The Q&A Archives: Boxwood (Boj)

Question: I bought a Boxwood (Boj) and the tag said size varies. What does that mean? It is shaped like a christmas tree and is 3' tall. Can I prune it to keep it any size I want? How often and when should I prune it?

Answer: Boxwood (Buxus) is a slow growing shrub (just a few inches a year) that can usually be pruned as needed to maintain a relatively small size. Full potential mature size will however vary depending on the cultivar you are growing although most stay relatively small in the four to six foot range. If you want to keep it to a certain shape or size, the best times to prune are in the winter and if needed again in June or July to tidy it. It is best to reach into the shrub and remove the occasional longer branch to maintain the overal silhouetter, this allows light and air to penetrate into the plant and keeps it healthier overall. Do not prune it in late summer or fall as this can encourage late season growth that will not have time to harden before the winter cold sets in, thus possibly causing extra winter damage. Enjoy your boxwood!

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