Box Hedges

The traditional oblong garden hedge with straight, neat lines is, of course, a form of topiary and it is therefore no surprise that Buxus Sempervirens (the Common Box) is so often used in this way. Box’s attractive, soft, tight, summer growth will form a full dark green evergreen garden hedge over time and is easy to keep to its desired height and shape. Left to its own devices, it will eventually grow to c.3m. It is a perfect alternative to privet, especially for those who don’t enjoy the distinctive fragrance of privet in flower. It will also grow in tubs and containers and is an ideal plant for anyone wanting to have a go themselves at more advanced topiary.

Box Hedges FAQs

  • How do I plant Box Hedges?

How you plant your box hedging is based on the size of the plants and the area you’re looking to cover. The plants will grow well in most soil conditions but will not thrive in waterlogged or particularly windy areas.

  • How many plants do I need?

As a general rule of thumb, we would multiply the length of the hedge in metres by 5 to calculate the number of box plants needed. In so doing, you will have spacings of around 20cm.

  • How do I care for the hedge?

If the growing conditions are right and your hedge has been well looked after, it has the potential to grow 6 inches per year. People choose box hedging to create formal borders as they’re very easy to keep in shape.

  • How do I achieve my desired hedge?

In June/July, once your plants have grown close to your planned height, cut the tops down to a few inches below your desired level. You should then trim them to shape every August/September.

Common Box Hedges

Decorative Box Hedges

Dwarf Box Hedges

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Common Box at-a-glance

Maintenance: Prune Box plants up to twice a year to retain their shape during the growing season – but avoid pruning in full sunlight as the cut stems will brown. Once the desired height has been achieved, prune annually to maintain

Versatility: Common Box is at its best as a hedge but can be kept in a tub or container.

And Finally: Box Hill in Surrey takes its name from the proliferation of wild box woodland that has dominated the steep, west-facing chalk slopes of the hill since at least the C.12th. Box Hill lies within both an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, offering homes to 40 species of butterfly. Around 850,000 people visit Box Hill every year – more in 2012 as it was a prominent part of the route for the Olympic road cycling races.

Foliage Type: Evergreen
Hardiness: ✯✯✯✯✯
Ease of maintenance: ✯✯✯✯✯
Drought Resistance:✯✯✯✯
Soil type: Acid or Alkaline
Wet/Dry: Both
Preferred situation: Sun or Partial Shade
Height: 3m
Growth Rate: Slow