Arctic Emerald BoxwoodBuxus sempervirens 'Arctic Emerald' (PP# 18,289)
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Buxus sempervirens 'Arctic Emerald' (PP# 18,289)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Arctic Emerald Boxwood is a fast-growing, vigorous evergreen that soon passes 6 feet in height, but stays just a couple of feet wide. It is perfect for specimens and accents, or for taller hedges. Its small green leaves stay rich green all year round, with no winter bronzing. It can be grown as a natural upright bush, or clipped into columns, cones and pyramids. Use it for hedges to separate parts of your garden, or plant it in a tub for a strong vertical feature on a terrace or beside a doorway
The Arctic Emerald Boxwood should be grown in full sun, partial shade, or light full shade. It grows well in any well-drained soil, and it should be watered regularly during hot and dry weather. Use fertilizer and/or organic mulch for the best growth, and trim in early summer and early fall to keep it always looking neat and green. Its vigorous growth means it rarely suffers from pests or diseases, and this variety lacks the unpleasant smell some people notice with boxwood plants.
The thought of boxwood usually makes us think of low clipped hedges, or green balls in urns by the door, but that is certainly not all there is. The Arctic Emerald Boxwood is a stand-out variety for many reasons. Not least is its growth rate, that can approach 2 feet in a single year with a young, established plant. Compare that to the few inches a year of many other forms. You won’t be waiting long for a substantial bush to develop. Consider too its size and proportions. This is not some small rounded plant, but a good-sized evergreen, with a slender, upright form that makes it perfect for eye-catching accent specimens. It will be 6 feet tall and just 18 inches wide within a few years, and after that, if unclipped, 10 feet isn’t far away. With clipping you can of course keep it as a perfect pyramid or column of whatever size you wish – an amazing way to have evergreen accents in a few short years. When we add that it remains green and fresh all year round, and does so even in zone 4, you really have a boxwood to be reckoned with.
The Arctic Emerald Boxwood is an upright evergreen shrub, with multiple stems growing vertically upwards. Fast-growing, this plant will grow between 12 and 24 inches a year, and it soon reaches heights between 6 and 10 feet, while staying only 2 to 4 feet wide. Unlike some other faster growing plants, this does not mean the growth is sparse and thin – no, the leaves are densely packed all along the branches, creating a very bushy columnar to pyramid-shaped plant. The leaves are between ¾ and 1½ inches long, oval, smooth and glossy. They are a bright, light green when young, darkening to a rich green as they mature. The leaves stay fresh and green in winter too, becoming a little more olive-green, but not turning bronzy and unattractive even in colder zones, as many other boxwoods do.
Because of its fast growth, this boxwood is ideal for making taller specimens, and to create medium-sized hedges quickly. Unclipped it will form a narrow column or pyramid, and it can be clipped into perfect narrow cones, rounded or flat-sided. Use it to create an accent among your rounder bushes, perhaps as a pair on either side of a path, gate or doorway. Grow it among smaller shrubs to add height without needing a lot of room, which is very useful in a smaller bed. Plant a row along a path, against a wall or along a fence. How far apart you plant them will vary the look. Planted at 12 to 18-inch intervals you will soon have a solid but narrow hedge, which could divide one part of the garden from another, or to screen an unsightly structure. Planted at 3 to 6-foot intervals you will have a stately avenue of slender trees, and a most attractive garden feature. It can also be grown in a large tub or planter box in warmer zones.
The Arctic Emerald Boxwood is exceptionally hardy, and it survives winters in zone 5 easily, also growing into warmer areas in zones 8 and 9. It should also be hardy in zone 4, with at most a little scorching of the leaves, and no bronzing.
In full sun or in moderate shade, the Arctic Emerald Boxwood will grow equally well. A few hours of sun a day is enough for good growth, and it will also grow in areas with continuous shade and overhead light, such as the north side of buildings or the shadow-zone of tall trees. In warmer zones afternoon shade, or light full shade, may be beneficial. The soil should be well-drained, but it can be of almost any type, from sandy soils to heavier clays, and either acid or alkaline.
For maximum growth, enrich the soil before planting with rich organic material, and mulch with more each spring, covering the root zone but not the stems or foliage. The use of an evergreen fertilizer will further enhance the growth, and the lush green character of the foliage. Water regularly during extended dry spells, but established plants are moderately drought resistant. There are some common pests and diseases of boxwood, but the vigorous growth of this variety means they are rarely significant issues. Trim in spring, after the first flush of new growth has matured, and again in late summer, to allow enough time for fresh growth to mature before cold weather arrives. Use sharp tools to avoid leaving jagged leaf edges that can brown and look unsightly. Always trim so that the upper parts are narrower than the base, to keep the lower parts vigorous and green, and to shed snow more effectively.
Boxwood, Buxus sempervirens, was one of the very first plants brought to America by early settlers, to recreate the formal gardens of those times. This small tree or large bush grows naturally across Europe, and it has been cultivated for centuries for garden decoration. In 1993, Marlene Krasinsky, living in Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, noticed an unusual boxwood growing in her garden. It might have developed as part of another bush, or it could have grown from naturally produced seed. Whatever its origin, she noticed its vigorous growth, upright habit, hardiness, and lush, year-round green foliage. She propagated it from cuttings, to preserve its unique genetic character, and named her plant ‘Arctic Emerald’. It was granted a patent in 2007, after sending it to friends across the country and having them grow it in their gardens. Everyone found it hardy and reliable.
Boxwood is one of our fastest selling plants, and the Arctic Emerald Boxwood is a unique plant, so it sells out fast. Don’t wait years for substantial specimens to develop – plant this fast grower, and soon you will be enjoying perfect columns of green around your garden. But order right away, as our stock will soon be gone.