Growing a box hedge

Growing a box hedge
Growing a box hedge

Japanese box (Buxus microphylla var.Japonica) is the only real choice for a box hedge on the mountain as it is the most heat tolerant of all the box and will grow in our mild tropical climate. 

Fortunately, it’s also the fastest growing species within its genus, capable of reaching approximately one metre in height within three to five years with proper care.

For the best growth, planting in full sun is advisable, though they will also tolerate shaded areas. 

All buxus hate wet feet so improve heavy soils with grit and a quality compost to ensure good drainage. The spacing of your plants will largely depend on the desired height of your hedge. For instance, if you’re aiming for a low hedge of around 50 centimetres, I would recommend planting at 30centimetre centres to achieve a dense appearance. 

Regular deep watering during spring and summer is crucial, particularly for newly planted hedges, to ensure they establish well.

Pruning is obviously crucial to maintaining the desired shape and density of your hedge. 

Regular tip-pruning throughout the year, both on top and the sides, encourages a bushier growth, allowing the hedge to gradually reach your target height while remaining nice and dense. 

A monthly clip should be more than enough to keep your plants in shape. 

I use a rechargeable Bosch hedge clipper which is great for maintaining small low hedges. 

Should your hedge become unruly or out of shape, a more drastic prune during winter can rejuvenate it. 

Furthermore, feeding your box plants is essential for promoting healthy growth. While a slow-release fertiliser like Osmocote can be beneficial, using a specialised product such as ‘Topbuxus Grow’ and ‘Health Mix’ will give superior results, especially if you notice any yellowing of the leaves. 

This is a good indication that your plants are nutrient deficient and need feeding. 

Next month I will talk about some other options for low hedges and topiary using native plants. In the meantime, happy gardening.

Visit Clark+Granger at or phone 0456 111 120 to find out more.

By Jez Clark

Director and Principal Designer, Clark+Granger

LDI Residential Landscape Designer of the Year