How to Grow Boxwoods in Pots

If you’re looking for easy care evergreen plants to add to your garden, consider growing boxwoods in containers. 

Boxwoods are a great choice for gardeners who live in cold climates because they can tolerate cool conditions and they look great planted in pots.

In this article I’ll teach you how to grow boxwoods in containers so that you can enjoy their lush green foliage all year long.

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buxus plants in pots

Boxwood varieties for containers

There are many different boxwood varieties that are suitable for containers including:

  • Small Leaved Cultivars (Buxus microphylla) such as Compacta
  • Japanese Cultivars (Buxus microphylla var. Japonica) such as Wintergreen or Green Beauty
  • Common Cultivars (Buxus sempervirens) – English and American cultivars

Planting boxwoods in pots

When choosing a container for your boxwoods, make sure to select one that is at least 18 inches (45 cm) tall and wide.

Boxwoods grow best in well-drained soil, so make sure the pot has at least one drainage hole in the bottom. 

You can also add a layer of gravel to the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.

To plant your boxwood, make a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. 

Gently remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole. 

Backfill with soil, tamp it down gently and water it deeply.

buxus in containers

Caring for potted boxwoods

Boxwoods require very little maintenance, but they do need to be watered regularly. 

Be sure to give your boxwoods a deep watering once a week, and more often if the weather is hot and dry. 

Boxwoods planted in pots dry out more quickly than plants in the ground, especially if the pots are made of terracotta, so be sure to check on them regularly.

Apply a slow release fertilizer in early spring to encourage new growth.

boxwoods in pots

How to display potted boxwoods

Boxwoods look great as the sole plant in a container or providing height and a backdrop for flowering annuals. 

Boxwoods look beautiful in single decorative pots, but even better when paired or teamed up to frame an entryway or line an area of your garden or patio. 

Plant multiple boxwoods in matching pots evenly spaced to line your walkway or driveway. 

Are boxwoods frost tolerant?

Yes, boxwoods are frost tolerant, but young boxwoods are more susceptible to damage from extremely cold weather than mature plants. 

If you live in an area with harsh winters, it’s best to place your potted boxwoods in a protected location, such as underneath a pergola.

I recommend placing the containers on a plant stand with wheels so you can easily move them undercover when frost or snow is predicted.

A layer of mulch will  also help protect your boxwoods from the cold.

Pruning boxwoods

Pruning is an important part of caring for boxwoods. 

Regular pruning helps to control the shape and size of the plants, and also encourages new growth.

Boxwoods can be pruned at any time of year, but late winter or early spring is the best time to do it.

They take well to shaping, so if you’re creative you can make them into a wide variety of shapes including spheres and squares.

After you’ve finished pruning, apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants.

Repotting boxwoods

Boxwoods will need to be repotted every few years as they grow. 

Be sure to choose a pot that is large enough to accommodate the roots of your plant.

Fill the pot with high quality potting mix mixed with some aged compost or manure.

Trim the roots back if necessary and place the plant in the pot.

Backfill with soil and give the plant a thorough watering.


By following these simple steps, you can successfully grow boxwoods in containers. 

With their easy-care nature and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions, boxwoods make an excellent choice for anyone looking to add some greenery to their home.

Do you have any tips for growing boxwoods in containers? Share them in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Container Gardening and Garden Ideas that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

planting boxwoods in pots

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more