If you are looking for a versatile, easy-to-cultivate shrub, Boxwood is a good choice.
It has a slower growth rate than other types of shrubbery, which makes it ideal for some landscapes and green spaces in your yard.
Boxwoods add color and visual interest year-round, and they thrive in a wide range of climates and conditions with a bit of care.
Thinking about Boxwoods for your property? Keep reading to learn more about cultivating healthy, hardy boxwood shrubs!
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How Fast do Boxwoods Grow?
Boxwoods are one of the slower-growing shrubs, averaging less than six inches of new growth each year. There are many varieties of boxwood, and some smaller dwarf boxwoods only grow a half-inch per year. The biggest Boxwood is also the most common; the American Boxwood, which grows an average of five to six inches annually.
Boxwood shrubs are a common type of shrub that make great hedges, with lots of versatility and options for consumers.
These shrubs are found in various shapes and sizes, so they’re perfect for nearly every landscape.
Boxwoods are categorized by how fast they grow in groups of slow, medium, and fast-growing cultivars.
- Fast-growing boxwoods gain four to six inches in height each year.
- Medium-growing boxwoods grow around two to three inches per year.
- Slow-growing boxwoods grow approximately a half-inch to an inch annually.
Boxwoods are slow growers when compared to other types of shrubs, and Boxwoods do best in hardiness grow zones 6-8, though, with shelter and care, these shrubs can thrive practically anywhere.
Growth Rates of Boxwoods
Boxwoods are easy to grow in the right conditions, though none of the boxwood cultivars are very fast growers. Boxwoods prefer a sheltered location and well-draining soil.
You must be careful of the boxwood roots, as these can be vulnerable to the elements due to their shallowness. Too much exposure can impact the plant’s growth rate.
Mulch helps, so apply a thick layer to- but not touching- the trunk of the shrub.
Help your boxwood grow faster with these tips:
Prune your boxwood in spring, well after the last frost has passed. Taper the top and work downward, in a pyramid shape.
This will permit the most natural sunlight to access the branches of your boxwood and encourage photosynthesis.
When your plant is functioning and photosynthesizing efficiently, your growth rate will increase!
What kind of boxwood are you cultivating? If you are looking for a fast grower and have your heart set on boxwoods, go with something like the American family of boxwoods, which typically grow more rapidly than other species.
If you live in a cooler climate, make sure to select a variety that is tolerant to the conditions- go with a Green Mountain boxwood which does best in hardiness grow zones 4 through 9.
If you want to see growth on your boxwood, do not plant them too deeply. Their roots prefer to be shallow for better airflow, even though that can make them vulnerable to the elements and environment.
Mulch can help protect the roots.
Watch the Water
Water every few days, but sparingly, as boxwoods prefer drier soil. It is easy to overwater, which can make your plant vulnerable to root rot and impact growth rate.
Watering daily doesn’t help them grow. It may cause them to die.
Check Your pH
Don’t throw caution to the wind. Test the pH of your boxwood’s soil.
Boxwoods do best in slightly acidic soil, and they will grow faster if you add some acidic fertilizer to the soil that is a bit alkaline.
Issues Impacting Growth
A common issue for boxwoods that can impact their growth rate is discoloration of the foliage called ‘winter bronzing.’ This occurs when the shrub is exposed to too much sun or wind.
If you notice this condition, provide your shrub with more shelter from the elements or you risk an impact on its overall growth and hardiness.
Some common pests to be concerned with include boxwood mites, leaf miners, and psyllids. These pests will do damage but usually do not kill healthy boxwood shrubs.
A more problematic situation is too much water, which often results in root rot. These shrubs are also susceptible to leaf spot and fungus.
The best prevention is to make sure the plant has good drainage, starting with the type of soil used.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Fast Boxwoods Grow
How do you speed up the growth of boxwood?
To speed up growth, prune your boxwood. Make sure that you wait at least six weeks after the last sign of frost in your region before doing it, though. Start at the top and taper your boxwood as you trim downward for the best results.
What are the best growing conditions for Boxwood Shrubs?
Boxwoods do best in loamy soil with some full sun and part shade during the day. It is prudent to plant your boxwoods where they are sheltered from the wind and too much heat, as they have a shallow root system. Add a thick layer of good mulch- around three inches- to your boxwoods but do not mulch it to the shrub’s trunk as this invites pests.
How much spacing do Boxwoods need?
For a hedge, plant smaller species of boxwood about six inches apart. If you are growing larger varieties, plant the shrubs around 24-inches apart to allow adequate room to spread.
Which variety of boxwood grows the biggest?
The American Boxwood is the tallest species of this shrub, and it can grow up to 20-feet tall. It’s also the most popular type of Boxwood among consumers.
What is the smallest variety of boxwood?
The Kingsville Dwarf Boxwood is the smallest variety of Boxwood. It is slow-growing, only gaining around half an inch of new growth each year. At maturity, the Kingsville Dwarf reaches about a foot tall.
How fast do boxwoods grow?
Boxwoods have a slow growth rate, with some cultivars only growing a half-inch per year. The fastest-growing Boxwood shrubs typically only gain five to six inches of height annually.
Boxwoods are an excellent choice for shrubbery near trees due to their shallow root system.
Want boxwoods for your lawn or landscape? Talk to a home and garden retailer or landscape professional to learn more!
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.