How to Plant a Box Hedge

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Water thoroughly.


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.

Things You'll Need

  • Twine or string
  • Stakes
  • Ruler
  • Shovel
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

Angela Baird has been writing professionally since 1995. She has a wide range of life experiences from work with abused animals with the Humane Society, to more than 20 years of hands-on experience in the culinary arts. In addition, she keeps horses and does her own home improvements and home gardening.