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Common Box, Boxwood

Buxus sempervirens var. arborescens, the popular hedge plant

Common Box, Boxwood


Article number: 2194028


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Product information "Common Box, Boxwood"

The classic boxwood, Buxus sempervirens var. arborescens is one of the best-known plants for hedges and topiaries.

Who does not know the boxwood as a hedge, as a topiary, a solitary plant or for small groups? This plant is a real all-rounder; it can be used in a variety of ways and it is also very robust...with one exception, which we will discuss below.
A plant that has shaped garden design

The boxwood, who does not know it? Beautiful shapes can be cut from it; it can be used as a low border or an opaque, evergreen hedge. Many gardens cannot be imagined without having a boxwood. The boxwood is probably the absolute topiary; the Greeks and Romans used the plant to frame flower beds, and baroque garden art was the culmination. The evergreen foliage is always attractive at every time of year. What many do not know is that the boxwood is native to Switzerland and the other German-speaking countries, as is the old tradition of decorating the crosses in the house and in the church with boxwood branches on Palm Sunday. If there are no palm trees at our disposal, then we have to be content with a different type of evergreen plant. This plant is so much more than just a topiary and if you give it enough time it can grow up to 8m high. In China, the boxwood is a sign of long life, which is very suitable because boxwood tree can live several centuries.
The main characteristics

Having been used for centuries, many different boxwood varieties have been selected throughout the years. One of these selections is Buxus sempervirens var.arborescens, which is characterised by the following properties:

- It grows less in width and more in height

- It has excellent winter hardiness down to -25°C

- It is resistant to dryness

- It tolerates urban climates

Like all species of boxwood, Buxus sempervirens var. arborescens grows very dense and is therefore suitable for hedgerows or topiaries. It grows uncut in 10 to 15 years up to 4 m high and 3 m wide. At an ideal location and after a human life it can grow up to 8 m.
A robust plant for all locations

Although boxwood rather prefers moist locations, it also tolerates dryness very well. Even in hot, dry inner cities it can be used. It likes partially shady to sunny sites, but can also be planted in the shade. Normal potting soil is completely sufficient. Boxwood is a very robust plant. Pruning boxwood should be done in June or July, when also the new shoots can be re-shaped. Do this on a cloudy day, otherwise it can lead to dehydration at the cut surfaces. If necessary, the plant can be pruned again in August.
And the diseases?

First of all, it should be mentioned that all parts of the boxwood are poisonous; the leaves and fruits do not belong in the mouth. For insects, however, the boxwood provides a rich supply of pollen as early as March; the flower is hardly relevant to the human eye.
Of course, here are some notes on the health of the plants. You have probably already heard of the dreaded box tree moth. In rows, the caterpillar eats boxwoods until they are bare. The distribution of this type of butterflies is favoured by dense populations of these caterpillars. Unfortunately, no natural enemies are known; the caterpillars are also poisonous for birds once they have eaten the boxwood. However, there are effective control measures, but first here is some information about the development of the caterpillars and moths: in our climate there are 2-3 generations per year. The caterpillars overwinter in a cocoon in the boxwood or on neighbouring plants and in spring they become active and start to eat. After a few pupae, the adult moths hatch in July, lay new eggs and the entire process starts over from the beginning. Good experiences are made with biological control agents when the caterpillars are about 1 cm in size; it is important that the boxwood is also sprayed well on the inside because that is where the caterpillars hide.
The caterpillars can also be collected and then disposed of in the trash. Important in both methods is a good observation; as soon as there are traces of feeding or actual caterpillars on the boxwood action must be taken.
Short description of Buxus sempervirens var arborescens

Growth: Very dense

Final size: 4 m high and 3 m wide

Flowers: Unimpressive, March to April

Leaves: Evergreen

Use: Solitary plant, in groups, for hedges, topiaries

Speciality: An important source of pollen
  • Flowering Period March, April
  • Final height 100cm to 4m
  • Final width 100cm to 3m
  • Available March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Fragrance slightly scented
  • Use beds/borders, for containers, for wild gardens, as a structural plant, as a hedge, for group plantings, as a specimen plant
  • Hardiness hardy
  • Soil moist, dry, heavy, moderately heavy, light, slightly alkaline, neutral, slightly acidic
  • Location shade, partial shade, full sun
  • Flower Colour white
  • Leaf Colour green

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