Boxwood: planting and care in the open ground, types and varieties of boxwood with names
The boxwood plant (Buxus) is represented by shrubs and trees, characterized by slow growth, which are directly related to the boxwood family. In the wild, you can meet about 100 species of such plants. Boxwoods are found in the Mediterranean, East Asia, and also in the West Indies. In ancient Greece, such a plant was called "buxus", and this word was borrowed from a language unknown to anyone. In the wild, there are only three large areas of boxwood, namely: Central American, African, Euro-Asian. Boxwood has been cultivated for a long time and it is even considered one of the oldest ornamental plants. They grow it both in the garden and at home. In areas with a warm, mild climate, it is grown both as borders and hedges, and they decorate gardens or lawns with it, while effectively forming bushes. Such a plant grown in an apartment is an ideal option for a bonsai. The fact is that it feels excellent in a compact pot, perfectly shrubs, has small sheet plates, and also responds well to pruning.
The leaves of this plant are oppositely located, leathery, whole-edge, have an almost round or elliptical shape. Fragrant, small, same-sex flowers are part of small inflorescences. The boxwood fruit is a three-nested box, which, after ripening, crackes, and the shiny black seeds scatter in different directions. Such a plant is a honey plant, but you need to be very careful, as boxwood honey cannot be used as food, because any part of boxwood contains poison. Landscape designers highly appreciate this plant for its spectacular crown, glossy leaf plates, and also because it is very well tolerated by pruning. And gardeners appreciated the undemanding care of this plant, as well as its loathing.
Features of boxwoods. Care for boxwoods. How to plant and grow boxwood correctly
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Boxwood planting in open ground
What time to plant
Experienced gardeners have such a rule, to plant plants blooming in the fall in spring, and vice versa. Following it, boxwood is recommended to be planted in the autumn and it needs to be done from the second half of September until the beginning of October, since it will take him about 4 weeks to root, after which he will be able to winter well. However, there are also gardeners who quite successfully plant boxwood in the garden in spring and summer. For planting boxwood, it is recommended to choose a semi-shaded or shaded place, while a suitable soil should be clay, moist, pass water well, and lime should also be part of it. From the direct rays of the sun, the leaf plates of such a plant are injured fairly quickly.
How to plant
In the event that the seedling is in the container, then it must be well watered about 24 hours before planting in open soil. Thanks to this, you can easily remove the root system and lump of earth from the tank. But it is best to carefully remove the seedling, remove soil from its roots and place them in water for 1 day, and this must be done immediately before planting.
The depth and width of the pit for this plant should be approximately 3 times greater than the size of the root system along with a lump of earth. At the bottom of the prepared pit should be placed a layer of perlite for drainage, which should not be very thick (2-3 cm). The soil that was removed from the pit should be combined with perlite in a ratio of 1: 1. At the plant, you need to straighten the roots and then place it in the pit.After that, they begin to gradually fill it with a substrate (soil mixed with perlite), while it should not be allowed that voids remain. When the hole is filled, the soil needs to be slightly tamped, after which the boxwood must be watered. A seedling, whose height is from 15 to 20 centimeters, will need about 3 liters of liquid, while it is recommended to use well-defended rainwater. After the plant is watered, the soil should settle, when this happens, more soil should be poured into the hole, but this time it does not need to be rammed. Make sure that the trunk of the seedling is located in the hole after planting strictly vertically. It is necessary to make an earthen wall in a circle, retreating from the stem 20-30 centimeters, so that during irrigation the liquid does not spread. The surface of the trunk circle should be sprinkled with one or two-centimeter layer of perlite.
