When you inherit an overgrown boxwood use sharp pruning tools sterilized with household antiseptic cleaner or a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to avoid spreading disease or fungus. 4 to 8 hours, depending on the length and height of the hedge . If you allow them to become overgrown, they’ll end up needing major renewal pruning. Boxwoods, because of their dense foliage, often die out in the center from a lack of sunlight. Try to prune heavily before the growing season begins, usually before spring. Large shrubs started out as small shrubs. Further, timing the pruning in accordance with the seasonal bloom may lead to overgrown shrubs. Trimming overgrown hedges takes precision. However, as you already seem to be aware, after such deep pruning, don’t expect it to take on a beautiful shape and abundant bloom for 2 to 3 years. For more information about how to prune roses and other flowering shrubs, read our Rose Buying Guide and Flowering Shrubs Buying Guide. This allows the center of the plant to receive adequate sunlight and good air circulation. I would use the renovation technique they use in England on over grown hedges and trim only one side at a time, when the pruned side recovers prune the other side. In general you should not remove any more than 1/4 of the shrub in a season. Good to Know. Use a pair of lopping shears or pruning saw to do this. What You’ll Need To Clip Boxwood. Rejuvenation pruning encourages new growth and often gives an old shrub new vigor. In our first (newly built) home, hubs and I just couldn't figure out how to lay out our front beds. Hand pruners. I have had success pruning large leafed euonymus and golden privet down to about one foot. Is my only option to pull them out entirely? When Europeans brought the plant to North America in the mid-1600s, it quickly flourished up and down the Atlantic seaboard, including at the homes of our founding fathers. It took about three prunings, one a year to get them to look good. 12 years ago. Find out more reasons why you shouldn’t allow your dog’s nails to overgrow. How to trim overgrown boxwoods cutting back the shrub thin the plant to allow more light and air to reach the middle. They use sharp shears rather than electric trimmers, which can cut too much and put stress on the plant. I have kept them closely clipped at this size. While you can use your house, siding, or other straight lines as a guide, the naked eye can leave you with an uneven hedge. Hedging Your Bets: How to Trim Hedges + Shrubs. Boxwoods can be trimmed at any time of year, but, for plant health, it’s best to avoid shearing in the late fall. A lot of people like to use hedge shears or those electric hedge trimmers, but you will only make the bush look more unruly. This helps minimise the spread of disease. You should also keep as much of the shrub’s natural shape as you can, so it stays healthy after the trim. Cost. If your boxwood has become overgrown, all you'll need is a pair of sharp, clean pruning shears or loppers. You won't get an instant hedge, but the plants will look neat and green all year and eventually form a hedge. If you have overgrown or extremely haggard-looking hedges or shrubs, I recommend cutting out one-third of the woody stems. It is something very important you have to do if you want your dog to live a healthy life. Disinfect your pruning shears between each cut by dipping them in a bucket of solution that contains one part of chlorine bleach and nine parts water. Discover how to trim topiary, here a topiary spiral, below. In the case of a severely overgrown holly bush, it may be desirable to severely prune the plant. 1 out of 5 Easy The work is pleasant enough, especially on a warm, breezy day, although it can become monotonous after a few hours. Overgrown Boxwood Question: ... You can prune boxwoods very severely in the winter but they may take years to look good again depending on the overall health of the plant. Nell Jean. Boxwoods are hardy, durable shrubs. Pruning boxwoods isn't difficult if you follow the simple instructions listed below. What to Do with Overgrown Shrubs. They consider so much more than plants and shrubs. Rejuvenation Pruning . If you move into a new home and find the backyard filled with badly overgrown shrubs, it’s time to learn about rejuvenating shrubs with pruning. If you are going to thin out the plant, wait until winter, and do it well before new growth appears. For best results, plant some stakes and tie a string at an optimal height. It knocks most plants to be severely pruned and you don't want to chance killing of the plants. About one-third of the bush should be thinned each year, since boxwoods keep their foliage for three years. What do you think? Hand shears; Secateurs; Step 1 Sharpen your shears and make a thorough assessment before you start cutting anything. Then you can begin to trim them back. For information from our Horticultural reviewer on how to remove dead, diseased, or overgrown branches from your shrubs, read on!