This hardy boxwood variety is your ideal accent or hedge plant in flower gardens, formal gardens, or any landscape foundation planting due to its versatility, dense green foliage, and ease of maintenance! The Japanese Boxwood shrub, sometimes called littleleaf boxwood, produces dainty white flowers that are not showy in early spring.
The Buxus microphylla Japanese Boxwood plant features bright green, oval-shaped leaves that are somewhat larger, and slightly lighter green color, almost having a yellow appearance, than the hybrid boxwoods most commonly seen in landscapes. This Japanese shrub is also known as Winter Gem boxwood makes an excellent medium to large hedge, and is quite simple to grow (even if it’s a slow-growing shrub).
Japanese Boxwood Care
Like all other large boxwoods, the Japanese boxwood hedge grows well in cool, moist, well-drained soils but it can tolerate a wide range of soils. As well as, growing in partial sun to part shade. It only needs a small amount of partial shade to shield its leaves from the full sun. Boxwoods prefer being planted in slightly acidic sights with a soil pH of 6.5-7.
The Japanese Boxwood growth rate is slow – less than 12 inches per year. Since these boxwood’s rate of growth is so slow, space them 2-3 feet apart to make a shrub border hedge. Space at least 2 feet away from home or fence.
The Japanese Boxwood height grows up to 5-6 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide. It is most commonly seen as a formal hedge but you can even train this shrub into becoming a Japanese boxwood tree. In fact, you can prune this boxwood plant into becoming whatever desired shape you want. It is very tolerant of pruning. Also, it’s deer resistant!
Shake off the extra dirt of the root ball before planting and separate the roots to encourage new growth. It is fairly drought tolerant, but make sure to have a regular watering schedule during the first year of planting to establish its shallow root system. Mulch heavily with a 3-inch layer of organic matter to help retain moisture.
This evergreen shrub keeps its dark green leaves through summer and fall. If protected from winter wind, it can stay green until temperatures drop. Boxwood hedges are deer resistant and the leaves may turn yellow in dry weather. Buxus shrubs may be susceptible to boxwood leafminer. If this is the case use insecticidal soap to get rid of these pests.
This perennial shrub is slightly less cold hardy than other commonly used boxwood varieties. Still a great choice for many woodland gardeners across the United States in the department of agriculture plant hardiness zones 5-9! It is also salt tolerant and a good choice for planting near coasts or waterways.
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Check out our grow guide for boxwoods!
Buxus microphylla japonica
- Low maintenance
- Pest and disease resistant