Buxus sempervirens

common boxwood

Outstanding Qualities

Common boxwood is an elegant shrub that has been used in gardens for centuries. With handsome, glossy, dark evergreen leaves and a tough and resilient constitution this shrub is tolerant of full sun to full shade and adaptable to most garden soils. Often shaped into hedges and topiaries, it is also attractive in its natural form as a billowy oval mound.

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’, Pieris japonica ‘Variegata’, Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’, Amsonia hubrichtii, Campanula poscharskyana

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, gold, white

Great Color Partners: blue, dark green

Culture Notes

Boxwood will grow well in full sun to deep shade in well-drained soil. Once established it is moderately drought tolerant, but appreciates occasional watering. It will tolerate sandy and clay soils with regular summer watering and protection from hot afternoon sun. Boxwood has long been cultivated for its superior performance as a hedge or screen. Heavy shearing can be done in mid to late winter with lighter shaping in late spring to midsummer. Tightly sheared formal hedges need trimming once a month from May to August.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: mounding shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 8

Flower Color: green

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to deep shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering