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Can You Keep Green Velvet Boxwoods Small?

Can You Keep Green Velvet Boxwoods Small?

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Willie Moore
Latest posts by Willie Moore (see all)

Green velvet boxwoods are excellent evergreen shrubs for shaping into topiaries or formal hedges. Highly tolerant of pruning, you’ll find you can easily maintain the shape and size you want for your plant.

You can keep green velvet boxwoods small through pruning and shearing. This must be done following the last spring frost and no later than the end of September to prevent damage to the new growth from cold weather. Strategic pruning will keep it at an ideal size for your garden.

In this article, I will explain how to prune your green velvet boxwoods to keep them small, including the ideal time to do it. I will also detail the steps you should follow to correctly prune your plant to maintain the size and shape you want. Finally, I will cover what these plants are best used for and what considerations you should take when caring for them.

How To Prune Your Green Velvet Boxwoods

You can easily maintain your green velvet boxwood in the shape and size you desire, whether at its maximum capacity or much smaller. It is very accepting of pruning, provided you do it at a time beneficial to the plant (source).

Several key steps are involved in pruning to maintain the size and shape of your ideal green velvet boxwood. Following the process will ensure your plant’s maximum health.

Let’s look at when and how to prune your green velvet boxwoods to maintain the size and shape you want for your garden. 

When To Prune Your Green Velvet Boxwoods

Green velvet boxwoods are tolerant of pruning and shearing when it is done at the appropriate time. Pruning too early can lead to new growth being severely damaged by a late frost. For the most success, the first pruning should be done no earlier than the last spring frost date (source).

Additionally, pruning too late can harm your new growth. To allow all new growth to fully harden to the elements, you will want to have all pruning completed no later than the end of September (source).

Generally, these plants are sheared following their major growth in April and May. Another round of pruning may be needed in July. Following this pattern, you can maintain a compact size for your green velvet boxwood.

Steps To Take When Pruning Your Green Velvet Boxwoods

The best way to prune a green velvet boxwood is to be selective in removing branches to help shape the plant into what you want it to be. You will find it hard to maintain a natural look if you remove all new growth.

Follow these steps to maintain a small, healthy green velvet boxwood:

  1. Locate all diseased, dead, and damaged branches. Using pruning shears, trim such branches back to healthy growth or the trunk. Make all cuts angled with the stems. If you cut any diseased branches back, ensure you sterilize the shears with rubbing alcohol before making any cuts on healthy branches.
  2. Identify all branches with foliage only on the outer side. Trim these branches six to eight inches (15 – 20 cm) from the trunk, making the cuts above the stems.
  3. Continue removing branches until you have removed approximately ten percent of the outer branches. Remove any other unwanted branches if you are training the velvet green boxwood to be a specific shape. 
  4. Apply appropriate fertilizers if the pruning process was severe. Once the fertilizer is applied, thoroughly water the green velvet boxwood.

What Green Velvet Boxwood Is Good For

Because of its remarkable tolerance to extensive pruning, green velvet boxwood makes a fantastic option for many places in a garden or yard. It can add dynamic touches to the landscape and achieve a unique look with its beautiful green foliage.

They make an excellent choice for foundation plantings because, even without pruning, they do not grow to enormous proportions. These plants will not overtake a window or the foundation, allowing easy maintenance. 

Green velvet boxwood can also be used as edging or a low hedge. For edging, you must maintain it with pruning to prevent it from growing more than two feet (60 cm) high. As a low hedge, it can reach its maximum height of four feet (1.2 m). Both of these options add distinct appeal to your garden.

You can use your green velvet boxwood as a specimen if you want to train it to grow in a specific pattern or shape. This will add character to your garden or landscape.

Things to Consider With Green Velvet Boxwoods

While green velvet boxwoods have increased hardiness due to being part Korean boxwood, they still have limitations with certain conditions. Not addressing these concerns appropriately can result in decreased plant health and lackluster appearance.

Protect Your Green Velvet Boxwoods in the Winter

You must not allow snow to accumulate on the green velvet boxwood to prevent damage to the plant. Additionally, the plant must be protected from strong chilly winds and full sun during winter. 

Bronzing can occur from exposure to winter winds, despite the green velvet boxwood’s resistance to the effect (source). When planting them, plan for this so that it is not a problem. 

While winter is the dormant season, you may be surprised to learn your boxwood still needs water. It will require weekly waterings during this dry season for optimal performance.

General Care Suggestions

When caring for your green velvet boxwood, there are specific steps to keep it at peak health. 

  • Plant your boxwood in well-drained soil with a neutral pH like sandy loam. The plant’s roots need adequate aeration and good drainage to prevent waterlogged conditions.
  • Choose a sunny location to grow your green velvet boxwood. This plant prefers an area with at least four hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. 
  • Water the plant adequately to keep the soil moist but not wet. This means you need to water the boxwood deeply once a week for ideal results in the summer. 
  • Apply mulch to prevent weeds. This is because the roots of the green velvet boxwood are shallow and delicate. Digging around with a weeding fork around to remove weeds will damage your green velvet boxwood’s roots.


Green velvet boxwoods are an ideal addition to any garden or landscape for their flexibility in size and shape. With pruning, they can be anything you want them to be. 

You can maintain your plant’s health by following detailed guidelines to trim dead, damaged, and diseased branches. Going further and trimming unwanted branches will produce a plant in the size and shape you want for your landscape.

You can purchase Green Velvet Boxwoods online and have them delivered right to your front door (link to Nature Hills Nursery).

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