Common Box hedging plants or Buxus sempervirens to give its latin name is one of the most popular low hedging species, its small oval shaped rounded leaves and versatile bushy habit make it the perfect subject for small hedges or edgings, not to mention all kinds of topiary, the shapes that Common Box can be trimmed into are limited only by the topiarist’s imagination! Of all the classic hedging plants, only English Yew can match Buxus sempervirens for versatility, it is no coincidence that these two species are frequently seen together in so many beautiful gardens.
Common box is often seen as the framework for the formal designs seen in Knot Gardens and for edging of imaginatively conceived vegetable gardens or potagers. These adaptable plants can also be used as focal points or to draw the eye through a garden when shaped as obelisks, cones, pyramids, balls etc, especially when a series of the same shape are arranged together through a flowerbed or lawn.
We sell a wide range of top quality ready grown Box Topiary Plants if you don’t want to wait, if you can wait then all of the Box plants on this page will develop into splendid home grown topiary specimens given time and patience and trimming!
Common Box hedging plants are a feature at many prestigious gardens in the UK, notably the edging of the beds in the famous White Garden at Sissinghurst.
While Common Box is usually used for small hedges (under 60cm or so, around knee height), it will grow steadily at 10-15cm per year into much larger hedges of several metres high. When used for taller screening, few hedging plant species are as dense and effective as Common box and so the patience required while the hedging plants grow and develop is well rewarded.
Common Box hedges will thrive in any soil that has good drainage, they appreciate good soil preparation and the generous addition of organic matter, especially on thinner sandy or chalky soils and an annual mulch in Spring will make them more resilient to longer dry spells of weather while promoting good general plant health and strong growth. Common Box hedging plants have a fleshy and shallow root system and so the mulch is of great benefit to the overall health of the plants.
Buxus sempervirens is a native plant to the UK, wild stands of the species may be seen on Box Hill in Surrey where they can grow into small tree like proportions of 8 metres or more. The plants thrive here growing in the chalky soil and so this hedging species is a sure bet in these soil conditions.
Common Box hedging plants make for a low maintenance hedge, Box hedges and topiary are traditionally trimmed on Derby day in early June, try and choose a dry and breezy day so the cut edges dry quickly, hand shears are better than a hedge trimmer giving a neater finish with fewer cut edges and so fewer potential entry points for fungi like Box Blight.
For a very sharp and formal look Common Box hedging plants and topiary can be trimmed more than once each season, we always advise that they are not cut too late however as any subsequent soft growth late in the Autumn can be damaged by hard frosts, not only looking rather unsightly but this can also be a focus for disease.
If you are growing your Common Box hedging plants as a border to a flower bed, vegetable patch or any other garden feature where the Box is enclosing other plants, its best to keep the Box separated from the other plants to ensure a good air flow. When the growth of flowers (or vegetables) become too large and luxuriant the Box can become swamped, remaining damp underneath favouring fungal diseases, (a useful article in the Telegraph advocated a Boots Length between them.)
An annual spring feed with a high magnesium fertiliser is also beneficial, our After Plant Evergreen fertiliser is ideal and will keep the plants in tip top condition and a lovely dark green colour, and of course a mulch is always helpful.
Planting distances for Common Box hedging plants are very much a matter of personal preference, as a guide we recommend 3-6 plants per metre depending on your chosen plant size although you can space them a little further apart, they will just take a little longer to knit together. You can find our recommended planting density next to each of the sizes below. Generally speaking the shorter the height of the proposed hedge the more plants, you will need as very short hedges can really show up gaps at the bottom! (The good news is very small hedges only need the smallest plants and so they are comparatively inexpensive)
As with the planting of any new hedge, good preparation always gives the best results. We recommend the area is dug over and a generous amount of organic matter is well incorporated, garden compost or well-rotted manure are both ideal. When planting a well-mixed feed of Bone Meal will give the Common Box hedging plants a good start and we also recommend Rootgrow as a superb aid to establishment. If you need some guidance we have a useful How to Plant A Hedge page with full cultural instructions. (We will also send a printed copy with your order, so you have it handy).
Bare root Common Box hedging plants are grown in the fields without needing pots or compost and they need little in the way of water and fertiliser. They are a low input crop and are great value for money, the cheapest way to plant a new Common Box hedge. These plants are lifted from the fields and all the soil is shaken off leaving a very extensive root system. Bare root plants are available when dormant during the winter months from November until April, all our plants are sent out fresh within a day or two of ordering, delivered to you ready for planting.
Root Ball Common Box hedging plants are gown in our fields at a very wide spacing for several years under the care of our expert horticulturalists to produce very strong and well-developed plants at moderate cost. These plants are lifted during the dormant season with the immediate soil and root system which is wrapped in hessian mesh for protection, the hessian should be left on when you plant, it will rot away soon after. Root ball Common Box hedging plants are a seasonal product available while they are dormant from October until early May. We grow all stocks here at the nursery, so you can be assured of receiving fresh plants dug and despatched the same day.
We grow all our potted Common Box hedging plants here on our award-winning Kent nursery so you are always assured of fresh stock, selected from our growing beds and despatched to you the same day. We have an unrivalled range of sizes to suit all budgets and because there is no root disturbance they may be planted with great success at any time of year.
Purchasing Buxus sempervirens as Instant hedging can relieve the stress of having to wait for the plants to knit together and form a solid hedge. They are supplied grown in metre length troughs, regularly trimmed for density, so estimating how much to buy is easy. Heights vary dependent on the age of the plants and how much they have been trimmed, so planting just requires slotting into the prepared trench and backfilling. The aftercare would be the same as for any Box hedging plant.
We offer generous quantity discounts for larger numbers of Common Box hedging plants and delivery is free on most orders over £50 (ex VAT). We can offer very sharp, tailored quotes for large quantities of our top quality Common Box hedging plants over £1000.
If you need any further information about Box, or any other hedging plants then please call our experienced sales team on 01580 765600 or drop us a line via our contact page.