Planting Instructions for Japanese Boxwood

Japanese boxwood is a low- to medium-growing shrub that is common in residential and commercial landscapes. The shrub grows in a natural boxy shape that is typically sheared to further refine it. It is fairly cold-hardy, although it does turn a copper color in winter. Since Japanese boxwoods are typically planted when they are small, it is important to space them properly to accommodate the full size of the shrubs once they mature.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH tester
  • Lime (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Mulch


    • 1

      Insert a soil pH tester probe into the ground of the planting area to ensure that the pH level is between 6.5 and 7.0. If needed, purchase lime and apply it per the package instructions to adjust the pH level.

    • 2

      Dig a hole that is the same depth as the roots of the Japanese boxwood shrub but twice as wide.

    • 3

      Remove the shrub from the nursery pot and insert the roots into the hole. Fill in the sides of the hole until it is full and pack down the top of it firmly around the shrub. Plant additional Japanese boxwood shrubs in the same way, spacing them at least 3 to 5 feet apart.

    • 4

      Water the soil around the Japanese boxwoods until it is saturated. After planting, water the soil once per week.

    • 5

      Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the Japanese boxwood to conserve soil moisture while the roots get established. Spread the mulch out at least 12 inches from the base of the shrub.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose a location that has well-draining soil and is in partial sunlight. If you have no alternative, you can plant Japanese boxwood in full sun, but you must water it more frequently.
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