How to Revive a Buxus Plant

Buxus plants, commonly known as boxwoods, are beloved for their lush green foliage and versatile nature. These hardy evergreens add an elegant touch to any garden or landscape. Even the most resilient of plants can sometimes fall victim to unfavorable conditions, neglect, or diseases that can cause them to wilt and lose their vitality. If your once thriving buxus plant is looking lackluster and in need of rejuvenation, don’t panic! In this post, we will explore effective strategies and techniques on how to revive a buxus plant, ensuring its revival into a vibrant and healthy specimen once again.

Best Buxus Planting Conditions

While planting Buxus, understanding the ideal growing conditions is important for ensuring their successful establishment and long-term health. Partial shade ensures that the plants receive enough sunlight for growth while also offering some relief from intense heat. The sturdy nature of boxwood makes it an excellent choice for areas prone to strong winds, as it can withstand their force without being easily uprooted or damaged.

Despite its resilience, boxwood can become dehydrated if exposed to extreme summer heat. To prevent this, it is crucial to provide regular watering during dry spells or periods of intense heat. Protection against high winds is vital for safeguarding the delicate foliage of Buxus plants. While these shrubs are generally hardy, strong gusts can damage their leaves and branches. Placing them in locations shielded from strong winds or creating windbreaks using structures or other plants can help prevent this type of damage.

Identifying Nutrient Deficiencies in Buxus

High soil pH and low nutrient levels are closely linked, making it crucial to maintain the appropriate pH levels for optimal growth of boxwoods (Buxus). Boxwoods should ideally be grown in a soil pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.2 to ensure they receive adequate nutrients. When the soil pH is too high, essential nutrients become less available for uptake by the plant roots. This can lead to various nutrient deficiencies that negatively impact the health and vigor of boxwoods.

The main reason for this connection between high soil pH and low nutrient levels is that certain nutrients become less available to plants under alkaline conditions. As the soil pH increases, elements such as iron, manganese, and phosphorus become locked up in forms that are not easily accessible for root uptake by boxwoods. This can result in stunted growth and yellowing of leaves – classic symptoms of nutrient deficiencies.

Identifying nutrient deficiencies in boxwoods requires careful observation and understanding of the signs displayed by the plants. One common deficiency seen in high-pH soils is iron chlorosis, which manifests as yellowing leaves with green veins. This occurs because iron becomes less soluble at higher pH levels, limiting its availability for absorption by the plant roots.

Identify Winter Burn In Boxwood

Identifying and addressing winter burns in boxwood is crucial for preserving their health and appearance. Winter burn occurs when cold temperatures, dry winds, and low soil moisture levels take a toll on the shrub’s foliage. One main sign of winter burn is the discoloration of boxwood leaves. Affected leaves might turn yellow or brown, especially along the edges or tips. In severe cases, the entire leaf may become crispy and start to wither away. Another telltale sign is the browning or blackening of stems or branches. This can indicate that the shrub’s vascular system has been damaged by freezing temperatures, making it difficult for nutrients and water to reach different parts of the plant.

How To Prevent Winter Burn In Boxwood

If your boxwood is suffering from winter burn, we’ve some essential tips to help you.

How to Revive a Buxus Plant

Choose The Right Variety

While having the right variety selection, winter burns can easily be prevented. When selecting a boxwood variety, it is important to consider its cold hardiness and resistance to winter burn.

You should look for its cold hardiness. Some varieties are more tolerant of freezing temperatures and harsh winter conditions than others. It is recommended to choose a variety that can withstand your specific climate zone’s average minimum temperature. This information can usually be found on plant tags or in gardening catalogs. By selecting a cold-hardy variety, you are taking an important step toward preventing winter burn.

Adequate Watering

Adequate watering is key to preventing winter burn in your beloved boxwood plants. These evergreen shrubs provide year-round beauty and structure to your garden, but they are susceptible to winter damage if not properly watered.

