When choosing plants to decorate a site, many gardeners prefer permanently green perennials. Annuals, deciduous will serve as a decoration for a certain period, after which they will become inconspicuous. On the infield you can often find beautiful boxwood evergreen. Thanks to the variety of varieties, an unpretentious shrub fits perfectly into any composition, successfully complements the most sophisticated design decisions.
Boxwood - description and characteristics of the plant
Evergreen boxwood is also called buxus semperwirens. A shrub or a small tree in favorable growing conditions can live up to 600 years. The plant is characterized by slow development, therefore, in addition to dirt street planting, it is often grown indoors. It makes an excellent bonsai in a pot.
Boxwood has a pleasant unusual odor. Leaves are dense medium-sized in the shape of an ellipse, located opposite. In most species, the crown is green, but variegated plants are also found. Blossom begins in March, April. First, yellow-green inflorescences with unisexual flowers appear in the axils of the leaves. They merge with a ball of boxwood foliage and exude a stunning aroma.
At the end of summer, inflorescences are replaced by fruits in the form of three-nested boxes. During ripening, they crack, scattering small black seeds around. Boxwood is a honey plant, but its honey is not used for food. All parts of the plant are poisonous, so it is carefully placed on the site, especially if there is an apiary nearby.
The main quality of boxwood, for which landscape designers highly appreciate it, is the ability to form a spectacular crown and create unimaginable compositions. It can be spherical green sculptures, hedges. Shiny green leaves do not fade with a lack of sunlight, pruning branches is easy and without consequences.
The main types and varieties
The favorite of gardeners has many varieties. Each variety is adapted for life in certain conditions, has its own characteristics. The type of plant is chosen for a specific purpose. To create green figures, miniature decor of terraces, dwarf boxwoods with slow growth are suitable. Large, energetic varieties are used for natural landscapes, hedges, borders. All decorative views are combined with unpretentiousness, the beauty of greenery, the simplicity of the formation of any crown.
Boxwood evergreen (Buxus sempervirens)
The most common variety for the garden, imported from the Caucasus. The plant looks more like a branched tree with a thick lush crown than a shrub. Large dark green leaves strew the straight branches of the plant. Their lower side is usually painted in a lighter shade. They rush up, do not bow to the ground. Leaf length - up to 3 cm. A simple evergreen boxwood tolerates small frosts well if it is constantly under snow cover.
The root system of the plant is rod, abundantly branching. The roots penetrate deep into the soil and spread a few meters wide. From the pure look of boxwood, breeders have created many varieties represented by compact shrubs with a very different shape and texture of the leaf.
Boxwood small-leaved (Buxus microphylla)
A very resistant grade of buxus, able to winter at a fairly low temperature (up to - 30 ° C). The birthplace of a compact shrub is Japan, China. In height, the dwarf plant reaches no more than 1.5 meters. Slow growth allows you to form any shapes from its crown, use in planting with perennials with similar characteristics and features. The annual increase in volume is 5 cm.
Small-leaved boxwood grows neatly even without pruning. This quality is especially appreciated by landscape designers. The length of small leaves of an adult plant is 2 cm, width is 1.5 cm. The ornamental plant feels great in open ground and in containers. Often, Chinese varieties are used to delimit the territory, effectively design flower beds and flower beds.
Boxwood Colchic or Caucasian (Buxus colchica)
Due to the very slow renewal, the plant is listed in the Red Book. They are very interested in it because of the special structure of wood. Colchis boxwood is found in nature in Georgia, Turkey, Asia. Even several decades after planting, its leaves remain in their former form, do not lose their decorative effect. Inflorescences appear along the entire length of the stem.
Pruning of the crown is carried out with extreme caution. Greens grow very slowly. It may take several years to build up a couple of centimeters of green mass. Boxwood Caucasian gently trimmed in spring or summer, trying not to expose the upper branches.
The first flowering of the Caucasian boxwood occurs no earlier than 20 years after planting in the ground.
Box Balearic (Buxus balearica)
This variety is distinguished by large leaves. They can reach a length of 5 cm. The birthplace of the bush is Spain, the Balearic Islands. Naturally grows in Portugal, Morocco, on the Crimean peninsula. Compared with other species, it grows rapidly, but only in warm regions, where the temperature in the cold season does not drop below 18 ° C.
