Gardeners often say they have difficulty with boxwood bushes, but the secret is choosing the right one. Since many of them look similar, it is easy to think they are all the same – but they aren’t. There are large differences in their ability to withstand cold or heat, how green they stay in winter, and how drought resistant they are, separate from visual differences in size and shape. If you live in a warmer area, and you have hot and humid summers, with dry soil, then our recommendation for you is the Green Beauty Boxwood. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grow it in other areas, because this is a beautiful and fast-growing bush, but for heat, humidity, and dryness, this is the #1 choice.
The Green Beauty Boxwood develops into a rounded bush, between 3 and 5 feet tall and across, and even a little bigger in time. Of course, that would be if you don’t clip it because boxwood takes well to clipping, and this plant can easily be kept a foot or so tall for a low hedge, or it can be clipped into mounds and balls across a wide range of sizes. This plant is a variety of the Japanese Boxwood, which is known for fast growth, and plants can grow 12 inches a year, and under ideal conditions, they have been known to grow 12 inches in one year. You won’t be waiting around for years, as you have to with some other boxwood varieties.
The rounded leaves of the Green Beauty Boxwood are up to an inch across, but they usually become smaller on bushes that are regularly clipped. They are a beautiful deep green color, staying that way all through summer, unlike other varieties that can yellow in the heat. In colder areas, particularly where plants are in full sun, frost will usually turn the leaves an orange to red-bronze color for the winter, which quickly becomes green again in spring. In warmer areas, they will stay green all winter.
Growing Green Beauty Boxwood Shrubs
The Green Beauty Boxwood is the perfect choice for low hedges, between 1 and 4 feet tall. Plant 12 inches apart in a row for smaller hedges and up to 18 inches apart for taller ones. Measure the spacing carefully to avoid gaps and begin to trim early so that your hedge grows dense and full. This variety is also perfect for small to medium-sized spheres and domes, or other geometrical shapes like boxes and short broad pyramids. Carefully placed, these clipped plants add lots of interest, and a touch of formality or whimsy, depending on how they are clipped and arranged.
Another use for the Green Beauty Boxwood is to simply let it grow naturally, with a light trim every couple of years to keep it compact. Grown this way it is a great informal evergreen shrub for filling corners, and for growing in beds or around your home. It contrasts nicely with flowering shrubs, and the natural form of boxwood is always interesting – but rarely seen.
Grow the Green Beauty Boxwood in full sun, partial shade, or in light full shade, such as on the north side of a building, wall or tall fence. It grows well in the light, dappled shade from tall deciduous trees, but not in the deep shade beneath large evergreens. Morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal conditions, especially in hot zones. It grows well in most garden soils, except for very wet ones, and this particular variety is more resistant to dry soil and periods of drought than most others are. Like all clipped plants, it will benefit from the regular application of fertilizers (chemical or organic), early in spring and again in late summer. Clip ‘little and often’, right from the early stages, until you achieve the shape you want. Clip after the last frost, and again in late summer – this will usually be enough to keep your plants neat and tidy. Don’t clip late in fall in colder regions. Japanese boxwood varieties, such as this one, have good resistance to most pests and diseases, and problems are rare if they are planted in well-drained soil. Rabbits and deer usually leave them alone.
History and Origins of Green Beauty Boxwood Shrubs
Japanese Little-leaf Boxwood, Buxus microphylla var. japonica, is a small, broad tree that grows wild in Japan and Korea. Plants that were brought from Japan in the past were usually varieties that Japanese gardeners had already selected for their compact and dense growth. The variety called ‘Green Beauty’ was developed by Sheridan Nurseries, in Toronto, Canada in 1957. It was an early development in that nurseries efforts to create boxwoods that would grow well in zone 6a. They went on in later years to develop several of the best cold hardy boxwoods available, that we highly recommend for zone 5 gardens, such as ‘Green Gem’, ‘Green Velvet’, and ‘Green Mountain’. They would not have realized that ‘Green Beauty’ would be found most suitable for hot, humid and dry zones.
Because all boxwoods look very similar, it is important to choose varieties that are properly identified, grown with care, and fully labeled. Our plants of ‘Green Beauty’ are guaranteed to be the real plant. We sell many boxwood plants, and our varieties never stay in stock for long. Now is the moment to plant that boxwood hedge you dream of, or simply add some specimens to your garden – don’t wait.