KC Gardens

Is this boxwood dead?

Is this boxwood dead?


Over the summer (mid to late July) I planted a small boxwood. Shortly after planting (2 weeks), had a miscommunication between my spouse in regards to watering it and so it went with 2-3 weeks with little to no watering. There was no rain during this time. The boxwood looks battered. There’s some green but a significant amount of brown. So my questions to you all is: Is this boxwood dead? Or if it is alive, is it permanently stunted? Any recommendations of what to do (aside from watering it during dry spells— haha)? - Bess -


  1. 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Since there is still green on the boxwood, I would keep the rootball and surrounding area moist all winter long. This weekend, with temperatures above freezing, would be a good time to give it a good soaking.

    Other than that, I wouldn’t do a thing. No pruning, no fertilizing, nothing except water.

    In the spring, you can prune off the brown, then assess what you have. Scratching the woody stem on the interior to determine if it is greenish, will let you know if the plant is alive. If it is, with proper care it will recover.

    Good luck.

    Carole - Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

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