Topiary by Stephie McCarthy

Boxwood Babies,
Propagating Many from One Plant

© Stephie McCarthy

We bought one dwarf boxwood from Lowes for $17,
and now have many more boxwood from cuttings.

Glass bell on boxwood clipping

Cloche to help propagate woody plants

A small glass dome will help keep boxwood cuttings hydrated.

This year we will be adding eight more 'children' from the
first plant. It's easy to propagate boxwood, but there are
a few tricks that may help you.

Boxwood Propagation by Stephie McCarthy

Dwarf boxwood propagation

This is the original mother plant after one year in the garden.
It's in partial shade but is putting out lots of new
shaggy growth at the top.

Pruning boxwood into a sphere

Trim the growth outside of a rough sphere shape.

We'll prune this dwarf boxwood into a small sphere, and
the cuttings will make good candidates for new plants.

The cuttings will be 2" to 3" tall with multiple branches.

Cuttings from boxwood for new plants

After the haircut, this boxwood is ready to be mulched for winter.

Our dwarf boxwood is resistant to blight. To help keep
boxwood healthy, prune lightly, not severely. Also,
clean your shears with alcohol before and after pruning.

New boxwood plant from cuttings

Here's one of the first cuttings that has been established for about a year.

This small boxwood above started as a two inch cutting from
the original plant. Having grown all summer, it is now
about six inches tall in a partial sun garden.

Here's an example of why we love boxwood so much. With
beautiful shapes, we won't need a constant
parade of flowers.

Formal boxwood garden

Photo from Pixabay

You can propagate large boxwood too. It's a good idea to start
with a new plant that is a blight-resistant and give it as much
sun as you can, whether it is full-size or dwarf.
But, let's get our new generation started!

Starting boxwood cuttings directing in the ground

This new plant is two top-cut twigs growing side-by-side.

You can start new plants by pushing them into
moist soil in your garden.
Spring is a good time to do this as they are more likely to
stay moist until established, which can take a long time.

Starting new boxwood plants from cuttings

But we will be starting ours in these small pots with
enriched container soil.
We will be bunching several twigs together to make a bushy
new plant. Here's how to get the look:

How to work with boxwood cuttings

Cuttings from the top of boxwood will have branches going in
all directions like a crown. The leaves will face inward.
Use these for the center of your new plant.

How to work with boxwood cuttings

Cuttings from around the sides of boxwood will have branches
fanning out and leaves facing in one direction.
Use these around the sides of your new plant.

How to make a new boxwood plant from cuttings

Cuttings from the bottom of boxwood will be flat, with
branches close together facing in one direction.
Use these around the far sides of your new plant.

Boxwood takes a long white to make roots, so we like to
encourage that by using a little rooting hormone on the tips.
Here's how:

Using rooting hormones on boxwood cuttings

Break off a few leaves from the bottom of your twigs.
Dip the end of the twig into water.

Dipping twigs in rooting hormone

Dredge the tip of the twig in the rooting hormone.
Keep your powder dry by placing it on a plate.
Don't dip twigs directly into your bottle of powder.
You can toss out the left-over powder on the plate,
but keep your bottle dry, well sealed, and in a cool room.

Boxwood babies from scratch

Arrange several twigs together with the shiny side of the
leaves facing inward just like a natural plant
. Use
a crown-shaped cutting from the top of a plant to form the
center of your new start, for the most natural, balanced growth.

Boxwood cutting under cloche glass bell

Now time will do the rest!

starting new boxwood plants in small pots

Our new boxwood will be in a cool basement by
a sunny window. AND sometimes …
under a small glass bell for holiday cheer!

Do you love real boxwood topiaries?

Read how we make living topiaries from the branches of
large boxwood plants, here

Making topiary from live branches.

These are longer cuttings kept moist for table arrangements.
They can be rooted for your garden too!

Mouse playing flute by Stephie McCarthy

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