Facts About The Wintergreen Boxwood
The Wintergreen boxwood, also known as the Korean boxwood, is an attractive, low-growing evergreen shrub. This shrub is a member of the Buxaceae family and is a cultivar of the genus Buxus microphylla. The shrub, which typically grows only about 2 or 3 inches a year, will assume a shape somewhat like a mushroom if allowed to grow naturally.
Attaining a height of around 3 feet, and with a spread of between 4 and 5 feet, the Wintergreen boxwood is often planted in rows or groups, and trimmed to specific geometric shapes, such as rectangles, circles or ovals.
Though low growing, this very dense shrub lends itself to topiary, and is also excellent as a bonsai plant. Its dark green foliage makes the Wintergreen boxwood a very attractive border and landscaping shrub.
Growing Tips For The Wintergreen Boxwood
The Wintergreen boxwood is hardy in USDA Zones 4 through 8.
It grows best in full sun, though will usually do well in partial shade.
It will perform best in a loamy soil. The shrub requires very little maintenance other than the soil should be kept moist, and an annual fertilizing, with the feeding done in the spring.
Although well suited for northern climates, it is usually suggested that the shrub be planted in a location where it will be somewhat protected from winter winds. Harsh winter winds often cause boxwood foliage to turn an unattractive brownish yellow or bronze. This can at times be the case with the Wintergreen boxwood as well, though it is much less likely to occur than is the case with other boxwood varieties.
The Wintergreen boxwood is known primarily for its foliage and not for its flowers, which, though nearly insignificant in size, and having a not terribly spectacular yellow-green color, are nevertheless quite fragrant when they bloom in the spring.
Insects And Diseases - As is the case with most boxwood plants, the Wintergreen variety seldom has a problem with pests or diseases.
In some instances, leaf spot and blight have been observed, but this seems to happen rather infrequently. Insects which seem to favor boxwoods, leaf borers, mites, and psyllids, do not appear to bother the Wintergreen variety much.
Root rot may be a problem if the boxwood is placed in overly compacted soil or a soil with poor drainage. With this shrub, taking a little extra care when first placing it in the ground should ensure a healthy, low maintenance plant will be yours to enjoy for many years to come.
Pruning Considerations - The boxwood shrub should be pruned annually.
Pruning generally involves shearing, to shape the plant or group of plants, but occasionally may involve a certain amount of thinning as well.
Though not often needed, thinning is sometimes done to improve air circulation or lessen the chances of plant disease. Thinning may be required if leaf spot is becoming a problem, but usually only an annual shearing is needed.
This shrub takes to pruning quite well, which is one of the reasons it is such a good candidate for bonsai.
Great For A Small Formal Garden - Although the Wintergreen boxwood can be grown as an individual specimen plant, it is often at its best in a formal garden, especially when planted in groupings.
It is one of those plants that, while not requiring much in the way of maintenance, is nevertheless enjoyable to work with. It is almost a perfect fit in a small, but meticulously landscaped yard or garden.
An added advantage of this plant is that it is not high on the list of favorite foods for either deer or rabbits. In fact, if you have either visit your property, they will most likely totally ignore the boxwood.