Boxwood - How slow is slow?

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Old 02-05-02, 06:12 AM
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Boxwood - How slow is slow?

Trying to plan some landscaping around here. There is an area where I plan on putting a patio and which I would like to surround with a low hedge to create a "room" feeling. Zone 7b, dappled shade, clay-loam a bit on the acid side. Thought boxwood might do, and everything I see says "slow growing." So how slow is slow? How long would it take a 1 gallon plant (about 8" at my guess) to reach 18"? I would like to enjoy this space before I'm 80! Or is there another "shrubbery" that would fit this space and these criteria? I'm open to suggestions!
 
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Old 02-05-02, 03:36 PM
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Hello diylady

My experience with boxwoods (Zone 6b) is around 4" (maybe a bit more or less) per year under ideal conditions. I like the look of a boxwood hedge, but the one thing I find a bit distressing about it is if a single plant dies in a mature hedge, it is usually very hard to find a replacement that will fit into the hole and fill in just before you have that once in a lifetime party....

You could try privet (Ligustrum sp), currant (Ribes sp), some of the smaller spireas or if you want an evergreen, yew (Taxus sp). All would take clipping and shaping well and should grow in your area under the conditions you stated.

Good Luck

Howie
 
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Old 02-05-02, 04:49 PM
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...if a single plant dies in a mature hedge, it is usually very hard to find a replacement that will fit into the hole and fill in just before you have that once in a lifetime party....
Not to mention the $$$$ involved for a big speciman! I'll look into the plants you mentioned, although anything "privet" gets a dirty look around here due to being covered up with the very invasive pest Chinese privet. It seems like the only way you can get rid of that stuff is to back a truck up to it, put a chain around it, and pull! And it's all over the place! I wish to reiterate also that these are shady conditions, under a simply enormous ash tree. But the plants mentioned will do reasonably well without full sun? For some reason I can't seem to find a lot of information on lighting requirements for shrubberies which led me to believe that perhaps all of them needed a lot of light.
 
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Old 02-05-02, 05:47 PM
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Hello again Cindy

Sorry - I didn't notice the Alabama location before, so I'm not exactly sure how those plants will do in your environs. (They all do fine here in Toronto, Canada and should be okay, but as with your privet 'problem', there may be some issues with those plants that we don't have here). Yews and currants should be okay in partial to full shade, but I think the spireas need a little more light.

Maybe someone else out there closer to you has some suggestions, too!

Howie
 
  #5  
Old 02-05-02, 08:00 PM
Gami
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Hi Cindy,

One thing you could do if you like the boxwood is to buy a few extra plants--if you have the room. Plant them somewhere else and if you need to replace a shrub, you'd have a speciman of the same size. My daughter worked at a place that had boxwood growing out front. She was moving to another town, and I took a few cuttings of the boxwoods (since they needed to be trimmed anyway) and started some new shrubs as a remembrance of the "best job she'd ever had". Some actually rooted in water, but it took a l-o-n-g time. Rooting them in a potting mix with a rooting hormone was quicker.

Gami
 
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Old 02-06-02, 04:57 AM
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Howie, yeah, a lot of introduced plants go absolutely bonkers when they get into our Southern climate; kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese privet, mimosa (silk tree), tree of heaven, ... hmmmm, sounds like a Communist plot doesn't it ? Should be a lesson to people down here, be careful what you plant from China or Japan !

Gami, that's an excellent idea! I really like the look of boxwood and was hoping it, or something similar would do. I have 5 acres here, about 2 acres clear, so room is not a problem. And since I want a rather low hedge for this area, the slow growth might be a boon rather than a problem.

Thanks guys!
 
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Old 02-09-02, 09:43 AM
Ringworm
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here is south Georgia zn8b, boxwood does well, but when I do a landscaping job I often use Ilex compacta (Compacta holly) It looks fairly similiar to boxwood, can grow twice as fast, and I just feel that it deals better with harsh conditions be they heat, humidity, etc etc.
Also since they grow faster, they are somewhat cheaper, I can grow/sell 3gal containers of them (2 1/2ft tall, with 2ft spread) for roughly $5 wholesale $10retail.

Just something to look into
 
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Old 02-21-02, 02:24 PM
ct. arborist
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boxwood are relatively slow growing, don,t expect much growth in the first year or two but once they are established and under proper conditions(which it sounds like you have) you can expect about 2 inches of growth per yr.
if your looking for something that will grow a bit faster look into the japanese hollies(ilex crenata),they look very similar but grow a bit faster.
be fore warned that if you live in an area with a high deer population the deer will eat the ilex...they bvery rarey eat boxwood.
hope this was of some assistance....happy planting
-CT. arborist
 
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