Features of gardening
How to grow boxwood
It is very simple to grow boxwood, especially if you are familiar with the basic rules for cultivating it. If after the plant is planted, rain does not pass within a week, then it needs to be watered. When watering, it should be borne in mind that 10 liters of water should go to a bush of a meter height. Water must be poured carefully under the root to the surface, it must be taken into account that if there is a dry period on the street or dry and fairly hot winds blow, then you do not need to increase the frequency of watering, but you need to pour more water. When watering is done, it is imperative to loosen the soil surface and simultaneously weed. In the first May days after the soil has warmed up properly, you need to sprinkle its surface with a layer of mulch (peat), the thickness of which varies from 5 to 8 centimeters. It should be noted that peat should not touch young shoots or the trunk of a plant.
Boxwood must be systematically fed. The first top dressing should be done only after 4 weeks, after the seedling is planted. But this is only if planting was carried out in the spring, since fertilizers can be applied to the soil only after the seedlings are completely rooted. During intensive growth, the plant needs organic or complex mineral fertilizer, and in the fall, during digging, potash or phosphorus fertilizers are added to the soil, because boxwood does not need nitrogen at this time.
Such a plant is recommended to be replanted in the spring. The fact is that during the summer and autumn it will have time to take root well and will endure the wintering safely. Transplantation of adult specimens should be carried out together with an earthen lump. Transplantation rules are identical to those used when planting a seedling in open ground. If you follow these rules, the plant will quickly and easily take root in a new place.
Pruning should be carried out in April or in the first May days. Often, boxwood bushes are shaped like a cone, cube or ball during a haircut. Boxwood can also be cultivated as a standard tree. To do this, cut out all the stems under the very root, except for the strongest. Those young stems that grow at the top of the central standard stem, cut, giving them, as a rule, the shape of a ball. It should be remembered that once you have formed a bush, you will only need to correct its shape from time to time, and all because boxwood refers to slow-growing plants. At the same time, as a rule, only young growing stems need to be cut, and old ones may need adjustment only if the shape of the bush is lost completely. Pruning does no harm to the bush, and the more you cut it, the thicker it will become. Experts advise trimming boxwood regularly 1 time per month. But it should be borne in mind that the more frequent the pruning will be, the more often you need to water and fertilize.The fact is that the bush needs to restore its strength, replenish those nutrients that were lost along with the cut leaf plates.
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Diseases and pests
The most dangerous pest for this plant is boxwood gall midge. In the early summer days, she lays her eggs in those young leaf plates that are on the tops of the stems. The appeared larvae are eaten into the leaf tissue and remain there for the winter. And already in May, adult individuals emerge from the resulting pupae. In the event that there are a lot of these pests on a plant, then it begins to dry out and die. You can get rid of this harmful insect with the help of Karbofos, Tagore, Aktar, Fufanon. After 1.5 weeks after treatment, inspect the boxwood, if there are no special improvements, then process it a second time. These insecticides will help get rid of felt. You can find out about infection by bloating on leaf plates, and the shoots begin to fade. Also, these remedies will help get rid of the spider mite, which can appear during prolonged drought.
This plant can become infected with shoot necrosis, while spots appear on the leaf plates, and the tops of the branches begin to die. In order to get rid of such a disease, fungicidal agents will be needed, and as a rule, several treatments are carried out intermittently. The most dangerous for this plant is cancer. The infected bush needs to be cut off the affected parts, while it is necessary to capture still healthy wood. After this, the sections should be treated with Fundazole.
In Moscow and Moscow Region
Boxwood should be planted in Moscow and the Moscow Region, as well as it should be looked after in the same way as in other areas with a temperate climate. But at the same time, it is worth considering that if the winter period is quite frosty, then the plant should be prepared for wintering.
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As a rule, such a plant is propagated vegetatively, but in some cases boxwood is also grown from seeds. However, during seed propagation, it should be borne in mind that seeds after a relatively short time lose their germination ability. However, if you have a desire to grow such a shrub from a seed, then you should study the instructions below.
