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The boxwood is one of the most common and popular evergreen shrubs in domestic gardens. The relatively easy-care and undemanding shrub is often planted in parks, castle gardens and cottage gardens. Of the numerous species, two in particular are used: Buxus sempervirens (the common boxwood) and Buxus microphylla (the small-leaved or Japanese boxwood). They are suitable for planting a boxwood hedge, some varieties can also be used as ground cover.


How big can box trees get?

How big a boxwood can get depends largely on the variety, but also on the age of the plant. Many a box tree rightly bears the name tree in its name. So the ordinary boxwood can grow up to eight meters grow tall, up to 20 meters under tropical conditions. However, it takes him about 100 years to do this. Other boxwoods, on the other hand, remain significantly smaller by nature.

How fast does a book grow?

Box trees are slow-growing shrubs. As a rule, the common boxwood grows about 10 to 15 centimeters per year, but the Buxus sempervirens "Handworthensis" up to 25 cm. Some types of Japanese boxwood grow particularly slowly, only about eight to ten centimeters per year. The extremely slow-growing boxwoods include the Buxus sempervirens Elegantissima and the "Blaue Heinz" with growth of only about four to six centimeters a year.


Small varieties

The Buxus microphylla Herrenhausen variety is one of the particularly low-growing species. Its maximum growth height is around 30 to 60 cm. This box grows a little more in width than in height and is therefore very suitable as ground cover, but also for planting a low hedge or bed border. The Buxus sempervirens Globosa, a cultivated form of the common boxwood with dark green to bluish leaves, reaches a similar size.
One of the smallest box trees, however, is probably the "Blaue Heinz" with bluish leaves. It grows spherical and compact by nature. Therefore, he does not need to be pruned as often. However, this should be done very carefully. It takes a while for pruning errors to "grow out" because the "Blue Heinz" grows very slowly. Its maximum height is 40 to 50 cm.

Some low boxwood varieties:

  • Herrenhausen Buxus microphylla: light green, dense foliage, maximum height 30 - 60 cm
  • Elegantissima Buxus sempervirens: variegated foliage (cream-colored leaf margin), densely branched, maximum height 50 to 100 cm
  • Globosa Buxus sempervirens: dark green to bluish foliage, also tolerates full sun, particularly slow-growing, maximum height approx. 60 cm
  • "Blauer Heinz" Buxus sempervirens: bluish shimmering foliage, spherical habit, maximum height 40 -50 cm

box hedges

Which box trees are particularly suitable for hedges?

You can use almost any boxwood for planting a hedge, but the decisive factor for a good choice is what type of hedge you want to have. For a low bed edging, choose one of the particularly small varieties, for a privacy hedge, on the other hand, choose a high-growing boxwood such as the Buxus sempervirens "Handworthensis" variety. If necessary, it can be cut into shape very well and grows to about two to three meters high.

The Buxus sempervirens Rotundifolia grows somewhat sparsely, but can be easily cut into shape. With an annual increase of up to 30 cm, it is one of the slightly faster growing box trees. It grows about two to four meters high. The European wild species of the common boxwood can also be used for high hedges.

tip: It is best to trim your boxwood hedge between April and September. In this way, new shoots can mature by winter and do not freeze to death so easily.

A low grave or bed border is best designed with a slow-growing variety. The Buxus sempervirens Suffruticosa even has the nickname "frame boxwood". It has a very dense habit and light green foliage. Its maximum growth height is around 75 to 100 cm. Alternatively, we recommend the Buxus semp. "Blauer Heinz" variety with a maximum height of 40 to 50 cm.

tip: Prune a hedge of particularly slow-growing boxwood only once a year, ideally in June. That is absolutely sufficient.


Does pruning damage the growth of my boxwood hedge?

Box trees are generally very easy to cut. Even cutting back into the old wood does not damage the box. Therefore, many species can be used well for topiary and hedges. Especially from the larger and compact growing varieties, a wide variety of shapes can be developed, such as balls, spirals, pyramids or even animal shapes.
A pruning does not damage your hedge in any way, it rather ensures a dense and compact appearance. However, it takes some time for a heavily pruned boxwood to return to its former size. Therefore, mistakes should be avoided as much as possible. Better cut carefully. With a boxwood hedge, however, the slow growth is not necessarily a disadvantage, as the hedge rarely needs to be trimmed.

affect growth

Even under the best conditions, a box tree does not grow really fast, but at least a little faster and more reliably. Keep the soil slightly moist and loosen up a little if the soil is firm. This allows your Buchs to take root better and tolerate a dry period better. If the soil is too lean and/or sandy, enrich it with mature compost, which will encourage the growth of the shrub. Regular pruning ensures particularly compact and dense growth, especially in the stronger-growing boxwood.

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