Care for the Balearic variety is simple, as well as for all boxwoods. It is used to create tall hedges and miniature bonsai. In indoor conditions, the shrub is more demanding on soil and watering.
Boxwood is absolutely not picky about the soil, tolerates shade and summer heat. Even inexperienced gardeners will be able to adequately care for him. Plants freely tolerate the influence of adverse factors in large cities (large air pollution, smoke). Usually, planting seedlings in the country in the ground is carried out in spring or autumn. Purchased material must be well prepared. The ideal option is to transfer the plant to the ground after moistening the root for 12 hours. If the shrub is bought in a container and is in the ground, then before taking out the soil, you need to moisten the soil well and leave it for 24 hours. This will minimize the chance of root damage.
What time to plant
An evergreen plant has a very early flowering. The first flowers begin to form in mid-March. To let the plant grow stronger, autumn boxwood is usually planted in the ground. You can plant seedlings from September to the end of October. The main thing is to do this a month before the onset of frost. This time is enough for the full development of the root system in a new place. Thus, the shrub will acquire frost resistance, calmly tolerate winter.
In regions with early cooling, they make an unloading of boxwood in the spring. If you plant it in the ground in the fall, it just does not have time to take root and die. Summer planting is possible, but subject to constant moistening and spraying, otherwise the axle tree will stop the already slow growth.
How to plant: site selection and soil preparation
The decorativeness and development of boxwood are more dependent on the proper fit. When transferring a plant to the soil, it is necessary to take into account the soil requirements of each species, options for the proximity to other crops, and the level of lighting. A long-lived shrub can grow without transplanting for several centuries, so it is very important to choose the right place and soil for it.
The heat-loving buxus does not tolerate direct sunlight. It is better to choose a partially shaded area, especially during the period when the sun will be at its zenith. Bright radiation can injure the leaves, which will negatively affect the decorative bush.
Boxwood grows well in the shadow of high fences, walls of various buildings. The landing site should be chosen taking into account the need for maximum shade in the winter. Bright sunshine at negative air temperature poses a great danger to plant health.
Bushy crops are not demanding on the soil. They are satisfied with the average saturation with nutrients. But in order to accelerate the development and growth of boxwood, some conditions should still be observed:
- Perennials do not tolerate moisture stagnation, which is inevitable in heavy soils. This option must be excluded. It is necessary to give preference to loamy, sandy loamy soil.
- Acidity should be weak or neutral. To minimize this indicator, when planting in the soil, mature compost, slaked lime, is placed in each well in the well.
- Young boxwood will develop better and faster in drained land. Permeability can be improved artificially using perlite. Fine rubble, broken brick.
- The earth should not be excessively wet. It is necessary to exclude the option of landing in the area with the surface passage of groundwater.
Rules for the care of plants in open ground
To get an excellent result when growing boxwood on your site, you must follow certain care rules. None of the procedures will cause a gardener problems. The plant needs increased attention only during the onset of cold weather - in autumn and winter. Basic care involves standard manipulations, not much different from maintaining the growth of other perennials.
Boxwood haircut - crown shaping
Branches and leaves are cut only in adult plants that have reached the age of two. This time is enough for the bush to take root and grow. Early pruning is allowed in low-growing varieties. The border of dwarf bushes can be trimmed a couple of weeks after planting, but not more than 5 cm at a time.
You can start the first haircut with the onset of stable heat. A small correction of excess growth will be enough so that the plant does not lose shape. Shapeless, heavily neglected branches are cut to a woody base. After a month, the procedure is repeated.
Spring pruning is best done as early as possible, before the start of active growth. Start processing from the top of the box, gradually moving down. Small branches are cut in the upper way, large until the buds are formed, so that they can not grow shoots inside the bush, and spoil the appearance of the crown. To form individual sections of the plant, a different tool is used:
- Secateurs. Used for thinning overgrown areas. The supporting and working blades are bent by an arc. A special device cut the extra branches of hedges, borders.
- Cordless brush cutter. Lightweight simple item used for linear trimming. Crohn can only give it the appearance of a rectangle.
- Scissors for shoots. They remove the soft, not yet time to stiffen twigs. Also used to trim the contours of the figure.
- Cordless device for hard branches. The product consists of several pairs of scissors, which drives the charge of a powerful battery.
- Brush cutters on long handles. The elongated shape of the handles and short blades allow pruning inside the bush.