Freshly harvested ripened seeds must be immersed in lukewarm water for 24 hours, in which it is necessary to dissolve a growth stimulant (Zircon or Epin). After that, you need to moisten 2 towels so that they are not wet, and put the seeds between them, for this you can use napkins. Then you need to wait until the seeds hatch, and whitish sprouts appear, as a rule, this happens after 4 weeks. Throughout the waiting time, you need to regularly check the condition of the seeds and keep the towels moist. In the event that after 14-20 days there are still no sprouts, then for several days the tissue with seeds must be placed in the refrigerator on a shelf for storing vegetables. Then they need to be pulled out and again put in a warm place.
When the seeds hatch, you can start sowing. The tank must be filled with peat mixed with sand (1: 1). Sprouts must be sent to the substrate. After the seeds are sown, the container on top must be covered with a film or glass. The container is cleaned in a semi-shaded, warm place and then shoots are waiting. You should see the first seedlings after 14–20 days. After you see the first shoots, the shelter should be removed, and the container itself should not be removed from the partial shade. Seedlings should be regularly watered, and also fed with fertilizers of weak concentration. After the plant grows and gets stronger, they can be planted in open soil, but it is worthwhile to wait until the threat of frost passes.
Boxwood propagation by cuttings
Reproduction of boxwood by cuttings in the spring is the method that is most popular among gardeners. For cuttings, strong young stems are used, which did not have time to lignify at all, and their length should be from 10 to 15 centimeters. The slice is made obliquely and from the bottom 1/3 of the cuttings all sheet plates need to be cut off. Then the cuttings for 24 hours should be immersed in a solution of a stimulant of root growth. After this, the cuttings need to be washed. Then they are planted in open soil. The optimal composition of the soil mixture for boxwood: sheet soil, rotted humus or compost, sand (1: 1: 1). You can use a mixture of soil and a different composition for planting, but it must be saturated with nutrients and light. The cuttings must be deepened into the soil mixture on the most leafy plates. After that, each stalk is covered with a bottle of plastic with a volume of 5 liters, in which the bottom must first be removed. Watering the handle is as follows: the cap is removed from the neck of the bottle and the plant is sprayed with water from a spray bottle. To air the box every day should be the same, removing the lid. After 4 weeks, the plant begins to form roots. And after 8 weeks, he already has a fully formed root system, and at this very time it will be possible to remove the shelter (bottle). For the first wintering, the cuttings must be covered with spruce branches, otherwise they will freeze.
If you decide to propagate this plant by cuttings, it should be remembered that in this case the cuttings are planted in pots. The fact is that they will not have time to take root, and even if it is covered for the winter, it will die anyway. Store the cuttings in a room where the temperature is approximately 10 degrees. In spring, they are planted in open ground.
Propagation by layering
This method of reproduction is also a highly effective and tested time. In spring, several stems of the bush should be bent to the surface of the soil and buried. During the summer period they need to be watered and fertilized. When they form roots and layering will start to grow, they can be separated from the parent bush and planted in a new place.
Boxwood in the winter
The most difficult time for boxwood is the winter period. The fact is that this plant does not differ in high frost resistance. And the sleeping root system cannot provide the stems and leaf plates of the shrub that awaken to life as soon as the sun's rays fall on them. From a lack of water and nutrients, they begin to dry out. In this regard, for the planting of such a plant, you should choose a shady place, and it is equally important to properly prepare the shrub for wintering.
Before the frosts come (in November), it is necessary to produce abundant winter-time water-loading irrigation, thanks to this the boxwood will be able to be saturated with moisture, which is enough for the whole winter. Then the near-trunk circle is sprinkled with a layer of mulch (peat or rotted needles). Dried foliage should not be used as mulch. The fact is that if the winter period is wet, then the leaves may well begin to ripen, and as a result of this, a fungal disease will develop in the shrub.