Remember, even though boxwoods are considered drought-tolerant once established, they still require moisture during the winter. The lack of rainfall combined with harsh winds and harsh sunlight can quickly lead to dehydration and subsequent winter burn. To prevent this, make sure to water your boxwoods thoroughly before the ground freezes. Aim for around one inch of water per week, either from rainfall or manual irrigation (or every three weeks if there hasn’t been any rainfall).


Winter burn can be tough on boxwood plants, but with proper mulching techniques, you can protect them and ensure their health and beauty come springtime. Mulch acts as a protective layer for the roots, keeping them insulated from extreme temperature fluctuations. It also helps retain moisture in the soil, preventing dehydration during colder months. To begin mulching your boxwoods, follow these steps:

  • Ensure that they are well-watered before the ground freezes. This will help provide ample hydration throughout the winter months.
  • Select an organic mulch such as wood chips or shredded leaves.
  • Apply a layer of mulch around 2-3 inches thick around the base of each plant, ensuring it extends at least 6 inches beyond the outermost branches.

Wind Protection

Wind protection is important to prevent winter burn in boxwood plants. For this, you can create a windbreak. This can be achieved by strategically placing a barrier such as a fence or wall around your plants. Alternatively, you can try natural windbreaks like hedges or other dense shrubs that will act as a shield against strong gusts of wind. By diverting and reducing the force of the wind, you’ll create a more favorable microclimate for your boxwood.

Tips To Prevent Root Rot In Buxus

As discussed above, Buxus plants thrive in areas with full or partial sunlight exposure. They require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day to carry out photosynthesis effectively. Adequate sunlight helps the leaves produce food and energy for the plant while supporting proper growth and development. Placing your Buxus shrubs in an area where they can receive sufficient sunlight will not only prevent root rot but also enhance their overall vitality. Let’s explore some other tips to prevent root rot in Buxus!

Choose the right soil: Buxus, or boxwood, thrives in well-draining soil that is not overly wet. To prevent root rot, ensure the soil has good drainage and avoid planting in areas prone to waterlogging. Sandy loam or loamy soils are ideal for healthy root development.

Provide proper irrigation: Overwatering is a common cause of root rot in Buxus. Water plants deeply but infrequently, allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out between watering sessions. Avoid watering late in the day to allow foliage time to dry before nightfall.

Adequate sunlight and air circulation: Adequate sunlight and air circulation are crucial factors in preventing root rot in Buxus plants. Root rot, caused by excessive moisture and poor drainage, can be detrimental to these evergreen shrubs. To ensure their health and longevity, it is essential to provide them with the right balance of sunlight and air movement.

Avoid over-fertilizing: Over-fertilizing is a common mistake made by many gardeners, and it can have detrimental effects on the health of your Buxus plants. It’s important to provide nutrients for your Buxus plants, but too much fertilizer can contribute to root rot.

Tips To Take Care Of Boxwood In Summer

  • Applying a layer of mulch around your boxwood plants can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature during summer heat waves. Use organic mulch such as wood chips or shredded bark, spreading it around the base of the plant but not touching its trunk. This will prevent weedsgrowth while providing insulation for the roots.
  • Regular pruning is essential for maintaining the shape and health of your boxwood plants during the summer months. Start by removing any dead or damaged branches with clean pruning shears.
  • Water is life for boxwood in summer. Make sure to water deeply, allowing the soil to absorb the moisture thoroughly.
How to revive a dying boxwood shrub

Wrapping UpHow to Revive a Buxus Plant

Reviving a Buxus plant requires patience, diligence, and the right approach. By identifying the underlying issue, such as improper watering or nutrient deficiencies, gardeners can take targeted steps to revive their Buxus plants. Regularly watering at the base of the plant, providing adequate sunlight and drainage, and replenishing nutrients through fertilization are essential for its revival.

Also, pruning damaged or dead branches will encourage new growth and improve overall health. With proper care and attention, it is possible to bring a struggling Buxus plant back to life and enjoy its beauty for years to come. So don’t give up on your Buxus plant – follow these steps and watch it thrive!

Iram Khan