Watering and feeding
Any boxwood variety loves water. Water the plants once a week with periodic spraying of the green crown. Additional surface moisture is especially necessary for young bushes.
The first watering is carried out immediately after planting. The subsequent procedure is carried out after 7 days, if during this time heavy rainfall has not fallen. For a 1 meter seedling, 10 liters of water will suffice. So that the water does not spread, but gets exactly to the roots of the plant, its trunk is fenced with an earthen embankment ring.
With severe drought, increase the volume of water, and not increase the frequency of approaches. The long roots of boxwood can easily reach the nutrient lower layers of the soil. Frequent watering will lead to soil diseases. It is better to moisten the figures from the bushes early in the morning or after sunset.
In order to ensure healthy and rapid growth of decorative beech, it must be fertilized and fed. The first batch of nutrients is placed in the soil a month after planting. An already well-rooted seedling will grow and develop immunity to diseases. In the future, fertilizers are applied 2-3 times per season. Nitrogen mixtures are used to build green mass; before wintering, they are watered with a solution with the addition of phosphorus and potassium.
The moisture-loving boxwood does not tolerate fluid stagnation. In rainy weather, it is not necessary to water and spray it. Natural moisture will be sufficient.
The main amount of work to care for a relatively unpretentious shrub accounts for autumn time. The ability of the plant to transfer cold and quickly recover from wintering will depend on the quality of the measures taken.
It is necessary to care for the spherical shrub in protective clothing, avoiding the ingress of toxic juice on the skin. The main autumn procedures that will help to calmly winter the axicum:
- Watering. Abundant hydration is necessary, which will allow to nourish all plant cells with moisture. Under adverse conditions (lack of snow and strong wind) this will help the plant survive.
- Top dressing. Final feeding takes place no later than mid-September. If boxwood is fertilized later, then instead of diving into a dormant state, it will let out young shoots.
- Pruning. Autumn haircut stimulates the growth of young shoots in spring. Dry, damaged branches are removed completely, the rest are made shorter by 2 cm.
- Mulching. Provides optimal heat transfer in the root system. Mulch will save the bush from freezing in harsh winters and flooding in spring.
- Protection against diseases, pests. Remove and burn affected branches and leaves. The trunk of tall buxus is whitened, the crown is treated with insecticides.
Preparing for the winter
Boxwood easily tolerates small frosts, lowering the temperature to -10 ° C. A large amount of snow will protect the root system from freezing. To prevent the sudden awakening of shoots, the plant is carefully covered. For tall bushes, establish a support and make a garter with a wire or rope. So the long branches of the axle tree do not break off from the weight of the snow.
So that the covering material does not squeeze the plant, a special frame is made for it. A wire is placed crosswise over the top of the bush, the resulting lattice is covered with material, fixed below with any load.
The material for winding the boxwood is better to choose a dark color, since white can transmit light. The fabric should be strong, but light so as not to exert pressure on the plant. For shelter for the winter, use the following options:
- Lapnik. Several prickly branches bind around the plant in the form of a house. An air gap is created between the bush and needles, which allows you to create ideal conditions for wintering, to protect the branches from sunburn.
- Sackcloth. Wrap shrubs loosely, leaving airspace. If you do not pay proper attention to the density of the winding, rot and mold will quickly form under the moist base.
- Agrofibre. Non-woven fabric is breathable. Suitable as a shelter for mild winters. He can’t cope with frost, but he is well protected from the sun.
Almost all types of boxwood are transplanted in autumn, except for large-leaved plants. For them, the best time to divide is spring. Perennial tolerates transplant at any age. The bush is dug along the outer border of the compost, its upper part is tied and pulled out with minimal damage.
The first thing to do is prepare the wells. They dig holes with a depth of 50 cm and a diameter of 40 cm.Half of them are filled with a mixture of fertile soil with the addition of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, urea. Leave in this condition for several days.
In the new hole, the seedling is placed superficially. The root neck should rise at least 3 cm above the ground. The plant is covered with soil, compacted and watered abundantly. To boxwood adapted faster in a new place, anti-aging pruning is performed.
There are several ways to increase the number of bushes on a site. More often they use the vegetative method, but if you wish, you can grow seedlings from seeds. Smooth hedges make a way of bending branches to the ground. Each type of breeding has its own characteristics.