Preparing for the winter
After the street gets colder minus 10 degrees, you must definitely cover the boxwood. Before proceeding with the direct shelter of the plant, the standard forms must be prepared by tying them to a support. This will protect the rather fragile trunk from heavy snowfall. Then it is necessary to completely wrap the boom with non-woven material. And if you want, you can use a spruce branch, tying it with a standard. If the stem is adult, then it can only be whitened, and the crown must be tied with a cloth. If boxwood is grown as a border or hedge, then it is also necessary to completely cover it for wintering.For this, burlap or non-woven material is used, which is folded in 2-3 layers. To fix the edges of the material, they are simply sprinkled with soil. Before you cover the bushes, they must be tied, as a large amount of wet heavy snow can damage the branches. Cuttings that are rooted, as well as young bushes, must be tied with spruce branches, while trunk circles must be sprinkled with a layer of mulch (needles of coniferous trees or peat). It is necessary to remove the covering material immediately after the onset of the spring period, since being in the warmth, the bush begins to whine. It is necessary to remove the shelter on a cloudy day and at the same time, 1 layer of lutrasil, burlap or spunbond, as well as a small amount of lapnik, should be left on the bush. This is necessary in order to shade the shrub. Boxwood should be accustomed gradually to the bright sunny spring rays.
The main types and varieties
Not a very large number of species of this plant are cultivated, but there are quite spectacular garden forms of boxwood.
Boxwood evergreen (Buxus sempervirens)
It is found in the wild in the Caucasus and the Mediterranean. Most often grows in undergrowths of mixed as well as deciduous forests, while it can also be found in highly shaded places. Such a tree can reach a height of 15 meters, there are also shrubby forms. Green, straight, tetrahedral stems are densely leafy. Oppositely arranged leaf plates are glossy, bare and have virtually no petioles. Their front side is painted dark green, and the inside is dull pale green, even slightly yellowish. Elongated elliptical leaflets in length can reach 1.5-3 centimeters. Small same-sex light green flowers are part of small capitate inflorescences. The fruit is a small box of spherical shape, which has sashes. They open only after the seeds become ripe. Any part of this plant contains poison. Popular varieties:
- Suffruticosis - such an evergreen shrub is characterized by slow growth. Vertical shoots reach a height of 100 centimeters. Oppositely located ovate or obovate leaf plates reach a length of 20 millimeters. The flowers are small. Use for borders and hedges.
- Blauer Heinz - This low shrub also grows relatively slowly. The stems have greater rigidity compared to the previous species, there are leathery greenish-blue leaf plates. This variety has appeared recently and is used for carpet ornaments, the height of which is not more than 0.2 meters. Differs from the previous grade by greater frost resistance and compactness.
- Elegans - such a dense shrub has a spherical crown. Straight stems with dense foliage in height can reach 100 centimeters. Variegated oblong leaf plates have a whitish border. Resistant to drought.
Boxwood small-leaved (Buxus microphylla)
It has greater frost resistance in comparison with the previous view. Such a Japanese or Korean relative of boxwoods can endure frost to minus 30 degrees without shelter. However, in the spring he needs shelter from the sun. Popular varieties:
- Winter Jam - Differs in high frost resistance and fast growth. Has a dense crown. Used to create small topiary shapes. Trimming does not harm him. It has a height of about 150 centimeters.
- Faulkner - the bush is compact and grows rather slowly. It has a height of up to 150 centimeters. As a rule, the bushes are cut off giving it a spherical shape, which is due to the growth of its crown.
Boxwood Colchic or Caucasian (Buxus colchica)
A relic of the Tertiary period, with slow growth. Of all European species, it is the most frost-resistant and has small leaves. This species can live up to 600 years, while its height reaches 15–20 meters.At the base, the trunk has a thirty-centimeter diameter.
Box Balearic (Buxus balearica)
It is considered the most western species of these plants. Its homeland is southern Spain, the Balearic Islands, Portugal and the Atlas Mountains in northern Morocco. In the Euro-Asian area, this form has the largest leaf plates. So, the width of its leaves is about 3 centimeters, and the length is ―4 centimeters. Fast growing and very effective. Heat-loving, and is not winter-resistant.
Other species suitable for cultivation in the middle latitudes exist, but they are very low in popularity.