The Q&A Archives: japanese boxwood

Question: I have a plant in a container that is shaped like a Giraffe. It is a japenese boxwood. There are 4 of them to fill out the form. The leaves on one side are turning yellow. What does that mean?

Answer: Although boxwoods are evergreens, the older leaves are shed every 2-3 years and new leaves grow to replace them. If the yellowing leaves are scattered throughout, it's nothing to worry about. If all the leaves on a stem are yellowing it indicates a root problem. Either under or over watering. When soil remains too moist it can drive out all the oxygen and essentially suffocate the roots so when you water, be sure to completely saturate the soil, then allow it to dry out slightly between waterings. Keep an eye out for neighborhood dogs, too. Dog urine can burn the foliage and dog's seem to love boxwoods! You might also experiment a little by trimming the yellowing plant back. Pruning encourages new growth and if the roots of that plant are still healthy, you should see some healthy new leaves appear. If not, you may want to replace the affected plant with a healthy new boxwood. Good luck with your topiary.

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