Are you looking for ways to transform an ordinary landscape into something elegant and formal? Plants and flowers add life and beauty to any environment. But, at the same time, you want to invest in something attractive and easy to grow.
You don’t want one that has you worried about whether it’s in the sun or the shade or whether you’ve given it enough water.
It seems like boxwood shrub plants are the best ones for you, but how many you need will depend on how fast do boxwoods grow?
Boxwoods are great functional plants that can grow into dense, evergreen shrubs. And this makes them perfect for a variety of reasons around the garden.
Many people use boxwoods to create a hedge along the foundation of a structure, border around garden focal points, or balance an entryway.
But not all boxwoods are the same. They come in all shapes and sizes- and price tags! It can get overwhelming trying to find the right one for your garden.
To add interest and structure to your garden, you need to choose from a variety of boxwood plants.
Before you can do that, you need to understand how fast each variety grows and how you can help them stay healthy.
After all, each grows in a unique way, some spreading low on the ground while others grow tall and upright.
So, let’s take a closer look at how different boxwood varieties grow to help you with your selection.
Table of Contents
- 1 Different Types of Boxwood Shrubs
- 2 How Fast Do Boxwoods Grow?
- 3 Factors That Can Influence a Boxwood’s Growth Rate?
- 4 Conclusions on How Fast do Boxwood Shrubs Grow
Different Types of Boxwood Shrubs
Boxwoods are versatile shrubs that can grow year-round. And since they thrive on regular trimming, they’re ideal for hedges and geometrically shaped shrubs to decorate your garden. But the size, appearance, and growth of each boxwood plant depend on the species.
Here are some common types of boxwood you’ll come across:
The English boxwood is ideal for small globes or low hedges that border flower beds and pathways. It’s a popular choice because it requires considerably less pruning. It naturally lends itself to a hedge and topiary form.
Moreover, the leaves are more rounded and denser, giving the plant a relatively compact shape.
- Our Preserved Greens are real English boxwoods, preserved and painstakingly...
- Intended for indoor use
- Keep away from direct sunlight to help minimize fading
This variety of boxwood is a slow-growing plant. It can take years to reach a height of 3 or 4 feet. So if you live in zones 6 to 8, this is probably the suitable boxwood you can invest in.
An American boxwood has dark green, pointy leaves. So it holds an evergreen appearance all year round. It tends to grow faster and looks larger than its English cousin.
Without pruning, the American variety becomes a wide shrub or a small tree almost 15 feet tall. So they’re ideal for taller hedges or clipped structures.
- Dense Foliage perfect for concealing unsavory views
- Common Boxwood Grows 10 to 12 feet tall
- Leave unpruned for a Natural look and shape
- Get Creative with Curves and Angles for a high-end look!
This plant is a native of Japan. And because of its dwarf-like form, it’s also known as the Little-Leaf Boxwood. Moreover, it grows quite slowly, its height reaching up to a few feet.
Though this variety can grow in the sun and shade, it does not thrive well in the cold and may end up losing much of its color. It agrees better in hot areas, such as zones 9 and 10.
- This item can not be shipped to in HAWAII, TENNESSEE, OR ALASKA - Ships in...
- USDA Zones 6-10 - Mature Size: 3-4' H x 1-2' W
- Buxus microphylla var. japonica
Korean Or Chinese Boxwood
This variety is more adaptable to colder climates and can tolerate heavy frosts better than the other types. In fact, it can stay green and healthy even if temperatures drop as low as -20°F.
So, you can plant them in zone 5 and possibly even in some milder parts of zone 4.
Additionally, this type of boxwood is more compact, growing up to about 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
If you’re considering any of these varieties or their hybrids for your garden, try the following:
- Winter Gem
- Green Velvet
- Green Mountain
- Dwarf English
You’ll find a great variety of boxwood at PlantingTree.com to suit your landscaping needs. But there are other low-maintenance landscaping plants such as flowering trees or even perennial flowers to add to your front yard landscaping.
Green Mountain Boxwood
- Upright, Pyramidal Form offers a Small Tree look
- Dense, Rich Green Foliage
- Deer and Rabbit Tolerant
- Disease and Pest Resistant
How Fast Do Boxwoods Grow?
By now, you have a clear idea of how tall a particular type of boxwood can grow. But you might still be wondering how fast a boxwood actually grows in one year.
You must understand that boxwoods grow very slowly compared to other shrubs. On average, a boxwood typically grows about 6 inches or less every year.
To help you understand what the growth rate for different varieties is, here’s what you should expect:
- Fast Growth Rate = 4 to 6 inches in a year
- Medium Growth Rate = 2 to 3 inches in a year
- Slow Growth Rate = ½ to 1 inch in a year
Factors That Can Influence a Boxwood’s Growth Rate?
