When digging out your boxwood shrub prior to transplanting, dig slightly out from the drip line and at least 25 percent as deep as the shrub is tall. Fertilize them in spring with a slow-release shrub & tree food, preferably one that contains Sulfur and/or Iron for deep greening. Morning or evening is the best time of day to transplant. The best time to move old boxwood hedges is in the fall, with spring being a second option. Here are a few tips for how to propagate boxwoods from cuttings: • When to take boxwood cuttings: You want to begin to propagate boxwood around late summer to early fall—usually July to October, after the spring growth has started to harden. From all the desperate emails I have been getting, it seems a lot of you want to know if it's still OK to transplant shrubs. Major pruning should be done in the late winter to early spring. The best time for spring transplanting is as soon as all danger of frost has passed or as the ground warms up but before new growth begins to emerge on your boxwood shrub. ASSESS EFFECTS OF WINTER DAMAGE IN EARLY SPRING. If the roots and surrounding soil are frozen, this replacement is not possible. Pruning encourages new soft growth that is susceptible to frost damage, so hold off trimming your boxwoods till late spring if you plan to do hard pruning; light tip pruning can be done any time. In some areas, this could be as early as February. I do not like fall planting as I go by projects where things are planted in fall and are dead in spring. You can “stake” larger or taller trees if there is a possibility they could be uprooted by strong winds or winter storms between now and next spring. Commonly referred to as “winter burn,” its cause is most probably not due to the winter but to the pH of the soil being too acidic (on the lower side of 6.5, see section on “Soil samples and pH”). The second test is to look at the color of the leaves within the plant. Why? How I propagate boxwood: In spring (or early fall, if you live in a warm climate), take tip-cuttings 6 inches in length. Alternatively, you can feed with a natural organic plant food. USDA National Agriculture Library: Growing Boxwood, The American Boxwood Society: About Boxwood. Boxwoods pruned in this manner may take a few years to recover. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care. The pH advised for boxwood is around 6.5-7.2. I think your yews may have gotten sunburned in late July; prune out the damaged growth next spring. Even though it’s late in the season, your shrubs will be happier in the ground than in pots. The Best Time to Replant Buxus Sempervirens. See the paper on “plucking” and/or on “propagation.”  Late winter and very early spring is also an ideal time to move plants which need to be transplanted. Although the sizes vary by species, most boxwood varieties are slow growers that add only 12 inches or less of height per year. Still, it might be necessary in cases where your shrub has been severely damaged by … Can I Transplant a Japanese Boxwood in the Summer? At the very minimum, allow for a tilled area at least one and a half times as wide as the root ball. Go ahead and plant them. When transplanting any tree or shrub, keeping a healthy portion of the root ball intact is pivotal in the success of the transplant. Planting dates will be slightly different from the climatic zone in which you live. If you are in a really cold climate you will best results transplanting in the spring. On the other hand, wind can be tolerated if the roots are capable of supplying moisture to the top of the plant. Another of the fine boxwood alternatives is Anna’s Magic Ball arborvitae ( Thuja occidentalis ‘Anna van Vloten’). Cut off about 1/3 of the plant foliage. Boxwood is no different; however, the roots of boxwood aren't deep, they're wide. The seriousness of winter burn may be evaluated in two ways. As soon as major freezes are over, usually around March I for the middle Atlantic states, transplanting can begin (depending on the winter, January and February might also be acceptable transplanting times). This plant can easily be mistaken for boxwood with its tiny, glossy leaves and small branches. Cut it down by 1/2, water it well. First, feel the plant to determine if the leaves are soft to the touch or whether they have a crispy, paper feel to them. Either one of these stresses alone is not as dangerous as the two in combination. Remove the lower inch of leaves… And plunge the stems directly into the … If application of fertilizer is called for after a soil analysis, a slow-release type is preferable since it will supply nutrients to the plant over a longer period of time. The latter indicates a level of dryness which may be terminal, at least for that part of the plant. Just kidding. Stephen D. Southall In cold climates early spring transplanting is recommended. … When grown in well-drained and aerated soil with good organic matter, the fertilization needs of boxwood are minimal. Boxwood leaf miners, scale insects, lesion nematodes, caterpillars and mites can be a problem; treat with organic neem oil or insecticidal spray. Eventually, you might have to repot a boxwood, but it depends on the variety you choose and size of the container. Estimate the width and depth of the root ball (roots plus soil) by … The alternate freezing and thawing of the ground will possibly leave exposed roots which need to be covered with a fresh layer of soil or mulch. Roots of trees and shrubs normally grow well beyond the soil volume that can be moved. Avoid pruning in early fall into early winter. This winter burn however is most probably due to a lack of nutrition which in turn is caused by a low pH. If you missed the ideal autumn transplanting time, don't worry. