Pruning Boxwoods

Q: Can you cut boxwoods down to the base of the trunk like holly bushes? When’s the best time? Neel

A: If the boxwood is in good health, you can cut it back to 12″ tall in February and it will start making new growth in March. It will look ratty the first year but will be an attractive shrub by year two. If the boxwood is marginally healthy, cut off the top 12″ to allow light into the plant. Fertilize in April and June to force new growth in the interior. When new growth is eight inches long, the surrounding limbs can be cut away to allow the shrub to recover its vigor and form.