The beautiful boxwood topiary takes its roots back to the 1500s in the United Kingdom with knot gardens. These ornamental gardens were inspired by geometrical patterns, and gardeners achieved this look by planting various aromatic plants and herbs inside a frame made of boxwood.
These lovely plants provide leafy, green beauty to any landscape and require only a small amount of maintenance.
Not ready to take on the care of a live plant? No worries. Artificial boxwood are lovely and easy to find – and unlike a live boxwood, they require very little care.
1. Live Boxwood Topiary Need Just the Right Amount of Water
If you’re new to the boxwood world, you may be concerned about watering your boxwood topiary properly. Once you plant your new boxwood shrub, you’ll want to water slowly and deeply to ensure that the roots are thoroughly saturated.
After that, water your boxwood regularly until the plant seems well established. In general, you should water your boxwood one to two times per week for the first year. After that, go ahead and scale back to once a week in the second year.
Two years in, your boxwood should be firmly established and will only need watering during especially hot or dry weather. Unfortunately, one of the easiest and quickest ways to kill a boxwood is overwatering.
Roots may rot or even drown if they are overwatered. The key with a mature boxwood is consistency and less often.
If you’re unsure if your Boxwood needs water, use a trowel to dig down 2 to 4 inches under the outermost branches of the plant. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water. Adding a layer of mulch can help preserve moisture and reduce the frequency of watering.
2. Live Boxwood Topiary Also Need Fertilizer, But Sparingly
In general, a boxwood topiary is relatively easy to care for. In fact, they don’t normally need additional fertilizer.
However, if you notice signs of distress, or if the soil seems a little off-balance, it may be time to give that boxwood a little extra help with a boost of nutrition.
If you fertilize in spring, you can promote green growth, and if you fertilize in late fall, you can increase root growth over the winter season. However, don’t add any fertilizer in the heat of the summer or in the winter.
This could cause premature growth to arrive that cannot withstand the winter months.
Slow-release and balanced fertilizers are the best options for boxwood.
You could also use aged manure or even cottonseed meal as long as you can ensure that your boxwood has enough nitrogen.
If your plant is showing yellowing of the lower leaves, it may indicate that it isn’t getting enough nitrogen. In this case, use a more balanced fertilizer with nitrogen.
3. Bright Sunlight Is Best for Live Boxwood Topiary
Like any plant, sunlight is an important factor in the health and overall well-being of a boxwood.
They tend to thrive in partial shade but can tolerate full sun for a short while. If you are hoping to plant in a super bright location, consider looking for a “Morris Midget” variety that will better tolerate the direct sunlight.
That said, if your heart is set on a boxwood, and you don’t mind moving the plant, consider stationing it where you can move it to shade when the sun is too hot.
4. Artificial Boxwood Topiary Are Easy to Maintain
If you don’t think your gardening skills are up to keeping a boxwood topiary alive or you simply don’t have the right conditions for a live plant to thrive, consider an artificial one. If you take good care of your artificial boxwood, it should last for years.
To keep your artificial boxwood topiary looking great, there are several things you can do to help care for it.
First, consider purchasing a high-quality UV-resistant plant. It may be slightly more expensive, but your boxwood will fade less and look better longer. If you can’t find UV-resistant artificial plants, use some UV artificial plant spray.
Before applying your chosen spray, be sure to clean and dust your plant well. To protect your plants from direct sunlight, rotate them a few times a year. Your plants will generally last longer if you can minimize their time in direct sunlight.
Artificial plants don’t require pruning, so if your topiary needs to maintain its shape, an artificial option may be a perfect choice.
There are so many artificial topiaries that look just as beautiful as the real ones.
We love this set of five artificial topiary trees because it is a variety pack of different textures. They all share the same pot, so they complement each other perfectly.
5. Be Sure to Periodically Dust and Rinse Your Artificial Boxwood Topiary
Often, simply wiping down the plant will be plenty, but sometimes, large plants need a gentle shower. That’s right, put it in your shower to really rinse off the dust.
If you take this route, you’ll definitely want to make sure you let it dry out in the shower overnight. If your plant only needs light dusting, take a feather duster or plant brush and care for those leaves.
6. Store Your Artificial Boxwood Topiary Properly When Not Using Them
If your artificial boxwood has been outside, you may want to put it in storage during the winter months.
There are several things you can do to protect your artificial plant during this time. First, decide where you will store your plant. Make sure it is out of the freezing temperatures.
Then, give the plant a good cleaning. After its cleaning, go ahead and bag up your plant. For large boxwoods, consider using a Christmas tree bag.
Boxwoods are a classy addition to anyone’s garden.
We hope these tips help keep your real and artificial boxwoods in tip-top shape! What are some of your favorite tips for caring for live and artificial boxwoods?
We’d love to know, so please connect with us in the comments below!