how to care for boxwoods in winter

How to Care for Boxwoods in Winter

Should you wrap your boxwoods in burlap to protect them from the winter cold? Is that effective? What’s the best way to care for boxwoods in the winter? After all, you spent a fortune on your boxwoods and want to make sure you are doing everything possible to take care of your boxwoods this winter. Here is how to care for boxwoods in the winter.

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What is Boxwood Winter Burn?

Boxwood winter burn is a common affliction for boxwoods planted in cold climate. Many varieties of boxwoods are native to regions with milder winter climates, as a result when boxwoods are planted in cold climate it becomes susceptible to winter burn. Winter burn is when boxwoods dry out because it’s not getting enough water during winter when the ground is frozen.

How to Tell If There is Winter Burn on My Boxwood?

When you start seeing dead boxwood leaves, your boxwood may be suffering from winter burn. Over time, you will see boxwood leaves dying- turning yellow and brown!

How to Prevent Winter Burn on Boxwoods?

The best way to prevent winter burn on boxwoods is to make sure your boxwood is getting enough water and not drying out. Here are a three things you can do to prevent winter burn on boxwoods.

1. Mulch Your Boxwoods

Help your boxwood retain moisture during the dry, winter months by applying mulch. Apply a thick layer of mulch around your boxwoods, around 1 to 2 inches thick. Just make sure you are not covering the base stem of your boxwoods. Mulching will help keep the soil around your boxwood moist.

2. Water Your Boxwoods

The best way to beat winter burn on boxwoods is to make sure your boxwood is getting enough water. That means you should be watering your boxwoods throughout the year. During the Fall and Winter when the ground is not yet frozen, water your boxwoods. This way when the ground freezes, your boxwoods will hopefully have enough moisture retained so it will not dry out and suffer from winter burn.

3. Protect Boxwood Leaves from Drying Out

You can prevent boxwoods from winter burn by protecting the leaves from drying out. You can do this by spraying an antidessicant on the leaves to protect it from losing moisture. This will protect your boxwoods from winter burn even if the ground is frozen and your boxwood is not getting enough water. I spray Wilt Stop on my boxwood leaves once a year and it does a good job keeping the leaves from drying out. Spray your boxwoods during late Fall before the temperature drops consistently below 40F.

Buy it from Amazon: Wilt Stop

Other Things to Do to Care for Boxwoods in the Winter

Remove Snow Accumulation from Boxwoods

After every snow storm, remove snow accumulation from your boxwoods. This will minimize branch damage. You don’t have to go crazy removing every bit of snow, a little snow on boxwoods is okay just don’t let a lot of snow accumulate. The weight of the snow can cause damage to the branches of your boxwoods.

Don’t Prune Boxwoods During Winter

Boxwoods should be pruned once a year. However, don’t prune your boxwoods in the Fall and winter. Pruning should take place in the Spring but after the last spring frost. Find out when the last spring frost date is. Do not prune too early in the Spring because tender offshoots that grow will be killed by the late spring frost.

Should You Wrap Your Boxwoods with Burlap over Winter?

You’ve probably seen the neatly wrapped boxwoods in your neighborhood. So is it worth the time and energy to wrap boxwoods with burlap over winter? Wrapping boxwoods with burlap over winter is effective if your boxwood is planted in a poor location where there is harsh wind and direct sunlight.

If you have boxwoods planted where there is no shade, in direct sunlight then you should protect your boxwoods from the harsh winter sun by wrapping burlap around them. Another reason to wrap boxwoods over winter is if it is planted in a windy location, you should wrap your boxwoods with burlap to protect them from the cold winter wind.

Protecting boxwoods from the salt spray is also another reason to wrap boxwoods with burlap over winter. If your boxwoods are planted near a road or a driveway that will be treated with salt over the winter, then you should wrap your boxwoods with burlap. The burlap will protect your boxwoods from harmful salt spray.

Otherwise, if your boxwoods are planted where there is shade, protected from the wind and away from the road, then you really don’t need to wrap your boxwoods with burlap over winter.

Buy it From Amazon: Burlap Garden Fabric

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How to Prune Boxwoods (step by step video)