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Often the soil becomes too acid and regardless of the nutrients in the soil or the amount of fertilizer applied, the plant is unable to take up the nutrients because the pH is off balance. Now the day before you dig, you want to water your boxwood thoroughly. Again, this isn't always feasible, but it will allow the roots to easily work through the soil as they begin to grow outward. The importance of monitoring winter moisture levels is sometimes not realized until the spring when the effects of winter dryness are seen in a damaged plant. University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Boxwood, Box - Buxus spp. Boxwoods are evergreen plants that are typically grown as shrubs or topiaries in outdoor gardens. This strengthens the root system within a compact area, making it easier to move boxwoods. Picking an Effective Growing Spot Plant boxwood in the fall or spring. If plucking results in healthy cuttings which may be used for rooting, late winter/very early spring is an excellent time to do this rooting. You can grow boxwoods in pots indoors as well as outdoors. How to Transplant Bushes and Shrubs: Here are the basic steps to successfully transplanting bushes and shrubs: Give the plant a good trim. Often winter burn can be successfully pruned out the following spring and the shrub will be just fine. Boxwood (Buxus spp.) ... Spring Care of Boxwood; See the section on “plucking.” This time of year is also an ideal time to break out any dead wood. The plant can tolerate frozen roots if there are no winds to cause excessive desiccation. The shrub can be cut drastically if necessary to repair any winter damage, but do it in stages--don't remove more than a third of the height or breadth of a boxwood shrub in a single year. Then the following year you can dig up the shrub and transplant it, attempting to keep as much of the soil in place as possible. In favorable climates the transplanting can be done at almost any time when the plant is not in soft growth, except at the very hottest times. Planting boxwood in pots. (Fall and spring is the best time to transplant) Hi: It will depend on the age of your English Boxwood. Water needs to penetrate the earth to a depth of around 8 inches. This situation does NOT necessarily mean immediately adding fertilizer. Only early fall is a better transplanting time. It grows into a ball to 3 feet (one meter) tall and wide. Potted boxwood, if a few special precautions are taken during planting, is guaranteed to grow and thrive in a good environment. The mulch also provides the all important organic matter necessary for good plant growth. My father used to always yell at me because I transplanted on my schedule not the plant's. Top 3 Boxwood Problems. Winter Burn: Boxwoods are susceptible to winter burn because many of the species originate from areas that have milder winters. They can also be susceptible to powdery mildew, Pythium root rot, canker and leaf spots. Stephen and the earthworms say “No”, “Proper Plucking” – No, not Chickens – Boxwood. Most rhododendrons and azaleas in the landscape, even large ones, can be moved using proper care. The best time to transplant boxwood shrubs is in autumn. They are the gardeners that remember trimming boxwood bushes into severe and often geometric shapes that have no place in the more casual gardens of today. Boxwoods have fallen out of favor with some gardeners in recent years. Choose a rainy day, water the boxwood well a few days before transplanting. Boxwood shrubs will benefit from fertilization, especially when being pruned or sheared frequently. Remove the plant from its current location. This cooler period of time also allows the newly transplanted shrub to gather as much water as possible before the onset of winter, which can help protect the shrub against desiccation and other winter damage. As long as you avoid the most … If your boxwood needs a serious rejuvenation and you are planning to prune it to the ground, do it in late winter or early spring. With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Just as one would never “take pills” before doing blood work and going to their doctor to determine what is wrong, one should never throw fertilizer at a weakened plant without taking a soil sample to assess the condition of the soil. This slow growth makes them ideal for use in pots. The answer to all of these questions is pretty much the same. See “planting paper.” Only early fall is a better transplanting time. During the fall, winter, and very early spring, top growth will not come out but root growth will take place any time the ground temperature is significantly above freezing. Plants to be moved in the fall (October or November) should be root pruned in March, and those to be moved in spring (March) should be root pruned in October. Getting a soil test is advised since the pH of the soil will determine whether the plant is able to take up the available nutrients from the soil. If these deeper leaves are the proper shade of dark green and are soft to the touch, then the outside leaves are probably showing the result of lack of nutrients and the bronzing is exacerbated by exposure to wind and cold. After watering the plant properly, begin with the transplantation process. Although they're tolerant of shearing, they are particularly susceptible to transplant shock and damage, especially if moved during the wrong time of year. With less plant structure to support, your transplanted bush or tree can focus on re-growing the root system. The frost will stop any new top growth which otherwise may occur with fertilization. Once the area is tilled, dig a planting hole that will allow approximately 10 percent of the root ball to stick above the soil line and that is just wider than the root ball. I always plant 5-7 stems together, just to achieve an instant “shrub” effect. Boxwood shrubs can be transplanted during late spring and summer, although you are more likely to fail in your endeavor than succeed, as the shock can be detrimental. The best time to transplant is either late winter just before spring growth begins, or a couple of months before the ground freezes in early fall. First, the plant will be easier to dig. • Prepare a pot: There are a variety of ways to prepare a pot for the cuttings. Rototill an area approximately two to three times as wide as the root ball of your dug-up boxwood and 12 to 18 inches deep -- or as deep as your tiller will allow. Early spring is a