Learning how to plant Japanese boxwood may not be as simple as it appears. However, a few effective steps will make the task easier. Japanese boxwoods are beautiful boxwood shrubs with glossy leaves that stay green all year round.

How To Plant Japanese Boxwood

This guide consists of tips to help you plant boxwood shrubs, so continue reading to learn more about the Japanese boxwood care process.

How To Plant Japanese Boxwood in Your Garden?

To plant Japanese boxwood in your garden, you must choose a suitable location, dig the hole, prepare the soil, and plant the boxwood. You’ll also need to water the boxwood, mulch the area and maintain the plant. It’s ideal to plant boxwoods in a big, shallow hole.

Planting boxwood is best done in the early fall or spring, when the shrub isn’t growing actively, to ensure it doesn’t get affected by transplanting.

1. Choose a Suitable Location

Choosing the right location for your Japanese boxwood ensures its growth and health. Japanese boxwood sun requirements include partial shade to full sun but it can tolerate full shade or full sun in some climates, so it’s not particularly fussy. Still, it prefers partial shade, so choosing a location that provides shade during the hottest part of the day is important.

Choose a Suitable Location

The soil in the planting area should also be well-draining, as Japanese boxwood does not tolerate waterlogged soil, so it is best to avoid planting in areas prone to flooding or with poor drainage. Moreover, Japanese boxwood prefers soil rich in organic compounds, so adding compost or aged manure to the soil before planting can help provide the necessary nutrients for your shrub.

When choosing a location for your Japanese boxwood, consider its ultimate size and shape, as Japanese boxwood can grow up to 6 feet tall and wide. This means you have to give it enough space to grow without crowding other plants or structures while considering the overall design of your landscape and how your Japanese boxwood will fit into it.

By carefully selecting a location that provides the right shade, well-draining soil, and sufficient space, your Japanese boxwood should thrive and provide beauty and interest to your garden for many years.

2. Dig the Hole

Digging the hole for your Japanese boxwood is an important step in ensuring its growth and health, so the size of the hole should be twice as wide and just as deep as its root ball. It is important to dig the hole according to the Japanese boxwood size to allow for good root development.

The roots of the Japanese boxwood will need room to grow outward in all directions, so a larger hole will help to ensure that the plant can establish a strong root system.

When digging the hole, remove any rocks, roots, or other debris that could impede the growth of the boxwood roots, as this will help ensure that they can spread out freely and access the necessary nutrients and water in the soil.

It is also critical to ensure that the hole is level and the depth is appropriate for the root ball, as placing the plant too deeply or too shallow can lead to problems with growth and development. By digging the hole to the proper size and depth, you can help ensure that your Japanese boxwood can establish a strong root system and grow into a healthy and beautiful plant.

3. Prepare the Soil

Preparing the soil for your Japanese boxwood is an important step in ensuring its growth and health, as Japanese boxwood prefers well-draining soil rich in organic matter. So one way to prepare the soil is to mix some compost or aged manure with the soil you removed from the hole, which will help provide nutrients for your shrub and improve soil structure.

Soil Preparation for Japanese Boxwood

Another way to prepare the soil is to test the pH level. Japanese boxwood prefers a pH between 6.0 and 7.5, so if your soil is overly acidic or alkaline, you may need to adjust it to ensure that your Japanese boxwood can thrive. If your soil has an acidic pH level, you can add lime to raise it, and if it has a pH that is too alkaline, you can add sulfur to bring it down.

It is essential to ensure that the soil is well-mixed and free of clumps or debris before planting your Japanese boxwood, as this will help ensure that the roots can spread out freely and access the necessary nutrients and water in the soil. By preparing the soil properly, you can help ensure that your Japanese boxwood can establish a strong root system and grow into a healthy and beautiful plant.

4. Plant the Boxwood

The first step in guaranteeing the development and health of boxwood is to plant it. Place the root ball of the boxwood in the center of the hole you just dug, ensuring that the root ball’s top is aligned with the surrounding dirt. Next, backfill the hole with the soil and compost mixture you previously created.

After you have finished planting, give your Japanese boxwood a deep watering to help settle the soil. Follow these steps to ensure that your Japanese boxwood can establish a strong root system and grow into a healthy and beautiful plant.

