HOW TO PROPAGATE BOX HEDGING PLANTS

prepared box cutting on work top
How to propagate box hedging plants

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's for certain - you are going to need a substantial amount of box plants. Of course you can purchase what you need from your 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 so preferably 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.

bare root box plant
How to propagate box hedging plants
The rather uninspiring period between autumn and winter is actually one of the best times of the year to take Box (Buxus sempervirens) cuttings.

Before you even think of taking cuttings make sure that the parent plants chosen are perfectly healthy with glossy foliage clear of any fungal spots or discoloration, especially in light of box blight fungal infections.

If possible water your parent plant the evening before to make sure that the leaves and stems are fully turgid, and aim to cut early the next morning preferably on a cool cloudy day. make sure that before cutting your blades have been properly sterilized.

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 it's possible to place the box cuttings directly into the ground. Alternatively, use a terracotta pot filled with 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.

When they are ready for planting outside into their final positions, harden off to outside conditions over a period of 10-14 days. Box plants will perform best in a well-drained soil in partial shade

To conclude, 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.
images of flowers and vegetables for seed shop
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
In text image - Jerzy Opioła - Praca własna https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

For related articles click onto the following links:
BBC Box
HOW TO CONTROL BOX BLIGHT
HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM BOX HEDGING
PESTS AND DISEASES OF BOX HEDGING PLANTS (Buxus sempervirens)
WHEN DO YOU TRIM BOX HEDGING?

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