best boxwoods - Knowledgebase Question

Far Hills, NJ
Question by jeffnsusan1
May 2, 2006
I'm planning a boxwood hedge in my garden. Sites receives 6 full hours of sun a day. All boxwoods I've looked at say 'full sun' but I've been told that some do better than others in full sun. Site is also a bit unprotected in the winter. Please advise which type will do best with that much sun/exposure. I have a few Koreans out there now and they seem to be ok however some of them are turning gold then brown, some branches on one side of the bush appear dried out and almost dead while others are still green.
Any advice? Thanks so much!


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Answer from NGA
May 2, 2006

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I would be particularly concerned about planting boxwoods in a windy site, especially in your cold climate. Boxwoods really do best with protection from winter winds. The wind dries them out and stresses them. The oscillating temperatures we tend to have in spring can also stress them severely, especially those planted in full sun. Stressed plants are more likely to suffer pest and disease problems as well. Boxwoods can be affected by several pests and diseases that could case a single branch or one side of the plant to go offcolor and then die; dog urine can also cause a similar symptom. Another possible cause could be root issues related to poorly drained soil.

I would suggest you consult with your local county extension as to what is affecting the boxwoods you already have before deciding to plant more of them nearby. If you decide to go ahead, I would suggest those with the best winter tolerance in terms of cold hardiness and maintaining a good green coloring so you would want to stay with Korean box types such as Winter Gem. And if you could provide a windbreak, that would be a good thing, too.

Good luck with your boxwoods!

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