Buxus sempervirens, common boxwood (Richie Steffens)

Buxus sempervirens, common boxwood (Richie Steffens)

Great Plant Pick: Buxus sempervirens, common boxwood

It’s an elegant shrub that has been used in gardens for centuries.

What: Buxus sempervirens, commonly called common boxwood, is an elegant shrub that has been used in gardens for centuries. With handsome, glossy, dark evergreen leaves and a tough and resilient constitution, this shrub is tolerant of full sun to full shade and adaptable to most garden soils. Often shaped into screens, hedges and topiaries, it is also attractive in its natural form as a billowy oval mound.

Where: It will grow well in full sun to deep shade in well-drained soil.

Size: Boxwood grows as high and wide as 20 feet when mature.

Care: Once established, boxwood is moderately drought-tolerant, but appreciates occasional watering. It will tolerate sandy and clay soils with regular summer watering and protection from hot afternoon sun. Heavy shearing can be done in mid to late winter with lighter shaping in late spring to midsummer. Tightly sheared formal hedges need trimming once a month from May to August.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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