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The Beauty and Benefits of Box Wood Shrubs

box wood shrub

Boxwood shrubs are popular ornamental plants that have been used in gardens for hundreds of years. These evergreen plants are known for their dense, compact growth habit and beautiful foliage, making them a favorite among gardeners and landscapers alike. In this article, we will explore the various types of boxwood shrubs, their benefits, and how to care for them.

Types of Boxwood Shrubs

There are over 70 species of boxwood shrubs, but the most commonly grown types include:

1. American Boxwood

American boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a native North American species that is often used for hedges and topiary. It has small, glossy green leaves and can grow up to 20 feet tall if left unpruned.

2. English Boxwood

English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa') is a slow-growing variety that is often used for edging and low hedges. It has dark green leaves that are less than an inch long and can grow up to 3 feet tall.

3. Dwarf Boxwood

Dwarf boxwood (Buxus microphylla) is a smaller variety that is often used in rock gardens or as a border plant. It has small, bright green leaves and can grow up to 4 feet tall if left unpruned.

Benefits of Boxwood Shrubs

Boxwood shrubs offer many benefits beyond just their beauty. Here are some of the key benefits of growing boxwood shrubs in your garden:

1. Low Maintenance

Boxwood shrubs are relatively low maintenance and require little pruning or care to look great year-round.

2. Versatile

Boxwood shrubs are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of landscaping designs, from formal gardens to more casual landscapes.

3. Evergreen

Boxwood shrubs are evergreen, meaning they keep their leaves year-round, providing greenery even in the dead of winter.

4. Drought-Tolerant

Boxwood shrubs are drought-tolerant, making them an excellent choice for areas with hot, dry summers.

Caring for Boxwood Shrubs

While boxwood shrubs are relatively low maintenance, they do require some care to thrive. Here are some tips for caring for your boxwood shrubs:

1. Watering

Water your boxwood shrubs deeply once a week during the growing season (spring and summer) and less frequently during the dormant season (fall and winter).

2. Fertilizing

Fertilize your boxwood shrubs with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and again in the fall.

3. Pruning

Prune your boxwood shrubs in the late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Use sharp, clean shears to make clean cuts and avoid damaging the plant.

4. Pest Control

Boxwood shrubs are susceptible to a variety of pests, including mites and leafminers. Treat any infestations promptly with an appropriate insecticide.

Uses of Boxwood Shrubs in Landscaping

Boxwood shrubs are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of landscaping designs. Here are some of the most common uses of boxwood shrubs in landscaping:

1. Hedges

Boxwood shrubs make excellent hedges thanks to their dense growth habit and evergreen leaves. They can be pruned into formal shapes or left to grow naturally.

2. Topiary

Boxwood shrubs are often used for topiary, as they can be easily shaped into a variety of forms, from simple spheres to complex animal shapes.

3. Borders

Boxwood shrubs make excellent border plants, providing a neat, tidy edge to flower beds and walkways.

4. Accent Plants

Boxwood shrubs can be used as accent plants to add texture and contrast to your garden design.

FAQs

1. How often should I prune my boxwood shrubs?

You should prune your boxwood shrubs once a year in late winter or early spring before new growth appears.

2. Can boxwood shrubs be grown in containers?

Yes, boxwood shrubs can be grown in containers, but they will require more frequent watering and fertilizing than those planted in the ground.

3. Are boxwood shrubs deer-resistant?

Yes, boxwood shrubs are generally considered deer-resistant, although hungry deer may still nibble on them.

4. How do I treat leafminers on my boxwood shrubs?

Leafminers can be treated with an appropriate insecticide spray. Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully.

5. How tall can boxwood shrubs grow?

The height of boxwood shrubs varies depending on the species and growing conditions, but they can grow up to 20 feet tall if left unpruned.


Boxwood shrubs are beautiful, low-maintenance plants that offer many benefits beyond just their good looks. They are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of landscaping designs, from formal hedges to more casual borders. By following these simple care tips, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of boxwood shrubs in your own garden.

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