Transplanting boxwoods shrubs is a worthwhile experience, but only when you know what you have to do. Transplanting is a crucial part of boxwood care and there are various reasons why you might need to do it, including changing the soil structure, texture, and nutritional components.Transplanting Boxwoods Shrubs

Improper procedures may cause your plant’s health to deteriorate or see your boxwood dying after transplant. This guide will take you through the steps that you should follow to transplant boxwood plants, be they young or well-established.

How to Transplant Boxwood Shrubs? The Step-By-Step Nuggets

To transplant boxwood shrubs you should prepare for the procedure, tie your plant, uproot it, and then move the boxwood shrub to a new space that you would have created for it. Use these steps to grow boxwood plants like the Japanese boxwood, American boxwood, Korean boxwood and English boxwood.

1. Prepare for the Transplanting Procedure

Once you are sure that you will transplant your boxwood the very next day, be sure to water the soil around your plant thoroughly. The watering should be deep enough to allow the water to get to at least 8 inches below the topsoil.

Watering your boxwood plant beforehand makes the digging part easier. Another advantage that comes with this step is that it helps to reduce the extent of boxwood transplant shock. When you pull out the boxwood shrub from dry soil, there is a high probability that the root ball will separate from the roots. Therefore, making sure the soil is wet before transplanting will increase the chance of keeping the root ball and the roots intact.

We recommend that you wear protective clothing so that you do not get hurt as you transfer your plant to its new home. You can get some overalls, gum boots, watering can, fertilizer, and gloves to protect yourself as you handle your plant.

2. Tie It

Now, you need to tie the boxwood shrub with the string, twine or chord that you have. Tie the boxwood from the bottom up to the top and make sure you fasten the end of the chord with a knot so that it does not come loose.

Tying the leaves and branches of your boxwood plant together compresses the width of the plant. This makes it easier to manage when you dig the dogwood shrub out. Additionally, moving a tied plant is easier than doing that with a loose one.

3. Create a Trench Around Your Boxwood

You can think of this step as the key one. Use a shape spade to dig a trench so that you can expose the root ball. The trench should be approximately 6 inches wide and 10 inches deep, respectively. Additionally, the rule of thumb when you dig the trench is that it should be about 8 inches away from the trunk of your boxwood shrub.Trench Around

Once the trench is in place, gradually dig under your plant’s root ball. Do this as carefully as possible to ensure that you do not damage the roots of your boxwood plant. This is because your plant will certainly need healthy roots for it to recuperate and grow again after transplanting it. Continue digging until there is no connection between the roots of your planet and the surrounding soil.

4. Transfer the Shrub to a Plastic

Carefully push your hands under the root ball and slightly lift it up. Depending on the size of the rootball, you might need another pair of hands to assist you. Even if the root ball appears small enough for it not to be heavy, the wet soil that is attached to it may slightly increase the weight.

Have a plastic or tarp ready, spread on the ground. Now, gently move the root ball to the plastic sheet. Once the whole root ball sits on the plastic sheet, pull it toward the new location that you have prepared for the boxwood plant. Alternatively, you can transfer the plant into a wheelbarrow and ferry it to its new location. Please note that you should never break the root ball.

5. Get the New Space Ready!

It is time to properly prepare your boxwood plant’s new home! Using your spade, dig a hole whose width is twice that of the rootball. However, you do not need to create a deeper hole. Rather make the hole slightly shallower than the root ball. This is important so that the root ball slightly sticks by about half-an-inch out above the topsoil of the area surrounding the hole when you finally place it in.Boxwood Planting Tips

Creating a relatively shallow hole helps to prevent a scenario where your plant sits in water because the boxwood plant is quite sensitive to such environments. Are you wondering how best you can determine the depth of the hole? Simply measure the downward size of the root ball and mark it on the spade. The measurement for the new hole should be below that mark.

6. Put the Boxwood in its New Home

Carefully place the root ball of your boxwood into the new hole to avoid damaging it. Add soil around the riot ball and tamp it. Thoroughly water the plant for the first time. Thereafter, you can water it once every week during summer and reduce it during the seasons where growth is relatively slow. Follow this watering procedure for the first two years after transplanting it.

Add some mulch around on top of the root ball but do not get too close to the stem. The mulch will help to retain the moisture that your plant needs for it to revamp itself. Please note that mulch can harbor disease-causing microorganisms, which is why piling it around the stem is not such a great idea.

The mulch that you add should not be less than 2 inches deep. Spread it out so that it covers over 12 inches beyond the canopy’s circumference. You can use bark mulch, pine needles, or wood chips for your organic mulch.

7. Loose the Boxwood’s Foliage

Untie the foliage of the boxwood and make sure that all the leaves are fine. If there are any leaves that were damaged during the transplanting procedure, we recommend that you remove them. Taking them off will actually encourage new growth while keeping them may cause nutrients to be wasted.Varieties of Boxwood Foliage

8. Add Fertilizer

We recommend that you add fertilize to your plant before new growth starts to develop, especially during early sping. Ideally, use a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Add a pound of the fertilizer on every 100 square feet, except for the area that is 6 inches within the circumference of the stem.

9. Monitor Your Plant

You should know that the success of the transplant procedure goes way beyond what is described in steps one to eight. You should monitor your plant to ensure that it continues growing well and healthily, too. If you notice the leaves of your plant turning brown, it is a sign of drought stress so watering may remedy the situation.

Another option would be to cut off the browning leaves so as to give room to new growth. We also recommend that you watch out for boxwood blight, which may completely destroy your beauty.Preparing Plants for Repotting

Frequently Asked Questions

– Can the Boxwood Shrub be Transplanted In Winter?

Yes, you can transplant boxwood shrubs during the winter season. However, you will need to be ready for the wait because when they are transplanted in winter, the boxwoods take much longer before they are established. Based on this, you can’t really refer to boxwood as a “winter gem.”

Another challenge that comes with transplanting your plant during this time of the year is increased vulnerability to the transplant shock. To better reduce the chances of having to deal with transplant shock, allow the period of frost to pass before making any endeavors to move your plant to another location. Let the soil warm a bit and you will be good to go!

– How Best Can You Deal With Transplant Shock?

To best deal with transplant shock, the first thing you do is to water it regularly, and mulch. You might need to prune the foliage of your plant – this helps to reduce the burden on its roots. A bigger canopy looks good but it can be better managed by established plants.

Another proactive step against transplant shock is to give your plant sugar water. All you have to do is prepare a weak sugar solution and water the plant with it immediately after transplanting it. You can continue to supply your boxwood plant with the sugar water for a few days after the transplantation procedure is complete. Please note that not all plants will respond to this strategy, but trying it does not expose your plant to any form of harm.

At times, you do not really need to do something about the transplant shock if your plant is showing related symptoms. However, simply giving your plant enough time to recuperate could be the best remedy that you have at your disposal.


Efforts to plant boxwoods require you to transplant the plants at some point, and this article has just given all you need to know to do this successfully. Here are some of the nuggets that you should keep in mind as you transplant your boxwood shrub:

  • Always prepare for the transplant procedure by watering the ground around your plant.
  • Carefully dig out the plant without damaging its roots.
  • Move the plant using a plastic sheet or wheelbarrow.
  • Create a new hole that is double the width of the root ball but the depth should be shallower.
  • Place your plant into its new home, cover with soil, water, mulch, and monitor its progress.

Growing boxwoods is a better adventure when you know how to carry out one of the most challenging tasks – transplanting. This will not be as difficult as it seemed to be before reading this article so be ready to take up the challenge!

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