Boxwood is an evergreen shrub native to Europe and Asia. It belongs to the Buxus genus which includes several species, some of which can reach four meters in height. The plant has an erect bearing and bushy character and is characterized by a very dense and thick crown. The leaves are petiolate, long and ovoid, dark green in color and measuring up to two and a half centimeters. Flowering is almost imperceptible since the flowers are very small and are lost in the dense foliage of the plant, while the fruits are capsules containing brown seeds. This plant is a hardy variety that is well suited to our climate and soils and can grow in both sun and shade. Its ease of cultivation and its few needs, together with the dense and compact crown, make it one of the most used plants in the creation of hedges.
Exposure and planting
As previously mentioned, this plant is a very rustic variety that easily adapts to any exposure, even if it prefers partial shade in warm climate regions and sun exposure in cold regions. Once planted, it tends to immediately form a dense network of roots that allow the plant to recover quickly from the transfer without being affected by the passage from one environment to another. Before implanting the specimens of this type, however, it is necessary to create the right environment. The first thing to do is dig a hole that is at least twice as large as the amount of soil the plant was used to. Furthermore, before planting it, it is necessary to properly fertilize the soil, taking care to also add gravel in case the soil is particularly clayey. This expedient will make it more draining and will favor the correct development of the plant avoiding lethal root rot, since these plants do not tolerate water stagnation.
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Among all the existing varieties the most suitable to constitute box hedges they are mostly dwarf varieties because, growing less in height, they are more manageable. However, also the Buxus Rotundifolia, which is not dwarf, with its sapling habit is very appreciated and used for this purpose. Once we have identified the variety we are interested in, all that remains is to design our hedge. Respecting the aforementioned rules to guarantee the right soil and the right exposure, all that remains is to plant the plants about half a meter from each other and half a meter from the border we want to delimit. We will notice slow and compact growth. Once the hedge has been formed, pruning will have to be done, which must be done periodically, twice a year. The first time in June to give the right shape and compactness to the hedge by adjusting its height and width, the second time in September to prepare the plants to overcome the winter period.
Watering and fertilization
This plant loves a fairly arid soil, so it usually needs irrigation only in the summer, always making sure that the soil is dry between one irrigation and the other. During the rest of the year, seasonal rains tend to be sufficient to provide the right water supply to the plants. In the case of young specimens, however, it must be said that it is good to provide for the administration of water in the event of prolonged drought. As far as fertilization is concerned, to ensure the healthy development of the box, a slow-ceasing granular fertilizer is administered in spring, before the vegetative restart, while in autumn it is advisable to use well-mature manure. With these small tricks we will obtain and preserve box hedges healthy and lasting.