Boxwood Growth Over Time

This is a two part post in response to a comment left a few weeks ago by a reader. Kim’s question was two fold, first how long before her tiny boxwoods would grow to create a hedge. And second to recommend plants to use between a boxwood border and hydrangea. I hope this helps you out Kim and would love to see after photos!


UPDATE: I wrote a new post showcasing Boxwood growth if you are interested in seeing a different project over 4 years HERE

Boxwood Growth Over Time:
There are a few rules with planting boxwoods for optimal growth. First check the rate of growth for the species you are planting. A species like Buxus ‘Faulkner’ is a medium grower in full sun and should be planted with a 2′ center. While slower growers like Buxus ‘Green Velvet’ are much smaller and should be planted on 1’6″ to 2′ centers. Next, boxwoods like cool roots so mulch with 2″ of leaf compost/mulch.

The final variables on growth will depend on sun exposure, water and the organic matter in the soil, but below is a time lapse between 2005 to 2011 of boxwoods I planted here in Central Ohio. (The boxwoods used are Buxus ‘Faulkner’).


Here are the Boxwoods planted in 2005.
Later in the season in 2005.
Here are the boxwoods from 2008.
Between 2005 and 2008, we trimmed the top and fronts to encourage horizontal growth.
Another view in 2008.
And finally, here are the boxwoods in 2011, completely hedged together.
Another view from 2011.

Green, White, Silver and Purple:
I think this is a classic color combination for the garden, and even use it in my own landscape. It works well with almost any type of house style and depending on the plants used can go traditional to modern. For Kim’s particular landscape I recommend Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ for the pop of purple flower and silver blue foliage. Also you can plant Alliums for some spring flowers. Both of these grow well in Central Ohio, however the alliums require full sun.

Photo of Nepeta.
Image from Flickr.
Photo of  Nepeta.
Image from Flickr
You could also use English Lavender, however in Central Ohio it is not a long living perennial.
Image from Flickr.
Spring Allium bloom. You can also get alliums in white.

2 thoughts on “Boxwood Growth Over Time

  1. You are so fantastic Nick! Thank you for such a thoughtful and helpful answer! Last weekend we planted #39;Green Gem#39; and I think we plated them 18quot;. I#39;m going to do some research on Nepeta quot;Walker#39;s Lowquot; as this is the first time I#39;ve heard of it. We#39;ve been considering Little Lime Hydrangea and Stachys Byzantina Lamb#39;s Ear to plant within our Boxwoods, but we are still researching! I loved your post on brick patterns too! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and having such an inspiring blog! ~ Kim

  2. Nick, I live in Northeastern Ohio, so the soil has more clay than that usually found in Central Ohio. We’re in the process of purchasing a house, and am looking into sources for natural privacy fence type plants. Since we have a very concentrated deer population, the boxwood varieties have come to my attention. I’m curious how tall your boxwoods have become since the last posting in 2011? Also, how often to you need to trim them? Thanks!

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