Green Gem Boxwood

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Green Gem Boxwood

Buxus x ‘Green Gem’

Description & Overview

A part of the Sheridan Green Series, Sheridan Nurseries gives us Green Gem Boxwood. This dwarf (adorable) globe shaped broadleaf evergreen is great for tight spaces and of course hedging, true to Boxwood culture. Its compact size allows for use where other common Boxwood varieties like Green Velvet may outgrow in time. Dense and winter hardy, it’s easy to find space in the landscape for Green Gem.

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Introduced
Mature Height: 2ft
Mature Spread: 2ft
Growth Rate: Slow
Growth Form: Compact, globe shaped mounded plant
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Prefers moist, well-drained soils alkaline soils
Flower: Inconspicuous, fragrant pale green
Bloom Period: April
Foliage: Glossy evergreen
Fall Color: Evergreen
Fruit Notes: Insignificant

Suggested Uses:

This perfectly globe shaped, dwarf boxwood cultivar is great for confined spaces, along narrow pathways, or as a foundation plant/hedge. It stays small and dense, maturing at 2ft by 2ft which is great for a low hedge in front of low windows, as a sidewalk planting, or even accenting around a larger tree or shrub to not take away from their glory. Useful because of its winter interest and extreme winter hardiness, it will also tolerate heavy clay, but prefers evenly moist well-drained soils. Prone to winter burn, site in a protected location receiving 4-5 hours of sun a day to partial or dappled shade.

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Wildlife Value:

When used in a hedge, many small native birds find shelter from predators, like finches, chickadees and sparrows. The closer clustered, dense branch structure allows this non-native plant to provide value to wildlife.

Maintenance Tips:

Green Gem Boxwood is highly noted for requiring little to no pruning as its natural form is so small. This makes it a great low-maintenance addition to the landscape. Prone to winter burn, site in a protected location receiving 4-5 hours of sun a day to partial or dappled shade. Removing heavy snow accumulations is sometimes recommended to preserve branch structure.

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All parts of this plant are toxic, so rabbits and deer tend to leave it alone.

Newer growth can be more susceptible to winter damage, foliage tends to bronze when there are harsh winters, especially if the plants are in an exposed area to winter winds combined with full sun. Avoid this by planting in a more protected location and provide dappled sunlight, or early morning sun. After pruning, boxwood is said to have an odor reminiscent of cat urine, however it doesn’t last all season.

There are no serious insect or disease problems. Boxwood blight is a growing problem in the Midwest, learn more about Johnson’s Nursery Boxwood Blight Compliance.

Leaf Lore:

Because all parts of Boxwoods are toxic, they don’t have much of a medicinal history. However, boxwoods planted by the door were thought to keep out witches. Witches were known to be habitual counters of leaves on plants. The idea being that if you plant a boxwood by the door, the witch will obsessively be compelled to count the leaves, but the leaves are so small and closer together that the witch would lose her place and must start over.

The common name ‘boxwood’ is referring to prior use of the wood to make boxes. Green Velvet Boxwood finds its place among many hybrid boxwoods. Specifically, English (B. sempervirens) and Korean (B. microphylla var. koreana).

It was an introduction as part of the Sheridan Green Series by Sheridan Nurseries in Ontario, Canada. Noted highly for its winter hardiness and globular shape.

Companion Plants:

With the versatility of Green Gem Boxwood, companion plant ideas are endless. Combine with perennials Summer Peek-a-Boo Allium, Montrose White Calamint, Prairie Dropseed, and Wild Geranium. Accent around the base of a tree or shrub like Waterfall Japanese Maple, Koreanspice Viburnum, or Contorted Filbert for a unique pairing.

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