Just moved into my house over the summer, I have some boxwoods in the front. They started turning red with the winter. Recently we had some really cold days (which for my area means we had two days in a row that didn't get above freezing; I know that's not that cold overall) and since then the boxwoods have turned red even more.

This morning, I noticed some leaves in the most red parts are starting to die. Should I be concerned by this, and what can I do to address it?

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1 Answer 1


This condition is called the winter bronzing of boxwood. Unfortunately, boxwood cannot tolerate very cold or very hot environments. Too much cold causes its peripheral leaves and stem parts to die and acquire a reddish-brownish color.

Not much can be done, apart from mulching its base to preserve some heat in the soil, and erecting some temporary structure or screen if possible to partially block strong cold winds from reaching the plants directly. Clearing off the dead leaves and stem parts is also suggested, however, care should be taken to not cut off alive parts of the plant.

All said, when spring comes, boxwood plants generally recover from this condition with a burst of fresh green leaves and new growth. So, unless there are other causes of concern or potential harms to the plants (for example, any fungal infection), nothing is required to be done. The plants are very likely to completely recover on their own.

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