Like all ornamental cultures, the axle tree blooms and bears fruit. Seeds ripen in boxes all summer, they are suitable for planting only in autumn or early winter, when the air becomes pretty cool.
In appearance, boxwood seeds resemble apple seed. The large size allows you to easily choose healthy specimens for the cultivation of new seedlings. They have excellent germination. Even if accidentally dropped into the soil, they sprout easily on their own. The disadvantages of seed reproduction include the long term development of the seedling. It will take at least 3 years to obtain a full-fledged plant.
A more successful way to breed boxwood. Guaranteed to root all involved cuttings, subject to certain rules. For propagation, planting material collected in summer, autumn, young or already woody shoots are used. Suitable annual, well-ripened cuttings of 10-15 cm.
For cuttings, lateral, apical shoots are used. Cut or pinch off part of the twig, remove the lower leaves and transfer to the ground. It can be a special container or open ground. It is important that the place is darkened and windproof.
Selected plants are deepened into the ground by 3 cm, and watered abundantly. Water should pass into the soil to the length of the process, taking into account the formed roots. Boxwood can be moved to a permanent place at least in a year.
The lay propagation scheme is no different from other crops. Long branches tilt and drip. Then they are fertilized and watered abundantly. When they form new roots, you can dig and plant. More often this method is used to create green borders and hedges.
If you place young layers in a special trench in the spring, then in the fall they will already have their own roots. You can speed up the process with the help of chemicals to stimulate growth and simplify rooting.
Plant diseases and pests
Unpretentious boxwood is often attacked by pests. Despite the content of poison in its trunk and leaves, many insects do not mind eating its juice, which leads to diseases and death of the bush. Any change in the appearance of the shrub should cause concern to the owners of the site. Most lesions seen in time can be easily eliminated. Buchus may be affected by the following diseases and pests:
- Boxwood gall midge. The main sign of the appearance of such an insect is yellow convex spots on the sheets. Small larvae spread rapidly throughout the crown. You can stop the reproduction of the pest by treating the plant with special preparations. For prevention, shrubs should be trimmed more often.
- Boxwood flea. Insects lay larvae on the sheets and cover them with sticky secretions. Affected greens bend and grow dull. Methods of struggle - removal of part of the diseased crown, treatment with mineral oils.
- Spider mite. It envelops the kidneys with pubescent elongated formations, especially in dry weather. Damaged parts are cut off, the entire crown is sprayed with a special tool.
- Boxwood fire. Small moth-like butterflies often lay larvae on boxwood. Their caterpillars cover all the leaves, which leads to the rapid drying of the bush. The process of withering the plant is accompanied by a characteristic odor. To control the pest, the trunk, crown and the earth around the shrub are treated with biological insecticides.
- Fungal diseases. The appearance of diseases is indicated by rust, sporangia on the leaves. The only way to deal with stains is the complete removal of the affected shoots.
Features of plant care in tubs
In summer, potted plants require daily watering, as the earth dries out very quickly. Starting from mid-spring, it is necessary to organize regular top dressing with liquid formulations combined with soil moisture. If the leaves begin to turn red, nitrogen-containing fertilizers should be added to the tub.
With the onset of cold weather, a box with boxwood can be brought into a cool room or left in the most natural environment. If the bush will winter on the street, it must be placed in a larger container, fill the empty space with crushed bark. This will help insulate the roots, keep moisture.
Examples and methods of use in landscape design
Boxwood has more than 100 varieties. Each variety has its own decorative features and various characteristics. Plants require certain growing conditions, can be used to create various elements of landscape design.
The average life span of the bush is 500 years, the annual growth of the crown is 15 cm. This allows the branches and foliage to hold the necessary shape for a long time, without violating the edges of the figure. The high density of the crown allows you to get perfectly even edges after cutting. You can use the plant to decorate the site in several ways:
- Hedge. A simple decor element is formed by linear planting and simultaneous trimming of all bushes under one comb.
- Geometric figures. For haircuts, special frames are used. With the help of an iron mesh, a green sphere, a cube, a trapezoid, an ellipse are formed.
- Complex figures. Boxwood or a group of plants is given the necessary shape with the help of metal rods. In this way, amazing figures of man, animals, various objects are created.
To grow an evergreen shrub on your site, even a beginner gardener can do it. Appropriate home haircut foliage will help give it the necessary shape, which will last a long time. In order for boxwood thickets to become a decoration of the site, it is necessary to make a little effort.