Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

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Cornell University

Buxus sempervirens
(buck-sus semp-er-vi-rens)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The boxwood is a dark green evergreen native to southern Europe and northern Africa. It usually grows to a height of 8 feet or so, although if left untrimmed in good growing conditions it may grow 25 feet tall. It is commonly found in the southern gardens and estates of the U.S.

What is it used for?

The boxwood can function as a specimen or barrier hedge. It is popular because of its dark and dense foliage.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The boxwood prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soil. It also requires protection from winter wind in colder areas. Space boxwood trees 8 feet apart; 3 feet or less if planting in a hedge.

What are its primary problems?

The boxwood can suffer from foliar bum and twig kill in severe winters in exposed locations. Bark damage may also be a problem. Insects and diseases common to the boxwood include leaf blight, cankers, nematodes, boxwood psylla and mites.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.