Edging boxwood has long been cultivated for its superior performance as a hedge or screen. (Richie Steffen)

Edging boxwood has long been cultivated for its superior performance as a hedge or screen. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa,’ edging boxwood

This round shrub has long been cultivated for its superior performance as a hedge or screen.

What: Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa,’ commonly known as edging boxwood, is indispensable for hedging and is the shrub of choice for the formal garden. It makes one of the best low, small hedges for the front of a border or to line paths. Its compact habit and very slow growth make it great for clipping, but it also looks great grown naturally as a tight billowy mound. The dark olive green foliage is the perfect foil for most garden plants.

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

Size: This round evergreen shrub will grow to be 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide when mature.

Care: Once established, it 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. Boxwood has long been cultivated for its superior performance as a hedge or screen. 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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