Gordo™ BoxwoodBuxus hybrid 'Conrowe' (PP# 19,924)
View more from Boxwood Shrubs
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Buxus hybrid 'Conrowe' (PP# 19,924)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Gordo™ Boxwood is a medium-sized mounding evergreen bush, with dense growth and exceptionally large leaves for a boxwood. These give it unique character, and it is ideal wherever you want a rounded bush up to 6 feet tall and wide. Clipped or unclipped it has a dense structure, making it ideal for more informal and modern planting styles. Grow it around your home, in beds, along pathways, or at the edges of wooded areas. This is a hybrid variety that has exceptional cold-resistance.
You can plant the Gordo™ Boxwood in full sun, partial shade and light full shade too. Any well-drained soil is suitable, and this plant is generally trouble-free and easy to grow well. It can be trimmed in late spring and summer if you wish or left to grow naturally. It is hardy in zones 4 and 5, and pests are rarely problems for this tough and reliable plant.
Boxwood are among the most versatile evergreens we can grow, and it’s a shame not to use them more – and for something other than hedges and balls. They also make great mounded bushes, used as foundation plants around your home, or out in beds. You don’t have to clip them either, if you choose ones that are naturally the shape you need, and they develop interesting shapes in time, that sit somewhere between the formal and the natural. For this we really like the Gordo™ Boxwood, which has unusually large, rounded leaves for a boxwood, while developing into a handsome mounded bush that will reach 6 feet tall and wide if left unclipped. The bigger leaves give it lots of character, and its full rounded shape makes it ideal for filling corners or as an attractive backdrop to smaller flowering shrubs. You can clip it too, of course, into neat balls or other shapes, and best of all it has reliable green foliage that stays that way even in zones 4 and 5, where many other boxwoods bronze or burn.
The Gordo Boxwood is a bushy, evergreen shrub that will grow about 6 inches a year, reaching in time a height and width of 5 to 6 feet, if unclipped. Like all boxwood it clips easily, so it can be kept smaller and you can modify the shape too. It has a dense, twiggy structure that means it becomes a full dense bush even if you never touch it with the trimmers. The slender branches are light green to soft yellow, becoming light gray with age, although usually hidden by the foliage. The leaves are unusually large for boxwood, and very round, being about an inch long and wide, with a smooth, glossy surface and colored a rich green. You may see clusters of yellow-green flowers in March or April, growing along the stems. These have no petals, and they are attractive to bees, but not particularly noticeable, especially if you clip regularly.
Wherever you need a rounded evergreen bush between 3 and 6 feet tall and round, this is an excellent choice. Use it as a part of your foundation planting, among other evergreens, planted around your house. Fill corners between walls or plant a pair beside a doorway or a gate. Plant a row along a pathway, but leave them only lightly clipped, in more natural forms. This modern way of growing is called ‘cloud pruning’ and comes from Japan, where it is called Niwaki. Read more details on this method here. By following the more natural shape of the plant, and emphasizing it, rather than preventing it, you can create fascinating semi-natural forms. In beds, plant it among flowering shrubs for year-round structure and winter interest and grow it at the edges of natural wooded areas too – this is a very versatile plant that opens up lots of new opportunities with boxwood.
This hybrid boxwood has the genes of Korean boxwood, so it is much more hardy than English boxwood. It grows perfectly in zone 5, and in zone 4, where it will normally never bronze or burn significantly – it’s a great choice for colder zones.
You can grow the Gordo Boxwood in full sun, partial shade and even in light full shade, such as on the north side of a building, or beneath open deciduous trees. It grows well in a wide range of soils, from sands to clays, but they should always be well-drained. Richer, moist soils will give you the best results, so add plenty of organic material when planting, and mulch with more every couple of years, keeping it away from the stems and foliage.
Some evergreen fertilizer, especially when your plants are still young, will give you maximum growth and lush green leaves. Don’t feed after mid-summer if you live in a colder zone. Boxwood can be pruned easily, at almost any time, but the best pattern is to prune in late spring, once you see the new spring growth darken in color and mature a little. For a very neat look, prune again in late summer, after the second flush of foliage has matured. Don’t prune late, as new growth is more likely to be damaged in winter. In cold zones the use of an anti-desiccant spray will give you good protection from winter burn.
English boxwood, Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’, is the classic plant for low hedges and bushes. The first settlers brought it to America in 1653 to re-create the classic European look in their colonial gardens. Northern areas turned out to be too cold for it, so in the 19th century new, more cold-resistant types were brought from Asia. One of the best is the Korean boxwood, Buxus sinensis var. insularis, but it is not quite as attractive as English boxwood. If anyone knows how to garden in cold areas it is Canadians, and back last century a large Montreal nursery, called Sheridan Nurseries, developed several hybrid forms, crossing the English boxwood with the Korean boxwood. One of the best is called ‘Green Velvet’, which has been widely grown since 1973 when it was first introduced.
In 1998, at the West Grove, Pennsylvania nursery of Star® Roses and Plants, they were growing a large field of Green Velvet Boxwood. Gordon Rowe III spotted a unique branch growing on one of them, which had leaves almost twice the size that is normal for this variety. This natural mutation is called a ‘branch sport’. He took cuttings and made new plants, which after testing proved to keep their unique look, and be just as tough and reliable as the parent plant. He patented his new variety in 2009, with the name ‘Conrowe’, and it has been released under license by Star Roses, with the trademarked name Gordo™.
We love this newer take on the classic Green Velvet, and its bold foliage gives it a lot of character. Clipped or unclipped, this cold-hardy variety is a real winner, and it fits into any garden, no matter what style your landscape is. Boxwood are always popular and important foundation plants, so our special varieties never stay around for long – order yours now while we still have stock available.