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Forming a dense, well-cut and shaping crown boxwood is one of the favorite plants of landscape designers. On the basis of this evergreen shrub with a dense compact crown and small leaves are created not only green borders and living walls, but also amazing sculptural compositions.
Interest in culture today is greater than ever. What are the requirements of the plant to the conditions of detention, and how to care for boxwood, so that the plant for a long time pleased with the brilliance of the foliage and perfect form?
In nature, there are more than four dozen types of boxwood growing in the countries of the Mediterranean, in Southeast Asia and in India, as well as in Africa and Madagascar.
Two wild-growing boxwood species are common on the territory of Russia: Colchian and Hirkan.
The evergreen boxwood is considered the most famous cultivated plant from this vast family, followed by small-leaved and Balearic boxwood. These species are used in landscaping cities and parks, as well as grown as indoor crops. The whimsical Garland boxwood is used to create miniature bonsai.
Growing boxwood and taking care of it at home
The distinguishing features of all plant varieties are a low growth rate, glossy foliage, which is densely covered with a dense crown, and also homely care for boxwood. With the right approach, the plant becomes a real decoration of the house and garden, for many years delighting the owner with an unusual appearance and bright greens.
For boxwood to truly feel comfortable, it needs conditions close to natural ones.
The summer season is beautifully spent on the outdoor terrace, in the garden or on the balcony. At the same time, the box needs to select places with good lighting, but one should not forget about protection from direct rays, burning young shoots and foliage.
Ideal conditions for wintering a boxwood room are in a dry, enclosed area with a temperature of +6 to +16 ° C.If the plant is grown in a garden, it can already suffer at –10 ° C, therefore garden shtram and bole-box trees must provide reliable shelter until the frosts are past. Care for boxwood at home involves frequent and abundant watering. Boxwoods love moisture. Its hardness is not a critical indicator, however, plants do not tolerate watering with cold or chlorine-containing water. In order not to harm the indoor pet, moisture is better to defend in advance.
In the warm season, boxwood requires abundant watering, because without water, it quickly begins to drop foliage and dry out. On hot days, boxwood responds well to spraying the crown.
By autumn, the frequency of watering is reduced, and in winter, only occasionally, as necessary, moisten the soil, making sure that the water does not stagnate and does not cause the root system to rot. The lower the air temperature in the room where the box is, the less its need for watering, but it should not be allowed to dry out.
During the period of active growth, from spring to early autumn, the shrub is fed at intervals of 10–14 days, alternating between mineral and organic additives.
For complex ready-made fertilizer mixtures, the same formulations are suitable for boxwood as for azaleas.
Reproduction boxwood and care for seedlings
In areas of natural habitat boxwood propagated and vegetatively and seeds, formed in the fruit-boxes and literally shoots after ripening on howmeters
To speed up the process and facilitate care, at home, breeding boxwood is carried out by grafting. You can get cuttings twice a year.
- In the summer months, young, recently lignified shoots are cut off for planting. In most cases, such cuttings can be obtained in June and July.
- In the last days of summer or in early September, cuttings up to 10 cm in length, containing 2-3 interstices, can also be cut.
Planting material is planted under the film in a wet mix of peat and garden soil.
At home, boxwood can be propagated by cuttings obtained from young shoots bent to the soil.
On such a branch, make a cut of the bark with a piece of wood and press the shoot to the ground, fixing this position with a wire clip and directing the upper part of the cuttings vertically. Rooting boxwood can last up to three weeks. The process can be accelerated with the help of growth stimulants, regular watering and a slight heating of the soil. When young plants give roots, they are seated at a distance of 10 cm from each other or in separate small pots.
How to transplant boxwood?
For transplanting young saplings and adult bushes of boxwood, a soil mixture with a neutral reaction is needed, consisting of:
- two parts of humus;
- the same amount of sand;
- one piece of turf land;
- small amount of small charcoal.
If the soil is too loose, add some clay to it. This is especially important when planting a box intended for bonsai and which subsequently does not transplant for a long time.
All types of boxwood need good drainage from fine gravel or rock dust with coarse sand.
The best time to transplant is spring. During the warmer months, the plant will have time to acclimatize, and the winter for him will be less of a test. A new pot should not be overly large, especially when it comes to transplanting an adult bush.
How to transplant boxwood with a closed root system, bought in a store? Often, these plants grow roots through drainage holes, and inside the container they are woven into a tight tangle. In this case, such a com should not be tried to straighten or unravel. The roots that have reached the walls of the pot are carefully cut off flush with the bottom, the lump together with the peat soil is removed from the container and carefully transferred to the prepared container and added to the prepared mixture.
Pests and diseases of boxwood
Most cases of shrub loss of visual appeal, as well as damage to plants by pests and diseases are associated with violation of the rules for caring for boxwood at home:
- Excessive watering during the cold season leads to rotting on roots and other diseases of boxwood.
- Drying of the soil and dry air in the room is the cause of loss of foliage and drying of the young parts of the shoots.
- If the air temperature for a long time is kept above 18 ° C, then the box also begins to lose leaves and weaken.
Neglect of feedings, frost damage and other factors also leads to the weakening of the plant. Diseases of boxwood and pests affect just weak, depleted specimens.
Among the pests that can quickly settle on a weakened plant are spider mites, box gall midges, and various types of scale insects. The leaves of the shrub are affected by the larvae of the fly-miners laying their eggs in the tissue of the plant.
And more recently, boxwood in our country and all of Europe has a new enemy, brought from East Asia. The box fire with the saplings in 2006 was first brought to Germany, then it was discovered in Holland, Switzerland and other parts of the Old World. And in 2012, the caterpillars and butterflies that were destined for landscaping Sochi Olympic Garden got into Russia. Today, the pest does serious damage to the wild landings of the relic Colchian boxwood.
Modern insecticides and fungicides are used to control the larvae, ticks and caterpillars on the box. Sick and pest-prone shoots are cut and destroyed. At the same time, home care for boxwood is surely established, providing the plant with proper watering, temperature control and fertilizing.
Formation of the crown and trimming of the box
Since the box does not differ in growth rate, it is easy to cut, giving the crown a variety of forms.
Since trimming the boxwood affects the shoots of the shrub, removing their tops leads to the beginning of active branching, the crown becomes even thicker, and there is no gradual exposure of the old branches, as in wild species. Thanks to competent pruning, boxwoods are grown at home as bonsai, shaped in the form of standard trees, silhouettes of various animals, geometric figures and other objects.
The trimming of boxwood will be most effective if carried out from April to July, when the growth rate of shoots and foliage of the plant is maximum. For the formation of the crown today use special templates that help quickly and accurately create the planned composition.