Green Mountain Boxwood is a pyramidal form that is a cross between English (B. sempervirens) and Korean (B. microphylla) species. The Korean parentage makes Green Mountain very cold tolerant. Unless they are planted on a very windy site or are at risk of salt spray, you do not need to wrap them with burlap for the winter. Just make sure they are hydrated at the end of the season and don’t be alarmed if they start turning a bronze color in late fall- that is normal.
If you want the look of an upright evergreen, but don’t have much space, Green Mountain Boxwood is an ideal candidate for your yard, whether as a single specimen, 2 flanking an entrance, visually anchoring the corners of the house, or planted in a line to create a hedge. All parts of boxwoods are toxic, so deer and rabbit browsing won’t be a problem. Branches of Boxwood can be easily incorporated into winter container displays or used to make a formal-looking wreath.
Hedges of boxwoods, though not a native plant, are excellent for small native birds, like finches, chickadees, and sparrows. The little birds can hide from predators in the tightly-clustered branches.
Green Mountain Boxwood can be left to grow natural and shaggy, pruned into a hedge or tight triangle, whatever you prefer. However, be sure to complete any pruning maintenance by the end of September. Late shearing can make the fresh cuts vulnerable to drying out over winter.
One drawback of planting boxwoods near a door or window is that, especially after pruning, they emit an odor reminiscent of cat urine (which can upset any felines in your house or neighborhood). Luckily, it doesn’t last all season.
Boxwood Blight is a growing problem in the midwest. Learn more about Johnson’s Nursery Boxwood Blight Compliance.
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 close together that the witch would lose her place and have to start over.
Since Boxwoods can tolerate sun or shade, the possibilities are endless!