5. Water the Boxwood

Watering your boxwood is essential in ensuring its growth and health, as newly planted Japanese boxwoods require frequent watering until they become established. Just as mentioned above, make sure to give your boxwood a deep watering to help settle the soil, encourage root growth, and then regularly water your shrub, especially during dry spells.

Water the Boxwood Plant

During the first year, it is best to water your Japanese boxwood deeply once a week. However, avoid overwatering, as Japanese boxwood does not tolerate waterlogged soil. When watering, make sure to water the entire root system and water slowly and deeply, allowing the water to soak into the soil. It is important to avoid getting water on the leaves of your Japanese boxwood, which can lead to fungal diseases.

In hot and dry weather, your Japanese boxwood may require more frequent watering, so you need to check the soil regularly by sticking your finger about an inch. If it feels dry, it’s essential to water it.

Proper watering is critical for the health of your Japanese boxwood, and by providing it with sufficient water, you can ensure that it establishes a strong root system and grows into a healthy and beautiful plant.

6. Mulch the Area

Mulching the area around your boxwood is important in ensuring its growth and health. Mulch provides several benefits, including retaining moisture in the soil, regulating soil temperature, and suppressing weed growth.

Separate any grass or weeds from the area around your plant before applying a layer of mulch about 2-3 inches thick around the base of the shrub. Take care to keep the mulch away from the shrub’s trunk.

You can use various materials for mulch, such as shredded bark, wood chips, or leaves. Organic materials like these will gradually break down over time, improving the soil quality and providing nutrients for your Japanese boxwood.

Mulch should be replaced every year or two to maintain its effectiveness, and you should be careful not to apply too much mulch, as this can cause problems with drainage and may lead to root rot. By mulching the area around your Japanese boxwood, you can help ensure that it receives the necessary moisture and nutrients for healthy growth.

7. Care for the Plant

Caring for boxwood involves providing the plant with proper fertilization and pruning. Is Japanese boxwood annual or perennial? It’s a perennial plant and can live for 20 or 30 years, which is why it benefits from regular fertilization to promote long-term healthy growth and foliage.

Boxwood Plant Care Guide

Fertilize the plant with a slow-release fertilizer formulated for shrubs in the spring. For the appropriate application rate, fertilize according to the directions.

You can prune boxwood to keep it in the desired size and shape. Before new growth starts, prune the plant in late winter or early spring. To prevent the plant from being harmed, use clean, sharp pruning scissors. Remove any broken or dead branches, then shape the plant whatever you like, but make sure not to prune it too much at once, as this might weaken it.

Is the Japanese boxwood drought tolerant? Yes, it is, and this quality of boxwood makes it a beautiful addition to the landscape because it needs minimal care. Additionally, Japanese boxwood cold tolerance also makes it more durable and last longer. However, they have their limits, and prolonged droughts may necessitate additional watering.

Boxwood can be susceptible to several pests and diseases, including boxwood leafminers, mites, and blight. Monitor the plant regularly for signs of pest or disease infestation, such as yellowing or spotted leaves, and treat the problem promptly. Use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to prevent pests, and remove any infected branches to prevent the spread of disease.


– What are Some Basic Japanese Boxwood Varieties?

Some basic Japanese boxwood varieties include American boxwood, Korean boxwood, Japanese boxwood winter gem, green velvet boxwood shrub, boxwood wintergreen shrub, and gem boxwood. All these varieties have individual characteristics but are mostly known for their beauty and the ability to be shaped as elegant boxwood hedges.


Planting Japanese boxwood plants is challenging, yet you can do it effectively by following simple steps and using them in a variety of landscaping settings, from formal gardens to informal borders. Here’s a summary of what you just read:

  • Boxwood can tolerate full sun to partial shade but prefers partial shade. Choose a location with well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.
  • Dig a hole that’s as deep as the size of the root ball of your Japanese boxwood but twice as broad.
  • Mix some compost or aged manure with the soil that you removed from the hole. This will help to provide nutrients for your shrub.
  • Water your Japanese boxwood regularly, especially during dry spells, and fertilize it once a year in the spring with a balanced fertilizer. Prune it to maintain its desired shape and size.

Executing the steps correctly when planting Japanese boxwood is significant. We hope you have gained the required knowledge on how to plant Japanese boxwood and create beautiful landscapes.

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