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How to plant buxus topiary into pots – step by step

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Just recently I decided to plant two beautiful Buxus topiary trees into pots to place on either side of my front door which gave me the perfect opportunity to show you how to plant Buxus or any other topiary plant into pots.

What I like about Buxus (and the same goes for bay trees) is that they are incredibly easy to care for and require very little maintenance, just don’t forget to water them.

What you need to pot up buxus

What you will need to pot up Buxus

  • Your topary plants of choice (I used Buxus).
  • Your choice of pots (a little larger than the pot they are currently in).
  • Brocken crockery to stop the holes getting clogged up (you can use either polystyrene or stone).
  • John innes No.2 potting compost.
  • Some stone toppings (optional).

How to pot on your Buxus plants

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is place the Buxus root balls in a bucket of water to ensure the roots are fully hydrated. Give it around 20 minutes and you can leave them in their current pots whilst they are soaking.

Step 2

Next, you want to get your new pots and make sure they have holes in them. Most outdoor pots do but if you use plastic pots they might not have holes in them already. If they don’t, simply drill a few good-sized draining holes.

Covering holes with broken pot to stop the holes getting clogged up

With that out the way you can now cover the holes with some broken crockery, I always have some old pots knocking around so I just broke one up. If you don’t, you can use either polystyrene or stone.

Step 3

Add a layer of potting compost to bottom of posts

Next, fill the bottom of the pot with some soil-based compost, I use John Innes No 2 potting compost because it retains the moisture well, it needs less watering plus it is nice and heavy which helps keep the pots upright in windy weather.

You want to put in enough soil so that when you place the root ball in the pot, there is around an inch between the top of the root ball and the top of the pot. This is to make watering easier as the water doesn’t just run over the top of the pot and gives you some space to add some decorate stone, should you wish to.

Step 4

With the plant now placed in the pot, simply fill around the end of the roots with more compost until it is firmly potted. Push the soil down the edge of the pot with your fingers to make sure there are no air gaps

Step 5

Buxus potted up ready for positions either side of door

With the plants now potted into their new pots, you should have a small gap between the soil and the top of the pot. If you prefer you can add a layer of decorative stone to finish it off. I find this helps to stop them from drying out as quickly and helps keep the roots cool.

Step 6

Watering buxus

Finally, give them a good water and don’t allow them to totally dry out. Bear in mind that if they have been positioned under the eves of your roof against a wall, even if it’s raining, they’re probably not getting watered so check regularly to see if they need watering.

Buxus potted on into new pots and on display

A little trick is to see how heavy they feel when they have been properly watered and when they begin to feel much lighter it is time to water.

To learn more about caring for Buxus see my guide here.

You can also see my topiary rated shears for maintaining topiary here

If you are not keen on Buxus, check out some of the best plants for topiary outside the front door

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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