Boxwood is extremely popular as an ornamental tree. It is used to make beautiful topiary figures and garden bonsai. However, it has become even more widespread as a hedge plant. Therefore, gardeners have a question about how much space this plant needs.
You need to plant boxwood 3-5 feet apart from other plants if you want to grow it as an ornamental form. When using these plants as a hedge, you need to plant them 1-2 feet apart.
This is an average distance and is suitable for most cases. However, many types of boxwood have special planting requirements, and this will be discussed down below.
Distance between boxwood as a specimen plant
|Name||Space between plants (center to center)|
|Japanese boxwood||3 feet (90 cm)|
|Korean boxwood||4 feet (120 cm)|
|Green Velvet||3 feet (90 cm)|
|Green Gem||3 feet (90 cm)|
|Baby Jade||2 feet (60 cm)|
|Baby Gem||2.5 feet (75 cm)|
|Dwarf boxwoods||1.5 feet (45 cm) – 3 feet (90 cm)|
|Wintergreen boxwood||3.5 feet (100 cm)|
|Green Mountain||2 feet (60 cm)|
|Buxus sempervirens||4 feet (120 cm)|
|Winter gem||1.5 feet (45 cm)|
Japanese boxwood (Buxus microphylla)
Japanese boxwood is a relatively small plant, so it is suitable for compact cultivation.
On average, this species reaches 4 feet (1.2 m) wide and 6 feet high (1.8 m). To give the plant enough space, place it 3 feet (90 cm) from other plants (center on center).
You can also add an extra foot for better air circulation.
When growing these plants as a hedge, plant them at a distance of 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) apart.
This boxwood hybrid can reach a width of 4 feet (1.2 m) at maturity.
The distance at which you can plant other plants close to it is 3 feet (90 cm). For growing as a hedge, space should be reduced to 2 feet (50-60 cm).
The growth rate is not too high. The shape of the bush is spherical and slightly oval. All this reduces the need for pruning.
This is another compact variety of boxwood whose width does not exceed 4 feet.
For growing in the garden, plant it 3 feet apart from other plants. If you want to create a hedge, then the distance between the center of one plant to the center of the another should be 2 feet.
I recommend trimming the green gem boxwood at least once a year to give it a correct shape.
Boxwood hedge spacing
If you want to create a boxwood hedge, the distance between the plants should be a little less than indicated in the table above.
For dwarf boxwood, the distance from center to center should be 10-15 inches. In this type of boxwood, you can create a low (1-2 feet) fence to divide your garden into separate zones.
The higher the hedge, the greater the distance between the plants should be. For a hedge height of 6-8 feet, plant boxwood 1.5-2 feet apart.
Also, this distance can be increased to 2.5-3 feet if you can not afford the required number of plants. However, in this case, it will take more time for boxwood to grow and create a live screen.
Suppose you want to quickly create a tall hedge, then you need to plant shrubs at a distance of one foot. With a lack of space, they will compete with each other and will grow faster.
To make the hedge beautiful and thick, do not forget to water the boxwood in time. Established boxwood requires almost no watering, but to accelerate the growth, the soil should not dry out more than 1 inch.
Also, your hedge will be healthier if you fertilize it with various fertilizers.
First of all, mulch the plants with organic matter (compost). In this case, the water will be better retained in the soil, and the plants will receive quality fertilizer.
Second, add a sufficient amount of mineral fertilizer under each bush. I recommend using slow-release pellets this helps the plant get consistent nutrition in equal amounts.
What if Buxus grow too close?
Gardeners often plant boxwood when it is small in size. However, over time, the plants increase in size and begin to suppress each other.
As a result, you can get plants with an ugly shape. It will also be easier for fungi to grow in places where air circulation is poor.
Move the boxwood
The first thing you can do is transplant boxwood. The best time for transplanting is mid-spring or early fall. Planting time will be slightly different from the climatic zone in which you live.
Choose a rainy or cloudy day, water the boxwood well a few days before transplanting. Morning or evening is the best time of day to transplant.
Use a shovel to dig up the bush; the roots should remain undamaged. Dig as large a root ball as possible.
Carefully move it to a new place. Dig a hole twice the size of a boxwood root ball. Fill the hole with a mix of garden soil and compost (half to half).
Place the roots in the hole without burying the trunk into the ground, even an inch. Fill all the free space with soil mixture and compact with your feet.
Water the boxwood with a few gallons of water. Add more soil if small holes are formed.
The second way to solve the problem of lack of space is to prune boxwood. These plants are perfectly tolerant of shortening, so they have become very popular for topiary.
I have several boxwoods growing in my garden, and I have kept them compact for years. One of them is more than ten years old, and its height and width do not exceed three feet.
Pruning is best done when the annual shoots ripen. It can be the beginning or the middle of summer.
Trim with sharp pruning shears branches of medium thickness, shape the bush. Try not to prune more than a third of the plant in one year.
After pruning, boxwood, by the end of summer, will form new shoots that will go beyond shape. So from time to time trim them.
Over time, the boxwood will become too thick, and you will have to remove some branches from the crown. Just cut not too large branches up to 10 inches long. Their number should not exceed 15% of the total plant size.
After pruning, I recommend spraying boxwood with a fungicide and pesticide to prevent infection through fresh wounds. Choose products only from proven manufacturers.
Planting boxwood shrubs in front of the house
Many people fear that if they plant boxwood too close to home, it can damage the foundation. For this to happen, the plant must be very large and strong,
If you prune boxwood regularly, it will not be able to cause significant damage to the house. But nevertheless, it is not necessary to place these plants close to a wall.
Plant dwarf boxwood 3-4 feet from the house. For large boxwoods, the distance should be at least 6 feet.
This also applies to fences with concrete foundations or other structures.
Another downside of planting boxwood too close to the house is that the plant will shade the wall, and it will be damp. Therefore, try to strictly follow the recommendations.