Boxwood can be used not only to create beautiful sculptures, but also attractive hedges. Proper planting is one of the most important prerequisites so that the garden with the pretty shrub can be designed perfectly. Our instructions for planting a box hedge show you the workflow in detailed steps.


Before you begin, determine exactly where you want to plant the box hedge. The most important thing in this context is the right location.

  • partially shaded location
  • A few hours of sun in the morning or in the evening are ideal
  • well ventilated
  • sheltered from the wind
  • without accumulating heat
  • not under large trees (does not tolerate root pressure)


The boxwood finds ideal conditions for growth in autumn. Then it can spread its roots before the first frosts and get started right away in the next growing season. Specimens planted in the summer months often dry up because the roots cannot absorb enough water from the soil at first.

  • generally possible all year round
  • best time: from October to March
  • frost-free day
  • Bare-root plants: October / November or February / March


A box hedge grows best on humus-rich sandy or loamy soils, which on the one hand store moisture well, but on the other hand can drain off the water well. Unfortunately, the evergreen bush does not tolerate waterlogging and extreme drought.

  • fumes
  • sandy to loamy
  • well drained and ventilated
  • fresh to moist at the same time
  • pH value: 7 to 8 (slightly calcareous)


Regardless of the point in time, the workflow when planting a box hedge is based on a fundamentally applicable procedure. The instructions once again expressly refer to special features that need to be observed.


  • Box tree plants in the appropriate number and size
  • two wooden pegs
  • a string to stretch between the wooden pegs
  • spade
  • Harke
  • Hedge trimmer
  • Garden hose or watering can

Step 1: Water the Plants
It takes the shrubs a few days to spread their roots in the soil and absorb moisture from the environment. So that the box hedge does not dry out during this time, the bushes should be sufficiently watered before planting. To do this, they are preferably placed in a bucket or tub with water until no more air bubbles rise and the root ball is well saturated.

Bare-rooted boxwood
A bare-rooted box should be planted without long storage times , otherwise the sensitive roots will die off. But be careful, neither container goods nor bare-root bushes may stand in the water for more than an hour. With daily watering, specimens without soil and pot can last a maximum of a week in a shady place, then they should definitely get into the soil.

Step 2:
Prepare the soil The more optimal the soil conditions are, the better the box hedge can grow and thrive. For this reason, a not quite perfect garden soil should be well prepared in advance.

  • Remove weeds, large stones and roots
  • Remove any old sward
  • Loosen the soil well with the rake or digging fork

Step 3:
digging a planting hole Sometimes it is sufficient to dig a single planting hole for each plant. In the case of soils that are not ideally suited for the cultivation of Mediterranean shrubs, or in the case of very long box hedges, it is better to dig a complete trench of the appropriate width and depth.

  • at least 1.5 times wider than the root ball
  • at least 15 cm deeper than the ball of the foot
  • Loosen the substrate
  • possibly fill in a drainage layer made of sand, gravel or lava granulate

Step 4: Tighten the planting line In
order for the box hedge to come into its own, it should be planted in a row as straight as possible. You can make this work easier by hammering a wooden stake into the ground at the beginning and the end of the planned hedge and attaching a guide cord to which you can then orientate yourself when planting.

Plant spacing

The distance at which the individual boxwood plants have to be planted depends on what type of boxwood hedge it is. Smaller plants are usually used for borders or low hedges, so the planting distance is correspondingly smaller, so that the hedge can grow nice and bushy.

  • Planting distance for annual plants: 10 to 15 cm distance
  • for low hedges and flower beds
  • about 7 to 10 plants per linear meter
  • use larger plants for higher hedges
  • Plant spacing: about 30 cm
  • about 3 to 4 plants per linear meter
Tip: Of course, it is also important to consider the width of the hedge and the distance to neighboring properties. This can vary depending on the planned height of the box hedge.

Step 5: Remove the pot
Before you place the individual box trees in the planting hole, there are a few more things to do. First remove the plant’s pot. If the root ball is wrapped in a fleece, you should also remove this or at least tear it open generously or cut into it so that the roots can continue to grow outwards.Step 6: Tearing open the root ball
As a rule, the roots have already spread very far in the pot and form a dense network at the edge of the ball. Tear this open a little with your hands at the edge and at the bottom. This will damage the roots, but at the same time make it easier for them to grow into the new environment.

Step 7: Insert the boxwood
First place the bushes in the trench without filling it with soil. It is possible that there are a few bushes left or too few at the end of the row. Then you can move them back and forth a little to ensure even planting.

  • Place the plant in the planting hole
  • Turn it so that the hedge is nice and bushy
  • the ball of the pot must form a level with the earth
  • do not plant deeper or higher than before

Step 8:
Filling in soil Then fill in the holes or the trench with substrate. If the garden soil is not optimal, it can be improved with appropriate materials.

  • enrich sandy soils with sifted compost
  • compacted or very moist soils require drainage
  • Mix sand or lava granules into the soil
  • Add compost as fertilizer
  • possibly raise the pH value of the substrate with a little lime
  • Lift bare-rooted plants briefly a few times (so that the cavities are filled)
Tip: If you are not sure what the pH value of your garden soil is, you should buy a quick test from a garden specialist and check it. Excessive amounts of lime damage the plant!

Step 9: compact the soil Make
sure that all the box trees are exactly in a row and use your foot to compact the loose substrate around the plants. Then you rake the surface of the earth straight again.Step 10: Watering
Finally, the entire box hedge is carefully watered with a hose or a watering can with a shower attachment. Depending on the outside temperature and the dryness of the garden soil, the process must be repeated regularly in the following days or weeks.

To cut

If the boxwood plants are to be cut later to create a beautiful shaped hedge, it does not make sense to cut them when planting them. A first topiary cut is made in the next spring at the earliest after the new growth. When planting, only long, protruding branches are removed.

An accurate box hedge is a wonderful design element in the home garden. Proper planting is of great importance so that the hedge remains an eye-catcher for years. This is the only way to lay a good foundation for later development. Subsequent intervention is very difficult or possible with great effort.

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