Box & Japanese Holly Hedging for Sale

Box & Japanese Holly Edging / Hedge Plants

Box (Buxus) produces some of the best small formal evergreen hedges, or edging. As clipped hedges, Dwarf Box (Buxus suffruticosa) tops out at 30-40cms after many years, while Common Box (Buxus sempervirens) has larger leaves and will reach 80+cms in 10 years: it can grow to a couple of metres as a hedge, but allow three decades for that.

Box blight is a potential problem where there is not enough air flow. Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata) is a good replacement for such sites. It's less compact than Box, but it thickens up when clipped, and from a short distance it's practically indistinguishable, with almost identical foliage.
Sarcococca confusa looks a lot less like box (despite being closely related), with larger, darker leaves and a less dense habit, but is a useful low hedge plant in its own right that tolerates the worst dry, full shade.

Browse the rest of our range of hedging plants.

Box in Summary

  • Uses: Formal low hedges from 10cms upwards
  • Good Points: Native, evergreen, clips beautifully
  • Position: Anywhere there is drainage and light
  • Growth: 2-5 cms p.a.

Growing a Box (Buxus) Hedge

Box (Buxus) is extremely slow growing, so it is specifically used for low hedges that create a visible barrier without blocking lines of sight, such as those used to edge a rose border, or to divide planting areas in a parterre. It is the quintessential formal hedge plant, intended to be clipped with sharp edges or neat contours and to provide structure. 

Dwarf Box is the best choice for mini hedges of up to 25cms. Choose Common Box for hedges taller than that.

Planting Box Hedging

Have a look at our detailed written instructions on how to plant a box hedge. For those who like the movies, then with minor adaptations, follow the instructions in our video on how to plant a formal hedge. The principal difference is that Box should be planted at 5 plants per metre in a single row and Dwarf Box at 8 plants per metre.

The most important thing is that your Box hedge is in an open situation where there is lots of breezy air movement. Never plant a Box hedge under trees, where it is overhung by buildings, or surrounded by other, bigger plants. The shade is no problem at all, it is the air flow that is crucial for healthy plants in the long term. 

Caring for your Box hedge

There is an old custom of clipping your Box hedge on Derby Day, at the end of June: don't do this. The best time is in winter, when the temperature is above freezing.

If you must clip in summer, then do so when the weather (and the forecast) is dry. One clip a year should be enough, and don't worry too much if you make a mistake; box regrows from old wood, albeit quite slowly.

Rake up and burn fallen leaves in autumn as they harbour disease and are best destroyed. A mulch of well-rotted compost or manure in spring will help to keep your plants glossy and healthy.

Box in 4 main types:

You can buy bareroot Common Box, container grown Dwarf Box, Japanese Holly "Best Alternative to Box", and Sweet Box, which is the most shade-tolerant. All are sold singly, with quantity discounts applied automatically as you order more plants of one size.

All our Box is covered by our Guarantee, which means you can order with complete confidence. Best advice & friendly support throughout. 

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  1. Ilex crenata

    Pot Grown Hedge Plants

    • To: 5m+
    • Soil: any
    • Use: formal hedging/topiary shapes
    • Single row: 3-4 plants per metre
    • Dark green leaves, few prickles, with black berries
    • Decent alternative to Box (Buxus)
    • Pot Grown Delivery: Year Round
    From £12.96  Inc VAT


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