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Box cuttings - but when?

Hi all

My tiny parterre (of sorts) of box is ready for its first trim I believe.  They were planted bare root in mid feb and endured some shocking weather, but have since perked up and are now thriving.

Presumably I prune them now, or can I just leave them to fill out and prune end of August instead?

If I do prune now, can I take softwood cuttings?

I gather July is more normal, ie taking semi-ripe, but can someone explain why this is better than softwood for box?   Wouldn't softwood root faster?

Thanks all



  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,439
    IMO you might be better to not trim the box in it's first year. It's still putting down roots & getting established and may be stressed by a hard trim early in it's life. This could then make it more susceptible to blight and other nasties. Maybe just snip off any really long and wayward bits for this year.

    All my box has had blight which was probably imported when I first planted the hedge. I, therefore, follow the current advice which is to only trim once a year (to avoid stressing the plants) (June is usually a good month to do it) and to give regular feeds of liquid seaweed. 

    I have successfully used the  box trimmings for propagation - they seem to root very easily.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,374
    The usual time to prune box is around Derby Day so June.  You can use the trimmings for cuttings if you do them straightaway and don't let them wilt in the sun.

    However, I agree with Topbord - mimimal clipping this first year, good quality feeding up until mid July so any new growth can harden off before the frosts and keep it watered in dry spells.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ok  -  thanks for the advice.
    Some of them are much smaller than others so I wonder whether just to prune the taller ones a bit end of August or so?

    I have tomorite which apparently contains seaweed, don't know if that would do.

    Any reason semi ripe is preferred to softwood for cuttings?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,374
    Tomorite is designed for plants that produce lots of flowers and then fruit so not the best thing for box which is foliage.   If you're going to prune to tidy up the best time is still June as this allows time for the plants to respond by bushing out more thickly.   August is too late for that.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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