How to Care for an Indoor Boxwood


Boxwoods are evergreen plants that are typically grown as shrubs or topiaries in outdoor gardens. Although the sizes vary by species, most boxwood varieties are slow growers that add only 12 inches or less of height per year. This slow growth makes them ideal for use in pots. You can grow boxwoods in pots indoors as well as outdoors. When growing boxwood indoors, one of the most important aspects is providing sufficient sunlight exposure.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic mulch
  • Water
  • Slow-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Pot
  • Soil-based compost
  • Place the indoor boxwood in a location that receives full to partial sunlight exposure. The shrubs can survive in full shade, but when indoors, they require at least partial access to sunlight for the best growth.

  • Spread 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch in the top of the pot to help retain soil moisture, which reduces the frequency of watering.

  • Water the soil in the boxwood pot once per week with 1 inch of water each time.

  • Apply a high-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer to the pot each spring using the dosage amounts indicated on the fertilizer package. Examine the boxwood regularly for signs of yellow leaves or small numbers of leaves that fall off. This indicates a nitrogen deficiency and indicates the need for fertilization.

  • Prune the boxwood once per year in the early spring using pruning shears to trim the tips of the branches back to the desired height. This removes some of the excessive outer growth and allows light to penetrate the interior branches.

  • Repot the indoor boxwood when the outer limbs reach the rim of the pot to prevent the roots from crowding. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current one; for example, move from a 10-inch-diameter pot to a 12-inch-diameter pot. Fill the pot with a well-draining soil-based compost with perlite. Plant the boxwoods with the top 1/8 inch of the root ball above the top of the soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can move the indoor boxwood outdoors during the warm months. Choose a covered location, such as a patio or under a tree, since the plant is not used to bright outdoor sunlight.


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