Growing boxwood from seed

Asked November 4, 2018, 5:17 PM EST

I would like a boxwood hedge. Can I start seeds inside to plant outside in the Spring? Where can I get seed trays, seed starting germanating mix. I appreciate any help you can give me. I am new at this. Thank you.

Eaton County Michigan trees and shrubs gardening horticulture

1 Response

You should be able to buy plastic seed flats or plug trays locally at a garden center. Choose a soilless mix to use for germinating the seeds. Boxwood can be grown from seed, even though it is more typically grown from cuttings that are

rooted with rooting hormone. Plants grown from seeds will be less uniform than those grown from cuttings. You will get better germination of the seeds if you subject them to a month or two of cold temperatures first (called stratifying the seed). Scratch the boxwood seeds with medium grit sandpaper a few times (5-6) to scarify the seed coat. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water. Drain the water away and place the seeds in a zip-lock bag filled with moist milled peat moss or vermiculite. Refrigerate the seeds for 1-2 months at 33-41F. The seeds can’t dry out or be waterlogged otherwise the pre-treatment will be ineffective.

After the cold treatment, plant the seeds 1/16” deep in a container filled with a moist, well-drained germination medium. Tamp it down. Cover with glass or plastic and keep the container moist, but not soggy. Seeds should germinate at room temperature. As soon as the seeds germinate, place them under grow lights or move them to a greenhouse or cold frame.

Another method is to plant seeds outdoors in well prepared beds in October or before the winter. If it does not rain, then water the seedbeds before the ground freezes. The seeds will naturally receive cold treatment during the winter. The seeds should start to germinate when the seedbed warms up in the spring. When large enough to handle, carefully transplant seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring.