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When to Trim Boxwoods – Great Information!

When to Trim Boxwoods – Great Information!

Boxwoods are shrubs most people think about animal-shaped topiaries. Boxwoods as topiaries or regular old undesigned shrubs are a popular front yard bush.

Whether you have a professional landscaper or pro topiary designer trim and shape your boxwoods, knowing when to trim them is essential to their viability and to keep them from taking over your front yard.


When to Trim Boxwoods

You can trim boxwood any time of the year. However, spring is the best time as it’s likely to have some dead branches or broken branches and you want to get rid of these quickly so the new growth can settle in. You should avoid trimming boxwoods in the late fall because this is the time when the majority of the new growth is occurring.


Why Trim Boxwoods in the Spring

The optimum time to trim boxwoods is in the spring when the winter overgrowth has died down and new growth is about to emerge.

Trimming in the early spring gives you the best accessibility to all the discoloration and dead leaves. It’s also when scarring is least prone to occur.

Furthermore, in most situations, if you want to have a topiary, you should trim it sometime in the spring. This will allow your plants to flush out more effectively while also protecting their lines.

Early spring is when boxwoods break their hibernation and begin to flush, which is a good sign of how essential it is.


Trimming Boxwoods in Early Spring vs Late Spring

It’s crucial to understand that the time you trim your boxwoods has an influence on their growth. There is a variation in the outcomes between early and late spring.

Here’s the deal:

If you wait until early spring, you’ll get a lovely flush and be able to let the clipped shrub “grow into it.” In terms of the shrub’s health, early spring’s also the best in terms of timing for trimming it.

Trims in the late spring and early summer, on the other hand, already show flush. This allows you to have the larger look you desire while also allowing you to achieve a more precise shape.

If you live in a Southern state, you might want to move your trimming time forward a few months.

If you live in Florida, for example, you may want to try pruning them in January because the frost will not affect them as much.

Trimming them in the fall might damage the development of your boxwood by causing it to harden. This implies that after the first frost, it may be unable to regenerate correctly.

This is something you should keep in mind if you wish to prune your shrubs in the fall.


How Often Should You Trim Boxwoods

Depending on how meticulous you are about your yard work, only once a year should boxwood be pruned.

However, if you want to make sure that your topiary is in tip-top form all year, you may want to conduct some touch-up sessions here and there.

With that stated, if you’re new to growing boxwoods, there’s one thing to keep in mind.


Over Trimming Your Boxwoods

It is possible to over-trim boxwood. If you aren’t careful, it’s possible you’ll harm or kill your boxwood.

Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

Stop pruning your boxwoods if they appear to be scarce. After trimming, they should still have some substance.

They aren’t supposed to appear threadbare. You can only take a few feet off of them.

On the exterior, boxwoods may also become overgrown. Excessive trimming can result in out-of-control growth on the exterior, depriving the plant’s interior of light.

Hence, excessive trimming can negatively impact your plant’s health. Inside the bush, there should be at least a few areas where you can receive a fair quantity of light.

Larger branches should only be removed if there is a disease or if you’re restoring a shrub that has become too obtrusive.


How Often to Trim Younger Boxwoods

Young boxwoods bushes may thrive better if you trim them more frequently. Especially if you’re interested in a specially designed topiary.

If you’re just getting started with topiaries, you may want to do some small touch-ups during the year. Trimming may be required twice a year in some situations.


Final Suggestions for Boxwood Trimming

Let’s look at some suggestions to make sure you get the most out of your trimming now that we’ve covered the how’s and how fine to trim your boxwood.

Be careful to trim your bushes in both the interior and outdoors. Inside the shrub’s core, dead, diseased branches are common.

If you only trim the outside, you won’t notice those diseased branches until they’re in a more advanced state.

Branches with orange or brown foliage should always be pruned. Boxwoods are a kind of evergreen shrub.

If the leaves have become brown, the branch on which they are growing has perished. It’s better to remove it as quickly as possible because leaving it there will destroy the remainder of your living plant.

If you’re cutting boxwood, make sure you clean it beforehand. Use Lysol, vinegar, or another disinfectant to clean the sheers.

You may be able to prevent diseases or fungi from spreading from branch to branch this way.

Check for blight and mold on a regular basis. Even though boxwoods are hardy evergreens, they are susceptible to common pests and fungi.

Keep a lookout for powdery or black growths, as well as unusually spongy, wet limbs, while pruning.

This may indicate that you should hire an expert to assist you to rescue your boxwood…or maybe your entire garden.


Frequently Asked Questions about When to Trim Boxwoods


How far should you trim boxwoods back?

Depending on the species, boxwoods can be pruned down as much as two to three feet. If you’re unsure, look at the shrub and determine if the branches are becoming too thin to safely pull out. You could be pruning too far if you observe a lot of sticks or experience a lot of pushback when cutting.


How large do boxwoods grow?

How large a boxwood can grow depends on the specific species. Common boxwoods can reach heights of up to 10 feet. While most boxwoods grow to 3 to 6 feet tall. Which makes them perfect privacy bushes.


Can a boxwood be cut to the ground?

If you cut your boxwood hedge to the ground, it will most likely die. It’ll become an extremely unhealthy bush and will not grow at the very least.



Boxwoods are unique shrubs. They can provide privacy and be turned into all sorts of topiaries.

This is a great bush to have in your yard.