Boxwoods are known for being vibrantly green, but there are many reasons they might look dull or discolored. While certain illnesses like root rot are irreversible, the majority of boxwood issues can be remedied. By improving your boxwood’s growing conditions, you’ll be able to restore its beautiful shade of green in no time.
To make a boxwood greener, switch to an all-purpose fertilizer, then remove neighboring weeds to improve hydration. You should also keep the soil’s pH between 6.5 and 7.5 while opting for well-draining materials. Boxwoods need partial to full sunlight exposure for several hours daily.
Throughout this post, we’ll explain how you can quickly make your boxwood look much greener. We’ll also discuss what makes a boxwood look yellow, brown, or dull. Enjoy!
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1. Use an All-Purpose Fertilizer
It is generally recommended to use an all-purpose fertilizer for your boxwood plants since it can help to prevent excessive soil acidity (source). Boxwoods don’t do well in acidic soil. It’s important to balance the pH, but we’ll get into that in a couple of sections.
Make sure you choose an organic fertilizer to keep unwanted chemicals out of the soil.
The Burpee All-Natural Organic Plant Fertilizer (link to Amazon) is a granular 4-4-4 mixture that enhances the soil around your boxwood plants.
One treatment is enough for up to 90 days, which means you only have to use it about four times annually. It has plenty of nutrients and helpful bacteria to promote greenery and prevent bad bacteria.
Keep these tips in mind when choosing fertilizer to make your boxwoods green:
- Make sure there’s not too much nitrogen in the soil or the fertilizer.
- Organic, all-natural fertilizers are much safer and better for the environment.
- Too much fertilizer can encourage weeds to grow around your boxwood plants.
- You only need an inch or two of fertilizer in the soil.
- Always water your boxwoods after adding a new layer of fertilizer.
2. Remove Weeds and Pests
Weeds, insects, and animals can wreak havoc on your boxwoods. Urine reduces the soil’s pH, causing severe root damage after long-term exposure.
Furthermore, insects will eat through the leaves and stems of the boxwood. Boxwood plants have toxins in them, which means they can be hazardous for pets and people.
The best way to remove weeds is by pulling them from their roots. Never pull the stems off of the weeds without removing the roots. Most plants can grow back from their roots, so you’ll make it very difficult to keep your boxwood green.
Trifecta Crop Control Spray (link to Amazon) is one of the best multipurpose sprays you’ll come across. It uses various oils and alcohol to remove fungi, mites, mildew, and more. It’s primarily made of all-natural active ingredients, so it’s safe to use on boxwood plants.
While there are plenty of weed killers on the market, it’s best to stick to manual removal. These herbicides often damage boxwoods and other greenery, which is the opposite of what you want to happen.
3. Test and Adjust the Soil pH
Unlike many other evergreens, boxwoods don’t thrive in acidic soil conditions. Boxwoods should be planted in soil with a pH between 6.5 to 7.5 for the best results (source).
Here’s what you should do to check and improve the soil’s pH:
- Use a soil monitor. You can submit samples to various companies or use a meter that sticks in the dirt. Sonkir Soil pH Meter (link to Amazon) lets you check the pH in seconds with a digital meter. It also analyzes the moisture content and sunlight penetration on the same screen. You can use it repeatedly throughout your yard, too!
- To increase the pH, add lime to the soil (source). Remove the lime once the soil feels dry and tests within the aforementioned 6.5 to 7.5 pH range.
- To reduce the soil’s pH, add some form of sulfuric acid (various forms of sulfur greatly reduce the pH). Use it sparingly since too much can make your boxwood dry and yellow.
Note: If your soil is alkaline and you have having issues correcting it, see our detailed guide to managing alkaline soil.
4. Improve the Sunlight Exposure
If your boxwood doesn’t get enough sunlight, it won’t produce chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the primary compound responsible for the greenery of your plants.
Boxwoods need at least four hours of sunlight every day, though they do much better with six or more hours. They can handle partial or full sunshine (source).
5. Manage the Soil’s Nitrogen
Adequate nitrogen levels in the soil are heavily responsible for a boxwood’s green color. If there’s not enough nitrogen, the plant won’t grow or look dark green.
Consider these methods to increase the soil’s nitrogen:
- Use nitrogen-rich fertilizers.
- Test the nitrogen content in the soil.
- Add mulch or compost to the soil since both of them contain nitrogen and carbon.
Note: Too much nitrogen is just as bad as not enough nitrogen. Always test and adjust the soil in small increments.
6. Add Well-Draining Topsoil
Changing the topsoil can significantly improve your boxwood’s green color.
The topsoil should be well-draining, which prevents root rot and other fungi wrong ruining the plant. The most common signs of root rot include black leaves and mushy soil. Opt for a mix of sand and loam to ensure enough moisture can move through the dirt.
You can also choose all-natural mulch from your yard. Grass clippings are perfect for boxwoods because they drain very well. Another option is organic compost with clippings, shredded newspaper, coffee grounds, and worms.
Water the soil if it feels dry or looks dull. Your boxwood’s soil shouldn’t be dry more than a few inches below the surface. A lack of hydration will dull the leaves, making them look a loss less green.
Boxwood plants are easy to grow once you maintain the soil’s pH and drainage.
They can grow healthily in full or partial sunlight, making them a top choice for people throughout the country. As with most plants, managing the carbon and nitrogen will make a world of difference in making your boxwoods look greener.
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