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Beginner Landscaping: HELP!!! Problem with newly planted boxwoods

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Forum: Beginner LandscapingReplies: 4, Views: 68
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Columbia, MO

April 22, 2011
7:10 PM

Post #8514252

HELP!!! Problem with newly planted boxwoods...
We planted our "Winter Gem" Boxwoods just 2 weeks ago and they are doing awful! I am new at landscaping/gardening. The branches are drooping mainly from the bottom portion of the shrub, almost like a weeping willow! We have a new house and discovered when planting that we have a clay type soil. We planted the boxwoods with a mixture of the clay and miracle grow potting soil then mulched. The shrubs were absolutely beautiful when purchased (5 gallon size) and have gone downhill since about day 4. We planted 14 shrubs along the front of our house in hopes of growing them into a hedge, but now I'm really worried whats going on???? PLEASE help!!!!

Also, some of the new growth now is turning yellowish and looking burned???

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Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2011
7:14 PM

Post #8514258

It could just be transplant shock. Make sure you're watering them enough (but not too much given the clay soil) and give them a little time, hopefully they should perk up as they get their roots going a bit.
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

April 25, 2011
12:57 PM

Post #8519546

Don't know your zone but, Box is normally trouble free especially the size you have planted, it's good that you know you have clay soil and this is inclined to stay colder well into spring then all of a sudden, it gets baked hard by summer sun, so as Ecrane has said, you need to learn how and when to water or when to feed.

As a quick answer to the problem and it may be as suggested, transplant shock, but I would scrape away some of the mulch around the root area (planting hole), then trowel out just a little soil and use the palm of your hand to check your soil, place a little onto the palm and curl it up to make a fist, open hand and look at the ball of soil, is it wet and sticky (if yes then the soil is too wet) has it formed a hard clump, (soil too dry and the roots need water) also when planting all shrubs, I normally make the hole twice / three times bigger than the pot and 2 times deeper, this allows me to add either well rotted compost with a good fertilizer (multi purpose) or chicken pellets or fish bone and blood, all are good and are quite slow releasing, this is for dryish soil, for your clay soil Id do the exact same BUT, add some small grit /gravel you buy a small bag at garden center, adding this allows plenty of air, the gravel / grit helps warn up the soil in spring and it also prevents the roots sitting in cold over wet clay soil.

I would wait another few weeks before I decided the plants were in trouble, they have been removed from the comfortable pot they have been in for ages, dug into probably cold soil in a different sun / shade situation and they just need time to get used to the new situation, however after a few weeks, Id then worry IF they don't PerK up a bit.
For a hedge by the way, you need to snip off all the TIP'S of the branches to encourage the shrubs to send out new side shoots to thicken the shrubs up to make them really bushy, DON'T nip out the tips up the top as you want them to grow to the required hight before you trim them, be patient and remember a hedge is like our children, they take a while to reach a good hight and require T.L.C. while they get going.
Good luck WeeNel.


Rolesville, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2011
11:59 AM

Post #8534791

I wouldn't ever use Miracle-Gro potting soil to plant trees, shrubs or perennials especially in clay soil. The peat moss makes the clay retain more water instead of improving drainage and I've seen too many plants' roots get burned by the fertilizer included in the soil. In our NC clay we mix soil conditioner (aka pine bark fines), cow manure and/or compost into the soil to help with the drainage and only use potting soil for potting annuals.


central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2011
1:44 PM

Post #8535056

Def should not have used potting soil to plant in ground. To me they look a little too close to the house also

Boxwoods take well to pruning so prune to the shape you want.

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