If you are keen to create a section of box hedging, or even push the boundaries and design an ornamental knot garden then one thing is for certain - you are going to need a substantial amount of box plants. Of course you can purchase what you need from you local garden centre but this creates two important issues. the first is the cost of purchasing such a large number of plants. The second is that to ensure an even rate of growth and colour you will need plants that have been propagated from the same parent plant. The best way to ensure that you have both enough plants as well as guaranteeing that they are all genetically identical is to produce your own box cuttings.

The rather uninspiring period between autumn and winter is actually one of the best times of the year to take Box (Buxus sempervirens) cuttings. All you need to do is remove a strong healthy stem, about four inches long, from a healthy parent plant. Trim the base up to just below a couple of buds and then remove the lower two thirds of leaves. If you have a sandy soil in a sheltered site its possible to place the box cuttings directly into the ground. Alternatively, use a terracotta pot using a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'.

Push your cuttings into the compost at the side of the pot, spreading them evenly around the edge. Box cuttings do not require rooting hormone powder to initiate rooting.

Label them and water with a dilute fungicide. Over-winter in a cold frame or cool greenhouse then come the spring plant them out into individual pots. Within a year or so you will have plants of an ideal size suitable for creating new box hedging. Not only would you be saving a small fortune from buying Box plants at your local nursery or garden centre, you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you produced them yourself.


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