Pruning Boxwoods

Sep 25, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although older plantings of certain boxwoods naturally acquire a billowing, undulating cloud-like shape, certain popular pruning practices can immolate that effect in some formal highly-managed settings. By removing large branches and sections of individual plants and letting others grow into those spaces, a fascinating almost sculpture-like formation can result. This means, however, that there is restricted sunlight and air to the interior of these plantings. Just like in government and business, sunlight – openness – leads to a healthier environment. Many boxwood insect problems and diseases can become threatening in heavy pruned plants especially if they’re growing in places with high humidity  and in part shade, which some of the more elegant cultivars need in our hot summers. These conditions will make plantings using certain more susceptible boxwood cultivars endangered by  the new and threatening boxwood blight disease.