English boxwood care

Asked November 12, 2017, 11:31 AM EST

Many of our English boxwood are covered by periwinkle. We are about to lightly mulch them. Should the ground over be removed ? At the same time we want to fertalize them and can’t seem to find a 10 6 4 fertalizer. What would be comparable? Is lime good to use?

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

Boxwoods have a shallow root system. Do not dig around the root system. You can prune off the periwinkle at the base or gently rip out.
These shrubs do not require a lot of fertilizer. If the shrubs are mulched, this breaks down and contributes nutrients. You can apply an application of compost around the base of the plants in the early spring or late fall. Do not overfertilize as this can make the plants susceptible to sucking insects. Make sure mulch is thin and keep away from the base of the trunks.

Some reasons to fertilize include poor shoot and leaf growth, leaf yellowing, etc. You can test the soil for pH and nutrient deficiencies. No lime is needed unless soil test results recommend it. See soil testing information https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing