter months. I have always had success by setting my container plants into larger containers and using pieces of a foam insulation (sheets available at home improvement centers) between the two containers. Depending upon the sizes of your planter boxes, you may be able to set them into larger boxes, or you may simply want to set each box on a half-inch insulation sheet and cover all four sides with additional insulation. You may find other types of insulating materials in a home improvement store that are better suited to your purpose, but if all else fails, the insulation sheets are manufactured to tape around water heaters. Best wishes with your boxwoods!

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