Cutting boxwood figures - instructions and tips

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Boxwood - Buxus

Figures made of boxwood are eye-catchers. It does not matter if they are simple geometric figures or if someone has enough skill to make elaborate sculptures. The growth-friendly boxwood can be relatively easily trimmed into a specific shape. With a bit of planning and, with more difficult figures, a stencil, as well as sharp cutting tools even untrained people succeed in creating amazing boxwood figures in the garden. Here are some helpful hints.


The boxwood can grow almost anywhere in the garden. He is an undemanding ornamental wood, which proliferates quickly with its vigor in the height and width. As evergreen ornamental shrubs, boxwood plants are impressive in every season and are therefore popular as a hedge, as a solitary or as a container plant. They can be placed both in the sun and in the shade, but those who want to cut figures out of their boxwood should place it in a conspicuous place. By regular cutting the growth is stimulated additionally, so that a regular fertilization is necessary.
The shape cut should take place in the spring on a dry, not too sunny day. In the case of moisture, the interfaces become susceptible to fungal attack; in the case of excessive sunlight, the cut branches could dry up.
That's all it takes to try yourself on a boxwood figurine. Your imagination has no limits in the design.
Tip: Make sure that the plant is accessible from all sides, otherwise you will later lack space for cutting.


You need:
  • a very sharp hedge trimmer
  • possibly a household scissors for the fine cut
  • Stencils, depending on the planned figure
  • For elaborate figures, wire racks are essential, some of them available from specialist retailers
If you are trying for the first time on a shape cut for the boxwood, you should start with a simple form. Get a bushy growing boxwood in the bucket, it is relatively easy to trim into a ball. Already here a template can be helpful. It's relatively easy to make yourself. You need:
  • a straight bar that is taller than the boxwood
  • solid wire that can be bent into a shape and attached to the rod (should be about the strength of a simple hanger)
  • a simple clamp that holds the wire in place on the rod
Make a hemisphere out of the wire that is slightly smaller than the boxwood you want to prune, attach the wire to the rod, and insert the rod into the ground next to the trunk. Now you have a pretty accurate template that you can easily rotate around the plant. Everything that goes beyond the template is cut off.
Since such a wire is relatively flexible, it can also be used for several plants, which are of different sizes.
Similarly, if you want to cut a pyramid out of your boxwood. Just do not make a hemisphere out of the wire, just hold it away from the rod at the angle that corresponds to the approximate growth of the Bux. Again, cut off anything that sticks out over the stencil. A stencil for a spiral can be built in a similar way even if you do not prefer to buy a finished frame.

Boxwood - Buxus

Tip: In order to produce a uniform shape, the large shape cut should be done in April / May, only the regrown shoots can be recut several times a year.

rear-end design

A boxwood hedge, which is designed in itself, looks stunning. However, patience is needed here because despite its rapid growth, the boxwood needs a few years to be tight enough. But soon after planting, you can start to trim the hedge in shape. How about, for example, a wave movement within the hedge, along an entire garden path. For this you should get different sizes when buying the young plants, which are then set alternately.
  • Keep even distances, eg. B. 5 low and 5 tall plants
To create a uniform look over the entire length of the hedge, you should tension ropes. So that these ropes do not sag in the middle, it is advisable to use two or three additional rods as supports. Now you can cut along the top and bottom lines. To create a rounded waveform, the help of a template is also useful here.


It takes several years to produce boxwood figures that may become life-size gems for the garden. What can be seen in old English parks or elsewhere, often shows the work of several generations of dedicated gardeners who had no tools. You can do that much easier today, even if there is still time to grow.But never too early or too late to start. Be patient and plan ahead. If you own a large garden, it would be nice to put a whole group of figures in relation to each other. For example, a whole family of bears, horses or cats. In the specialist trade wire frames are available in great variety, which are placed around the desired plant like a cage. Now cut off everything that sticks out over the frame. In the first two or three years, holes will surely be visible here and there, which will soon grow over with regular cutting and fertilization. First of all, make sure to always cut close to the frame, even if the cage is still visible. At the latest after three to four years, you will notice that the wood is filling the frame more and more, now the shape is already well visible. In this way, you will receive several striking living sculptures.

How to make a formal cut of a greenie

  1. You need a shrub with five well developed shoots. Three slings of solid wire for head, body and wheel stuck in the ground or socket.
  2. Tie three shoots as a wheel, use one shoot each for head and round. Cut the plant three times a year to fill the mold. The result: a proud peacock!
  3. For a bird with a long tail, work in a stick, cutting the rest freely.
As easy as the above instructions might seem to make a beautiful peacock grow from a boxwood, this company will certainly strain your patience: it is true that the boxwood is very well suited to shaping cuts because of its rather small leaves: the tighter the Leaves of a boxwood variety are, the smaller is the extent from which a grown form can be seen optically as a figure.

Slow growth

Boxwood - Buxus

This qualifies the boxwood generally as a plant for complicated shape cuts, in relation to the single figure or the special box tree variety, however, this fact unfortunately does not contribute to the acceleration. Because a boxwood with very small leaves grows very slowly. And this slow growth will probably become the problem of all impatient people in general, at least if they can hardly wait for the formation of their boxwood figure:
  • Box trees do not grow more than a few centimeters each year, depending on the variety between 3 and 15 cm, and you will also take a large part off this growth when designing the shape cut...
If you briefly extrapolate how long a large boxwood figure needs to grow up, you will no longer be surprised that for a man-sized book loosely 10,000, - € are called or wondering that centuries-old book characters are maintained like monuments. You'll wonder if you're not too old to make a magnificent boxwood in your life...

For every shape cut, you need the right boxwood

Because gardeners have dealt with the design of the box trees for several centuries, there is also a long time a boxwood breeding, which has now produced the most diverse varieties. Each variety has its own special characteristics, which make it especially recommended as a hedge plant, as a boxwood for path delimitation and for entire gardens and just as a boxwood for shape cuts.
  • The more detailed the shape cut should be, the smaller the leaves should be and the denser the growth of the boxwood variety should be. Each variety should, however, be selected according to the greatest vigor that allows the respective shape section.
  • Especially with complicated and planned to a certain size shaped cuts you should inquire very exactly as the characteristics of the boxwood variety.
  • Generally recommended for shape cuts are the species Buxus sempervirens L. "Blue Heinz" (for low, small forms), Buxus sempervirens L. "Herrenhausen" (for flat forms) and Buxus sempervirens L. "Rotundifolia" and "var. Arborescens" (suitable for upright forms).
If you have found the right boxwood, you can then support the emergence of your boxwood figure by a wire form, which you B. at the company 40764 Langenfeld, directly to the online store it works
However, now that you have learned that raising a boxwood figure can exceed the time you spend raising your own children, you also know that the most crucial ingredient in creating a wonderful book character is time, lots of time...
As with all woody plants, it also takes some time to cut the boxwood. However, simple shapes, such as spheres or pyramids, can be generated quite quickly and bring initial success that encourages more. With a few tools and a lot of patience, true works of art can be created from hedges and solitary plants. Your garden becomes an individually designed paradise.

Video Board: HOW TO: Shape a Boxwood shrub.

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