good time to assess any damage of the previous winter and take corrective measures when necessary. Three reasons. Reddish-brown rust or bronzing color is often seen on plants during the winter before spring growth. Boxwood is normally planted in fall or in spring. Each spring, when you prune, add an inch-thick layer of compost to the top of the soil and work it in gently. Ideally, trees and shrubs need about a month to establish roots before a heavy freeze, but it’s actually OK to plant them anytime the ground is workable, and many bare-root trees and shrubs are planted in very early spring while they’re still dormant. The first thing you can do is transplant boxwood. They all lived. The best time to transplant boxwood is in the fall, spring would be the next favorable time of the year, however, if you follow these same steps you will likely have success anytime. As soon as major freezes are over, usually around March I for the middle Atlantic states, transplanting can begin (depending on the winter, January and February might also be acceptable transplanting times). Start the Transplantation. shrubs, which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, depending on species, remain a perennial favorite among those looking for an evergreen hedge or shrub that maintains vigor after shearing and a textured look year-round. Many people ask about transplanting boxwoods, but others want to know about moving azaleas, gardenia, loropetalums, crepe myrtles, and other shrubs. Yes, you can prune hard or trim boxwood shrubs to the desired height depending on the time of year. One of the surest signs of a healthy plant is a timely overall flush of new growth. See below for more information and planting alternatives. Late winter/early spring before new growth comes out is a great time to pluck and shape misshapen plants since the new growth will quickly provide a uniform appearance and cover any cosmetic blemishes from the plucking. 1 Water the boxwood to a depth of 8 inches the day before planting. If you notice new growth emerging, your best bet is to wait until the following autumn. Boxwoods, like other plants, can show drought stress by the browning of foliage. My Grandma Nelly transplanted boxwoods so many times she joked that they could grow in the air. The myth of “summer transplanting” I answer a LOT of gardening questions either in the “Ask the expert” section of our website or in person during my visits to the garden centers. The depth of boxwood shrubs is typically about 25 percent of the shrub's height, but the spread can be go well beyond the drip line. Move the boxwood. It is good to plant ivy deeper-- as much as 3-4" deeper if possible. Winds cause plant desiccation (drying) and the moisture must be replaced. The most severe stress comes from the combination of cold winter winds and frozen ground, thus not allowing water to move up into the plant. The best time for spring transplanting is as soon as all danger of frost has passed or as the ground warms up but before new growth begins to emerge on your boxwood shrub. In the first case, settling in is easier, and in the second case, you’ll need to water regularly after having planted your boxwood. They are dying and I don’t know why. The fertilizer normally applied to a lawn is often sufficient to provide the needs of boxwood. There is an excellent online resource with specific tips and instructions on transplanting just about tree and plant you can imagine. It's best to root-prune your boxwood a year in advance of the actual transplanting, although this isn't always feasible. When given proper care, boxwood shrubs often respond well to early spring transplanting. I have, in the past, trimmed them when needed and had no trouble until this year. Dig the new hole wider and deeper than the root ball. This gives the shrub time to develop its roots in the new location while also growing new roots. Can boxwood shrubs be cut back? Water thoroughly throughout the first season. Winter burn is noticed as yellow, brown dead leaves on the outside of the bush. Third, the root ball is less likely to break and fall away from the roots during the move. If plants contain winter debris such as dead leaves, a strong hosing out and cleaning is advised. See the section on “soil samples and pH.”  The proper amount of lime to be applied will be specified with the soil sample results. Besides the dryness of summer, winter is one of the harshest times of the year on boxwood. "Dig around the base of the ivy stem leaving as much root & soil as possible. They also remember how much time and effort it took to keep them in formal rigidity. This is normal and should occur. Plan to root prune the boxwood hedges six to 12 months before transplant date, if possible. Calculate the Size of the Root Ball. An alternate time is in late fall, after frost has come. The concept to remember is that you want to provide the maximum amount of time between planting and the dryness of the upcoming summer. Place your boxwood in the hole and back-fill the hole with soil, using your hand to work the soil under and among the roots. I am a landscaper and designer and have transplanted Boxwood … To keep most of the roots within a small area, root prune in the spring or fall before transplanting. Next day or 2 dig up as big a root as you can. Boxwood blight is a serious problem in many states. Remove all dead twigs and debris, especially from the center, where fungus disease can start. Drought stress is the most severe in newly-planted landscapes where the plants are suffering from transplant shock, those without irrigation or rainfall for a long period of time, or those grown in … This replaces nutrients that might have washed out of the container. Spring growth, will often reestablish the plant to its normal color. Second, the plant will suffer less transplanting shock. Go to a garden center and get transplant fertilizer. Apply around the base of the plant in very early spring before new growth, being careful not to touch leaves with the fertilizer. However, you can transplant boxwood successfully when you adhere to a few simple guidelines.