The key to growing any boxwood means following a couple of general rules. They not only foster optimal growth but also ensure your plants stay healthy.
Here are some that will help your boxwood grow:
1. Every Species Is Different
Before you implement any rules, you need to identify the growth rate of the species you are planting and their special needs.
For instance, a medium grower like a Faulkner needs plenty of sunshine and space. On the other hand, a slow grower like Green Velvet is much smaller and can thrive even if planted closer together.
Likewise, some boxwoods survive in hotter climates while others thrive at cooler temperatures. By providing the right environment for your plant, you ensure optimal growth.
2. Avoid Planting Too Deeply
Boxwoods grow if planted at the right depth. The crown (the point from where the roots spread out from the trunk) should appear almost an inch above the soil surface.
3. Create A Cool Insulated Root System
Boxwoods grow well when the roots are healthy. To build a cool insulated root system, you need to layer 2 inches of leaf compost or mulch.
However, do not use too much mulch and create a mulching volcano or ring around the truck. This won’t offer enough breathing space around your boxwood.
4. Provide A Good Drainage System
Boxwoods grow well in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil. They cannot tolerate wet soil.
In fact, excessively damp soil causes root rot and increases the chances of boxwood blight and other diseases. This could impact the foliage, turning it brown and making it die.
5. Offer The Right Nutrition
Like all other plants, boxwoods need a healthy dose of sunshine and organic material from the soil. A leaf compost mix works best. It offers beneficial nutrients to the plant.
To protect your boxwoods from winter damage, apply a fresh layer of mulch in the fall.
More importantly, boxwoods prefer the full sun or a light shade. However, avoid planting them in a spot that is too shady. If the foliage does not dry completely, you may end up with boxwood pests and other diseases.
But do keep in mind that there are shrubs you can plant that are drought-resistant. These shrubs may be a good choice in dryer weather climates or areas where there are drought warnings.
6. Apply The Right Fertilizer
There is no one set fertilizer schedule to follow with boxwood shrubs. Fertilizing the boxwood shrubs will depend on the soil it’s planted in.
But, one of the best things you can use is a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer (10-10-10). This helps promote leaf growth in the spring. Applying it again in the fall encourages root growth.
However, avoid adding fertilizer the first season after planting.
- Contains natural ingredients to feed the microbes in the soil
- For use on all flowering trees, shrubs and other acid-loving plants
- Helps maintain Deep, lush Green foliage and colorful blooms throughout the...
7. Protect Them From Severe Weather
Boxwoods don’t like exposed, windy sites, particularly in the winter. If you live in a place that has harsh winters, consider spraying your boxwoods with anti-desiccant and wrapping them in burlap. It reduces the risk of desiccation.
This can happen if the ground freezes and the plant continues trying to photosynthesize. But its inability to draw water up through the roots severely damages or even kills it.
On the other hand, if you are in a hot climate zone, you need to keep in mind that shrubs will need to be watered to be maintained. There are other types of shrubs and plants that do thrive in full and direct sun.
8. Maintain The Plants
Cut your boxwoods to about a third or half of their height. This encourages healthy, bushy branching. But pruning is also a great way to get rid of dying branches. It gives healthy wood a chance to grow.
Since some boxwoods have dense growth, you need to clean them regularly and remove any debris from the center. Thinning out the outer growth allows air and light to reach the center of the shrub. However, avoid trimming in late fall. The new growth may not have enough time to harden before the frost.
9. Plan The Planting
Spring is the ideal time to plant boxwoods. However, you need to choose the right spot. For instance, if you plan to use them as foundation plantings around your house, they’ll grow better on the north side. The south side gets too much direct sunlight, possibly drying out the foliage.
Also, give your boxwoods enough space to grow to reach full maturity. You may plant smaller boxwoods about 2 to 3 feet apart, but the larger ones will need more space, about 3 to 4 feet. Proper spacing allows them to grow to their full size and density.
More importantly, remember that boxwood has shallow roots. So, avoid cultivating the ground or planting other plants too close to their root zone.
Conclusions on How Fast do Boxwood Shrubs Grow
Boxwoods are excellent shrubs to keep around the house when you want to add a bit of greenery. These low-maintenance shrubs do grow slowly though – with only 6 inches of growth a year.
If that’s what you’re looking for, then great! But, if you want shrubs that grow a bit faster, don’t shy away from getting a Boxwood. You can take the steps we’ve mentioned above to try and accelerate your Boxwood’s growth!
- Slow growing broadleaf evergreen shrub with green foliage
- USDA zones 4-9
- Plant in sun to part shade
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.