The Q&A Archives: Boxwoods

Question: I recently transplanted some boxwoods from my in-laws house to mine. 3 days later they are starting to yellow. Is there any hope for these plants.

Answer: Boxwoods usually transplant fairly well as long as you took a wide rootball with each shrub. If you left a lot of roots behind they may die, or die back to compensate for the lost roots. If you moved them in an open vehicle such as a pickup truck they may have had so much wind exposure that they have dried out terribly and may defoliage as a result of that.

Make sure you planted them no deeper than they grew before, as they are very shallow rooted and sensitive to being planted too deeply. Water as needed to keep the soil slightly moist like a wrung out sponge, but not saturated or sopping wet and not dried out. Check the soil moisture from now on until it freezes next winter. Use an organic mulch in a layer about two inches thick (no deeper) over the root area to help keep the soil more evenly moist. Do not fertilize them -- they are already under enough stress without being encouraged to grow. Give them a windbreak this winter while they are still becoming established, too.

If you have replanted at the right depth, watered and mulched, all you can do now is wait and see. They may die back, they may defoliage and then grow new leaves. Good luck!

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