Can I take broken branches from a boxwood bush and put them in a bucket of sand to produce roots. That’s what I have been told.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Geraldine: It is true that you can make new plants by taking cuttings of your existing boxwood. Some plants are more difficult to propagate than others, but boxwoods are quite easy and have a good success rate. These evergreens generally root anytime of the year. Propagating boxwoods is usually done by taking cuttings. This means that you literally take your pruners or gardening scissors and take a cutting of your boxwood. There are softwood cuttings that are taken from new growth, and hardwood cuttings taken from older woodier growth. Either way, make your cuttings between 4-6 inches long. Remove all the foliage except for the top inch or 2 of the cutting. Dip the end of the cutting in a rooting hormone that you should be able to find at your local garden center, and then plant about 1 inch deep into a small container no bigger than 4 inches. Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes. It is best to use a mixture of half sand and half peat or perlite. It is best to have your containers ready to be planted before taking your cuttings because you do not want them to dry out. After they are potted up, water them well and cover them with a clear plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse. Use a bamboo stake or a stick to make sure the bag does not touch the cutting. Place in an area with filtered light, avoiding direct sun. Do not let the soil completely dry out but you never want it sopping wet either. If there is condensation on the bag you will not need to water. The cutting should root gradually and then you can plant it in a larger container or directly into the garden.