A guide to caring for your plants

Box Plant Image
Box (Buxus sempervirens)


Box is an evergreen shrub most commonly planted in gardens as a clipped, plant or a hedge. It is best suited to formal garden designs.

It could also make a great feature in your front garden, and would work well with most garden ideas.


Growing it

  • In the garden or containers
  • For young plants, make sure soil is kept moist
  • Once established, apply a general-purpose fertiliser in spring and mulch 5cm deep
  • For containers, use a loam-based compost, such as John Innes No 3
  • Make sure plants never dry out, even in winter
  • Trim in spring/summer with secateurs to encourage a dense habit and maintain a shape
  • Prune new shoots to a bud facing in the direction of the desired growth


Top tips

  • Apply a liquid feed during summer 
  • Top-dress established container-grown plants in spring with fresh compost and a little slow-release fertiliser
  • Cut back young hedge plants and topiary by up to a third in May to encourage bushy growth
  • Trim again between May and August if needed
  • Trim mature hedges and topiary in about late May and again before the end of August
  • Hard-prune old, neglected plants in May, and cut back to within 15-30cm of the ground
  • Excessive sunlight can cause discoloration and sun-scald to leaves
Box Plant Image
Bay Plants


Bay is a popular evergreen shrub or tree with aromatic, leathery leaves useful in cooking.  Kept neatly clipped, the dark-green foliage can create stunning formal shapes that are ideal placed next to an entrance, or look perfect on a patio.

Again, this type of plant would work well with front garden ideas, and suit most garden designs.

Growing it

  • In the garden or containers
  • In the garden, in well-drained soil and a sheltered sunny or part-shady position
  • For containers, use a soil-based compost (such as John Innes No 2), place in a sheltered spot and water regularly but not too much. Re-pot every other year in spring.


In winter

  • Bay is hardy down to -5°C (23°F)
  • Protect  from cold winds and frost
  • Use a fleece if very cold
  • Wrap pots with bubble wrap to prevent roots freezing
Bay Tree Image