How to Plant a Box Hedge

Written by angela baird
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How to Plant a Box Hedge
Box hedge has attractive, small leaf foliage. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The box shrub (Buxus sempervirens) is a slow-growing bush often planted in rows to form hedges. It is an evergreen with small, glossy leaves and very dense growth which makes it ideal for year-round privacy. Once used as a form of boundary fencing, it is now used as an ornamental around homes and gardens. It is also ideal for use as a topiary. The box hedge is extremely long-lived, so proper planting ensures a beautiful hedge you can enjoy for many years.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Twine or string
  • Stakes
  • Ruler
  • Shovel
  • Fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Mark off the area you want to place your hedge. Using stakes with string tied to them helps create a straight line. Box plants that are not place in the ground in a straight line will show up in a few years as a drunken-looking hedge.

  2. 2

    Work the soil well, incorporating organic matter like manure or compost. The soil must be well-drained, as box hedge does poorly when too wet.

  3. 3

    Dig a trench for your plants. Or, dig holes that are equal distances apart, 7- to 8-inch spacing being ideal. The holes or trench should be slightly wider but not deeper than the roots on the new plants.

  4. 4

    Place the plants into the holes/trench with some bonemeal or other long lasting fertiliser.

  5. 5

    Backfill, firming the soil around the plants and ensuring that you have not planted deeper than the previous soil line on the young plant's stems.

  6. 6

    Water thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not attempt to prune until the plants have established themselves. If planted in the fall, wait to prune until the following spring when temperatures are warm.

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