I’ve been planting little box hedge plants this week. I think they’ll make a great new edge to the walled border near the house. I can see now they are not quite in a straight line .. but hopefully they will grow together over time and no one will notice. 😉
These are 2 year old plants. As you can see they’ve started to put on lot of new growth and are about 6 inches high, which is an ideal size for planting out.
I find April/May the best time to plant box as the ground has warmed a little and there is still plenty of rain around, which box hedge seem to love.
Planting Box Hedge
Although box like moisture I find they don’t respond well if they are sitting in water, so I prepare the ground first by mixing in a good helping of well rotted compost, mixed with an equal quantity of sharp sand. They seem to like growing in our chalky thin soil.
Below are just a few of their 4 year old cousins which are growing away on the opposite side of the path, and as you can see they have put on a fair bit of growth in that time.
I’ll start trimming them into shape next weekend and I’m hoping they’ll look like this one day. 🙂
If you’ve never grown your own box plants from cuttings I urge you to have a go. I raise all my own box hedge plants in late September. If I can do it … anyone can!
Box Plant From Cuttings
Although it’s not the ideal time to take box cuttings now, I thought I’d share with you my method. Btw I’ve taken Box cuttings in June before and had plenty of success.
Buxus (Box) is a great plant to raise from cuttings, as they nearly always root and I think they make a beautiful edge to a path.
When you’re looking for plants to use as cutting material try to select healthy, strong looking plants with plenty of new growth. It’s the new growth that makes the best cutting material.
Although it’s not critical I find it helps if you ‘tear’ semi hardwood cuttings from the stem of the plant leaving the cutting with a slight ‘heal’. I don’t know why, but it just seems improve your chances of success.
You’re going to need about 4-6 inches of stem above the heal, so snip off the rest of the cutting with a sharp knife. Then plunge a fist full of cuttings into rooting compound to encourage the cutting to develop roots.
I tend to use an organic liquid compound, for no reason other than it’s nearly always works for me. Also you’ll need a 4-5 inch plant pot with a mix of 50 / 50 potting compost and sharp sand.
As I raise several hundred plants at a time I use mostly sharp sand as there is a plentiful supply at the local builder’s merchant, so it works out a lot cheaper.
This next bit is really IMPORTANT!
- Collect your cutting material early in the morning when the plant is bursting with energy and store them in a plastic bag until they are ready to use.
- Try to get the cuttings into the compost as soon as possible after it has been cut from the plant as it will continue to transpire moisture through the leaves and start to wilt, as it has no source of moisture.
- Finally make sure you keep the cuttings watered for the first few weeks, until they start growing away.
If you decide to have a go at growing your own plants from cuttings do let us know how you get on … and feel free to send is your pictures.