Plant pick: Variegated boxwood

  • Friday, February 19, 2010 12:36am
  • Life

WHAT: Now, before spring explodes, is the time to fill the winter holes in the garden.

If you are looking for something flashy in a hedge or just something to lighten up a shady place, try this reliable selection of the common boxwood.

WHY PLANT IT: Known as variegated boxwood or aureovariegata, it has evergreen leaves with creamy yellow margins and dark green centers.

Though its leaves are small, its variegation provides an elegant display that works well as a hedge, in containers or simply out in the garden.

It looks best when used against dark green foliage, especially rhododendrons and camellias. It works with most colors and can add evergreen structure to perennial borders.

WHERE: It grows well in sun or part shade, although it will be more dense with sun and leggier in shade.

It is highly adaptable to various soil types, including average or poor soils as well as acidic or alkaline as long as the soil is well-drained.

It is moderately drought tolerant once established, particularly if grown in some shade.

For the best specimens, however, grow in a fertile, loamy soil and water well during summer dry spells.

HOW: Common boxwood has long been cultivated for its superior performance as a hedge or screening.

Heavy shearing can be done in mid- to late winter with lighter shaping in late spring to midsummer. For a tightly sheared formal hedge, trim once a month from May to August.

ACTUAL SIZE: This large, slow-growing evergreen shrub reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and slightly less wide in 10 years. Plants can be kept as low as 3 feet and as narrow as 1 foot wide with diligent shearing.


Source: Great Plant Picks

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