Boxwood Watering Tips – How And When To Water Boxwoods

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Boxwoods provide leafy, emerald green color to the landscape with a surprisingly scant investment of time and effort on your part, as boxwood watering requirements are minimal once the plant is established. Read on to learn about watering a boxwood and when to water boxwoods.

Watering Boxwood Shrubs

Water a newly planted boxwood shrub deeply and slowly to ensure the roots are thoroughly saturated. After that time, water regularly until the plant is well established.

As a general rule, one or two deep waterings per week is plenty during the plant’s first year, decreasing to once per week during the shrub’s second growing season. Thereafter, watering a boxwood is necessary only during periods of hot, dry weather.

The plant may need more water if your soil is sandy, if the shrub is in bright sunlight or receives reflected sun from a nearby sidewalk or wall.

Boxwood Watering Tips

Give your boxwood a deep drink of water before the ground freezes in late autumn or early winter. This helps alleviate any cold damage that may occur from lack of water.

Watering a boxwood should be done with a drip system or soaker hose. Alternatively, allow a hose to trickle slowly at the base of the plant until the ground is thoroughly saturated.

Keep in mind that a large, mature boxwood shrub requires more water to saturate the root system than a small or young plant.

Avoid watering a boxwood shrub if the soil is still moist from the previous watering. Boxwood roots are near the surface and the plant is easily drowned by watering too frequently.

Don’t wait until the plant looks wilted or stressed. If you aren’t sure when to water boxwoods, use a trowel to dig 2 to 4 inches into the soil at a point under the outer branches of the plant. (Be careful not to damage the shallow roots). If the soil is dry at that depth, it’s time to water again. In time, you’ll learn how often your boxwood shrub needs water.

A layer of mulch will conserve moisture and reduce water requirements.

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