How to Prune Boxwood for Optimal Growth

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

To ensure your boxwood shrubs are growing optimally, it’s important to prune them regularly. Read on for tips on how to prune boxwood for optimal growth.

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Why Prune Boxwood?

Pruning is important for boxwood because it helps the plant to grow in a desired shape, and also helps to remove any dead or diseased leaves or branches. Pruning also helps to encourage new growth, which can make the plant look fuller and more lush.

For Optimal Growth

Pruning is essential for boxwood growth. shearing helps to establish a strong framework and dense growth habit. Proper pruning also helps to control the size and shape of your plant. But, with all of that said, gardeners should be aware that too much pruning can damage or even kill your plant.

Pruning in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins, is the best time to trimmed boxwoods. You can prune any time of year, but this is when the plant is dormant and will recover more quickly from any potential damage.

For Better Flowering

Pruning for better flowering is different than pruning for plant health, although the two often go hand in hand.

To encourage dense growth and more flowers, prune boxwood shrubs in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. shrubs that produce flowers on last year’s wood, such as hydrangeas, viburnums and lilacs, should be pruned right after they finish blooming. On the other hand, those that flower on new wood, such as forsythia, mock orange and weigela, should be pruned in late winter or early spring.

To get the best results when pruning for better flowering:
-Start with a clean cut. Use sharp pruning shears and make a clean, angled cut just above a leaf node (the point where leaves or branches connect to the stem). Avoid jagged cuts, which can damage the plant.
-Prune away dead or diseased branches first. These can Harbor pests and diseases that can spread to healthy parts of the plant.Remove crossing or rubbing branches next. These can damage the plant’s bark and reduce air circulation, making the plant more susceptible to disease.
-Finally, thin out the inside of the plant by removing some of the older stems at their base. This will encourage new growth and make the plant healthier overall.

How to Prune Boxwood

Pruning is a critical horticultural process for boxwood shrubs that helps to ensure optimal plant health and growth. When done correctly, pruning can help to shape the plant, encourage new growth, and remove dead or diseased leaves and branches.

When to Prune

Pruning is an important part of boxwood care. Proper boxwood pruning will encourage the plant to grow densely and evenly. It can also help to shape the plant, control its size, and remove damaged or diseased leaves and branches. Boxwoods are generally pruned in early spring before new growth begins. However, they can also be pruned in late fall or winter.

What Tools to Use

There are a few tools you will need to prune your boxwoods. These include:
-Hand pruners: excellent for small branches
-Lopping shears: great for larger branches
-Pruning saw: ideal for thicker branches
-Garden gloves: to protect your hands

How to Prune

Pruning is a stress on the plant, so it is important to do it in a way that is minimally stressful and allows the plant to heal quickly.

Boxwoods can be pruned using one of two methods: shearing or thinning. Shearing involves cutting all of the branches back to the same length, while thinning involves selectively removing some branches while leaving others.

Shearing should only be done in early spring, before new growth begins. This ensures that the plant will have time to recover before winter. Thinning can be done any time of year except for late summer, as this can damage new growth.

When pruning, always use sharp, clean tools. This will prevent infection and minimize damage to the plant.

What to Do With the Clippings

Pruning is one of the most important aspects of boxwood care. It allows you to shape the plant, remove diseased or damaged leaves and stems, and promote new growth. But what do you do with the clippings?


Composting is a great way to recycle your boxwood clippings and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. To compost boxwood, simply add the clippings to your compost pile or bin along with other green materials such as grass clippings and food scraps. Be sure to turn the compost regularly to help speed up the decomposition process.

Add to Mulch

Mulch around trees, shrubs, and other plants helps reduce evaporation from the soil, moderates soil temperature, and suppresses weed growth. Many types of mulch are available for purchase, but you can also make your own. Grass clippings make great mulch because they’re free and easy to obtain. Just be sure that the clippings don’t contain any herbicides, which could be harmful to your plants.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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