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Plants for Purpose

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Garden Centre Association

Topiary Box


Buxus or Box as it is commonly known is an easy to grow evergreen famous for its ability to withstand repeated trimming and to respond with dense solid growth which can be shaped.


Buxus is slow growing and therefore does not need clipping often, it is best clipped during the growing season maybe once or twice or whenever the plant starts to look a little ‘shaggy’. This can be done with a pair of ordinary shears or the one handed topiary shears. It is happy in sun or shade and will tolerate most soils including clay but not permanently soggy soils.

It is often grown in pots for which purpose it is perfectly suited as the plant and pot can be kept in proportion for many years. Do not leave it for any length of time in the pot you purchased it in but move it up into at least the next size up (big enough to get your fist between the old pot and the new) This will however require the compost to be changed every 2 or 3 years especially if you intend the plant to remain in the same size pot. The best compost to use is the John Innes /Multi-purpose mix or Rose Tree and Shrub Compost.

The plants will need feeding every spring with a balanced feed (Growmore/Fish,Blood and Bone/Vitax Q4 or slow release pellets) making sure that no food comes into direct contact with the plant (if it does wash off with water)and then water well in. The biggest problem with Box in pots is often water – either too wet or more commonly too dry. The plant pot needs to drain properly so should have adequate drainage holes and be lifted off the floor on feet. However many Box suffer in pots because they are not getting enough water – this is because the plant is very dense and evergreen and there is very little surface area of soil exposed to rainfall – in short the plant will rely on you for its water supply. Remember that being evergreen it will continue to lose water over the winter (especially if it is windy or very cold) and so will need checking and watering over this period too.

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Bents Garden & Home, Warrington Road, Glazebury, Nr Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 5NT    Tel: 01942266300    E-mail: howcanwehelp@bents.co.uk
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