Boxwood must be pruned in a very specific way to allow it to stay natural and soft. Prune boxwood with help from a gardening specialist in this free video clip.
Hi, I'm Mark Viette, and I'm going to show you how to prune boxwood. Keep in mind, I personally like plants that are natural free flowing, that are soft to use in a landscape. I personally don't like you know, but some people do, square boxes, or you know, shear to perfection. You're better off, if you look at this boxwood here, it's nice and natural and soft. It's very easy to prune, you just come in and I use, what I call, thinning. And that's where you reach in, and you prune out whole branches. You'll notice, if you prune that way, you're getting out lots of greenery, completely inside the boxwood. So, if you ever get damage from wind or snow, or somebody running into a boxwood. You've got greenery inside, it's easy to do, you just do this. You just pull a plant, if you're able to. And you're going to take two out of every ten stems. So, I'm going to reach right in here, and I want to pull out this stem right here. So, I'm going to completely remove the stem, like that. That is opened up, so light gets into center of the boxwood. I'm going to come in here and I'm going to remove another stem, all the way down. And by thinning them out, getting more light. What you're going to see, is more of what you see right here. Let me prune this branch to show you. This is what you want, you want the light to get to the center of the boxwood, so all these new shoots grow. So, you just reach in and you thin out boxwood. You're going to see some empty spaces like this, but that's normal. So, I'm going to come in here and prune this one out. So, if you're looking at me from the distance, you're going to see, I'm coming in by hand. I am not taking a hedge trimmer, I'm not you know, because you'll have leaf damage, it may not look perfect. But this plant will look natural, it almost looks like billowing clouds. It's that easy with these types of boxwoods. Now, on the other hand, if you've got boxwoods that are getting too big. You can in late winter, severely cut them back. But my other option is, try to pick a variety of boxwood that matches your needs. You can find boxwoods today, that will only get 30 inches tall, that's even if they're 50 years old. So, you want to match the variety of boxwood that you want in your garden, to the eventual height. You could also find boxwoods that are very narrow. So, you know, they're going to be very narrow, maybe 12 inches wide, and they'll grow six to eight feet tall. So, choose the right plant in the beginning, the right boxwood for that area, thin them out. I usually like to thin them out sometime in May. It's the best time that I find, I can thin out boxwood. And you can have a beautiful hedge, just like this. I'm Mark Viette on how to properly prune boxwoods.