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In the spring I noticed that my boxwoods had some brown leaves in the center. Was this caused by the harsh winter? How can I prevent this from happening again? I have about fifty of these shrubs around my home both in the front and backyard. Thank you for your help. Susan


Browning Leaves in Boxwood Hi Susan,
Browning leaves in the center of boxwood means the inside of the plant is not getting enough sunlight to produce green leaves. Proper pruning is the key. Boxwoods need to be pruned to open up the center of the plant from the outside to allow sunlight and air to circulate within the plant. Proper Boxwood pruning and thinning is done with hand pruners and/or a knife with the stems cut at different heights. This allows sunlight and air flow through the shrub which not only deters insects and disease but encourages green growth on the inside of the plant.

Boxwoods that are always pruned and shaped with hedge trimmers or electric shears end up growing very thickly on the outside, which leads to a shrub that is brown on the inside. This type of pruning produces an environment within the shrub that is conducive to various diseases and is a place for insects to flourish because it is dark, moist and protected.

If you need any help with pruning of any kind, please give us a call. Thank you for your question.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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