You’ve seen the neatly wrapped boxwoods in burlap. I know I have! I always wondered if it’s a good idea to wrap boxwoods with burlap during winter. We asked the experts from Planting 101 to give us advice on how to care for boxwoods during winter and whether or not we should be wrapping our boxwoods with burlap. Here are their recommendations on how to care for boxwoods in the winter.
Why You Need to Wrap Boxwoods in Burlap during Winter
The main reason why gardeners wrap their boxwoods with burlap is to protect boxwoods from harsh winter elements. If planted correctly in the first place, your boxwoods should only be minimally exposed to harsh winter elements. In general, the experts at Planting 101 don’t suggest wrapping boxwoods in burlap unless your boxwoods are poorly located in the first place. Here are three main reasons why you need to wrap boxwoods in burlap during winter.
Wrap Boxwoods with Burlap to Protect from Too Much Direct Sunlight
If you have boxwoods planted in a location that receives a lot of sunlight and little shade, then during winter, it is advisable to wrap your boxwoods in burlap. This will protect your boxwoods from too much direct sunlight which may accelerate moisture loss and cause winter burn on your boxwoods.
Wrap Boxwoods with Burlap to Protect from Strong Winds
If you have boxwoods located in a windy spot, then you should wrap your boxwoods with burlap during winter. The burlap will protect your boxwoods from the harsh, cold, winter wind.
Wrap Boxwoods with Burlap to Protect from Salt
If you have boxwoods located close to the road, sidewalk or driveway where it will be treated with salt during winter, then you should protect your boxwoods and wrap it in burlap during winter. Your wrapped boxwoods will be protected from salt sprays coming from the salt spreaders treating paved surfaces during winter.
In general, if your boxwoods were planted correctly from the start, then it does not need to wrapped in burlap during winter because it will not be exposed to direct sunlight, harsh wind and salt sprays. However, sometimes, you can’t control where your boxwoods are planted- maybe you just bought a house and inherited poorly located boxwoods then you need to protect your boxwoods with burlap this winter.
How to Care for Boxwoods during Winter
Even if you don’t have to wrap your boxwoods with burlap, there are things you can do to take care of your boxwoods this winter. Boxwoods are prone to winter burn. Winter burn is when boxwoods start to dry up and die because it’s not getting enough moisture. Winter burn on boxwoods usually happens when the ground freezes and your boxwoods are losing more moisture than they are receiving. There are things you can do during winter to protect your boxwoods from winter burn.
Water Boxwoods Before Ground Freezes
You need to make sure your boxwoods are getting enough moisture before the ground freezes. Once the ground freezes, then it’s really hard to get moisture into boxwoods, at that point it’s all about helping your boxwoods retain moisture. You should regularly water your boxwoods during fall and winter and that should help keep your boxwoods hydrated enough for when the ground freezes.
Mulch Boxwoods in the Fall
In the Fall, apply a thick layer of mulch around your boxwoods. A layer of mulch that is 1 to 2 inches thick should be sufficient. The mulch will prevent the soil from drying up too quickly. Just be careful when you apply mulch, don’t cover the base stem of your boxwoods.
Apply Antidessicant to Boxwood Leaves
When the ground freezes and your boxwood is losing more water than it is getting, you need to help your boxwood retain moisture. One way to do this is by applying antidessicant on boxwood leaves to protect the leaves from drying out. There are antidessicant sprays you can buy that are pretty effective in helping boxwoods retain moisture. Wilt Stop is a pretty effective antidessicant spray that you can apply on boxwoods during the Fall before it starts to get too cold.
Buy it from Amazon: Wilt Stop
Don’t Let Snow Accumulate on Boxwoods
Don’t let snow accumulate on your boxwoods! Make sure to remove snow accumulation from boxwoods to minimize branch damage. The weight of the snow can damage boxwood branches.
Prune Boxwoods in the Spring not Winter
Boxwoods should only be pruned in the Spring, after the last spring frost. Don’t prune your boxwoods too early and definitely don’t prune in the winter or fall. Once you prune boxwoods, new leaves will sprout in place and you risk those tender new leaves from being killed by frost.
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