Gem Box Boxwood Growth Rate

Gem Box Boxwood has dense foliage and a compact size. What is its typical growth rate?

Leafy emerald green in the summer and bronze in the winter. As a low hedge or foundation plant, its naturally oval shape and dense foliage make it ideal. This compact boxwood variety’s vivid green foliage makes it an excellent choice for borders and focal points in smaller gardens.

In this article, I will explain how long it takes gem box boxwood to grow and advise you on how to increase its growth rate.

How Fast Do They Grow

The growth rate of Gem Box Boxwood ranges from slow to medium, with an average of fewer than 6 inches gained per year.

Mature Size

The growth rate of Gem Box Boxwood is considered slow. Gem Box Boxwood may be expected to reach a height of around 3 feet at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a sprawling habit of growing straight to the ground, which means it does not necessarily need any facer plants in front of it.

a round buxus sempervirens in the garden

Where Do They Grow Best?

Boxwood may be grown in USDA zones ranging from 5 to 9. This low-maintenance shrub can thrive in any soil as long as it is not constantly saturated with water. It grows best on sandy or loamy soil, has a pH close to neutral, and has a medium moisture level requirement.

How Much Sun Do They Need?

Even though it can withstand some shade, especially during the afternoon hours, for it to grow, it must be exposed to at least six hours of sunshine daily. Boxwoods grow well in either full sun or mild shade, but they do not fare well in locations exposed to wind, especially in the winter.

beautiful bright green boxwood bushes in garden

Tips to Optimize Growth Speed

1. Plant Appropriately

Dig your hole to a depth that is no deeper than the root ball of the box gem. After positioning the plant, replace the dirt in the hole. Your shrub has to be planted in a location with soil that drains well to prevent root rot, and it should also be placed in an area away from any downspouts.

It is recommended that you place mulch around your new boxwood. When you plant a shrub, surrounding it with a layer of mulch three to four inches thick can help it retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing.

2. Water Adequately

After planting your shrub, maintaining a consistent watering routine over the first year is necessary. If the natural rainfall in your region does not provide enough water for the shrub, you should water it once a week. Check the soil around the plant to determine whether or not it needs watering.

3. Space the Plants Correctly

Plants should be spaced between 2 feet apart, center on center if you want to prune them into a formal hedge. Otherwise, they should be planted 3 to 4 feet apart. You may also grow them in garden pots to provide interest on your patio or deck. 

4. Use Fertilizer Appropriately

Soil testing is the best way to determine what nutrients the soil where you want to plan is lacking. Conduct a soil test in the location where your gem boxwood will be planted. They should be done every couple of years since the nutrient levels change. If the findings of your soil test indicate that fertilizer is needed, the best time to apply it is in the spring when new growth is beginning to appear.

Boxwood thrives best when fertilized with slow-release, balanced fertilizers; the granular version of urea fertilizer 10-6-4 is the one that is suggested. If your boxwood plant looks healthy, you may also add old manure or cottonseed meal; however, you must ensure that it receives adequate nitrogen before doing so.

small green leaves of the bush in the garden

5. Prune When Needed

It is known for needing very little pruning, and because of its tiny leaves, it shears very well. However, it would be best if you never trimmed it before the date when the final spring frost is expected. Otherwise, the fragile new growth might be damaged.

These bushes are evergreen because their leaves do not fall off throughout winter. You may train these plants to grow into topiaries or other forms, including well-manicured hedges. You might also let these bushes grow untrimmed so they always have a more natural appearance regardless of the season.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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