Skip to content Skip to navigation menu
If you update your home branch it may affect items currently in your cart.

The Basics of Boxwoods

If looking for a durable and versatile addition to your customers' landscapes, consider boxwoods.

May 23, 2024

Facebook Twitter

Boxwoods (genus Buxus) have long been favored for their aesthetic appeal and functional characteristics in landscape design. Their evergreen nature, compact growth habit, and ability to be pruned into various shapes make them a popular choice for creating formal hedges, borders, foundation plantings, and topiaries. 

Why You Should Include Boxwoods in Your Landscape 

Boxwoods provide architectural structure and delineation to outdoor spaces, helping to define borders, pathways, and garden areas. They act as living walls, creating a sense of enclosure and privacy.

Boxwoods are known for their versatility. They are adaptable and can thrive in both sun and shade, making them suitable for a range of garden settings. They can be used to create symmetrical and formal designs or to add contrasting elements to more informal landscapes. 

With their evergreen foliage, boxwoods offer year-round visual appeal, providing a sense of continuity and vibrancy to landscapes even during the winter months. Their ability to retain leaves throughout the year makes them excellent choices for creating winter interest and background for seasonal blooms. 

They are also known for their longevity, often lasting for decades when properly cared for. Their lifespan makes them a wise investment for clients seeking long-term, enduring landscape features. 

Boxwoods are relatively low-maintenance plants once established. They require regular watering, especially during dry periods, but are generally resistant to pests. With proper pruning, they can be easily shaped and maintained to desired sizes and forms. 

Pros of Boxwoods in Landscape Design 

Boxwoods lend a classic and sophisticated aesthetic to landscapes, particularly in formal garden styles. Their neatly trimmed appearance and rich green foliage create a polished and refined ambiance. 

They can be pruned and shaped into various forms, including hedges, topiaries, and geometric patterns. Their malleability allows designers and homeowners to create custom designs that suit customers’ specific preferences and styles. 

With their dense growth and evergreen leaves, boxwoods serve as effective low privacy screens, shielding outdoor spaces from unwanted views and providing a sense of seclusion. 

Cons and Considerations of Boxwood in Landscape Design

Boxwoods have a relatively slow growth rate, which can be a disadvantage for those seeking quick results. Patience is required to allow boxwoods to establish and fill the desired space. 

While boxwoods are resistant to many pests, they are susceptible to diseases, the most common of which being blight and Phytophthora. Proper care and regular pruning are crucial to prevent and manage these diseases. For more information on boxwood blight, check out How to Identify Boxwood Blight.

Boxwoods prefer well-drained soil and thrive in partial shade to full sun conditions. Unsuitable soil or excessive shade can lead to poor growth and increased susceptibility to stress and disease. 

New Cultivars of Boxwood to Consider

If you think boxwoods would make a good addition to your customers’ landscapes, consider Better Boxwood®, the first collection of scientifically bred blight-resistant boxwood. These innovative boxwoods are the result of two decades of revolutionary breeding and plant trialing and demonstrate remarkable resilience to the blight-causing pathogen. The breeding program focused on utilizing deer-resistant cultivators and prioritizing higher tolerance against boxwood moths compared to the traditional boxwood variations. If you’re looking for a resilient and durable boxwood that can withstand the challenges posed by blight, look to Better Boxwood® to ensure a vibrant and long-lasting addition to any garden or landscape. 

Coming to the Marketplace

A unique new boxwood with a round compact habit and dark green foliage is making its debut. The Portfolio Lucky Charm has a unique leaf shape mimicking Inkberry holly or Distylium. It is a slow grower and performs great in full shade.

NewGen Boxwood offers NewGen® Independence and NewGen® Freedom to begin a new generation of genetics to combat the blight. A third selection, NewGen® Liberty Belle will make its appearance later this year.

Help from SiteOne 

SiteOne associates can help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Stop by a SiteOne nursery near you to check out our selection of boxwoods or consider using our Nursery Direct Program

For more educational articles visit the Learn Section of our website. 

Get our new Mobile app

Keep your business moving with the go-to app for landscape professionals.