Green Borders Boxwood

Buxus microphylla var. japonica 'Grebor' (PPAF)

Green Borders Boxwood

Buxus microphylla var. japonica 'Grebor' (PPAF)

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood is a selected form of this hardy species, and the perfect plant for hedges. It grows just 2 or 3 feet tall, but spreads up to 4 feet wide, allowing you to create hedges with a minimal number of plants. Its horizontal branching structure means dense growth right to the ground, and plants that fill in well. The small leaves give super-dense surfaces, even with minimal trimming. Use it also for borders where you want width but not height. Grow it informally, or in undulating cloud forms. This tough and reliable plant is the perfect all-round boxwood.

  • A lower, spreading variety ideal for making hedges
  • Excellent dense form for border specimens too
  • Small leaves for that classic, dense, ‘boxwood’ look
  • Broad growth allows maximum spacing for dense hedges
  • Excellent winter hardiness in zone 5

Full sun will make the Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood dense and solid, but it will also grow in partial shade. It is winter-hardy in zone 5, and heat-resistant in zone 9 – places where English boxwood does badly. It grows vigorously, and is generally untroubled by boxwood pests or diseases, if grown with regular water and fertilizing. Deer normally ignore it. Trim between spring and early fall, as needed, using sharp shears to avoid leaf browning.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 3-4
Mature Height 2-3
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 5-9

The classic – and still very popular – use for boxwood is as low edging and hedges. With the profusion of varieties available it can be easy to buy the wrong one for a hedge, but you can’t go wrong when you choose the Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood. For hedges, formal or informal, or for low planting, this variety has everything you need. It grows just a couple of feet tall – the perfect height – but it spreads outwards, giving a dense hedge to the ground with the maximum possible spacing (and plant economy) The horizontal branching pattern means you will keep branches right to the ground for ever, with good dense sides, and accidental gaps will soon fill in again. Plus, the small leaves give exactly that fine, dense look that makes boxwood so special. Finally, this is a variety of the dependable and cold-resistant Japanese boxwood, the ideal variety for cooler zones – and hot ones too. So much more successful than the English boxwood in all but the mildest areas. No more winter bronzing and dead branches throughout zone 5, and good results with some winter protection even in zone 4. Wherever you want a broad, spreading boxwood for hedges, mass planting, or cloud pruning in your Japanese-influenced garden, you can’t go wrong when you plant Green Borders.

Growing the Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood

Size and Appearance

The Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood is a selected variety of this cold-hardy species, the one most recommended for American gardens. An evergreen shrub, it has small leaves, no more than ¾ of an inch long and ½ an inch wide, arranged close together along the stems. They are glossy and smooth, oval-shaped with a broad, bluntly-pointed tip. New growth is a bright, light green and older leaves are a dark, rich, emerald-green. What makes this plant so special is the horizontal branching structure. The branches push outwards more than upwards, producing a low bush 2 to 3 feet tall, but one that is up to 4 feet wide. The leaves hold well during cold weather, without significant leaf-loss, and they stay green, with only minimal bronzing in cold zones. Older plants, especially if unpruned, may develop clusters of greenish-yellow flowers along the stems in spring. These are inconspicuous, but interesting.

Using the Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood in Your Garden

This versatile plant can be grown without trimming as a casual evergreen around your home or in beds, planted singly or in clusters of 3, 5, or more. Although usually trimmed, boxwood bushed develop interesting mounded forms – in this case broad and low – that add lots of character as they mature. They can be trimmed minimally to emphasize this natural form as it develops. With its broad form, this variety is perfect for hedges, where it will stay dense and low. The broad form means you can plant up to 2 feet apart and still develop a dense hedge, although we recommend 18 inches as the maximum spacing.


Like all Japanese boxwood, Green Borders grows well in both zones 5 and 9 – areas where English boxwood doesn’t grow well. Everywhere in between it grows well too, and this species is the most reliable boxwood for American gardens.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

The Green Borders Japanese Boxwood will grow well in full sun and partial shade, even tolerating light full shade, but developing a more open growth structure. Maximum light will give the densest and most vigorous bushes. It grows well in almost any well-drained soil, only failing when planted in wet, boggy conditions. Once established it has reasonably drought tolerance, handling ordinary summer dry periods well.

Maintenance and Pruning

Although with some susceptibility to the pests and diseases that can bother all boxwoods, if fed regularly and watered during dry weather, this variety will normally grow without problems. It can be trimmed at any time from early spring to early fall. Don’t trim too late, as immature leaves are more prone to winter damage, and don’t trim during hot, dry periods, as the foliage may scorch. Always trim so that the sides of your hedge slope outwards slightly, to maintain light exposure, and therefore leaves, all the way to the ground. A narrow top – rounded or flat – is less likely to break in heavy snow.

History and Origin of the Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood

The Green Borders Boxwood is a selected form of the Japanese Boxwood, Buxus microphylla var. japonica. It is the most cold-resistant of all boxwood species. We don’t yet have detailed information on the origins of this variety, officially called ‘Grebor’, but we do know it was developed at the nursery of the Greenleaf Nursery Company in El Campo, Texas. It was probably a selected branch mutation of an older variety of boxwood, spotted by sharp-eyed nursery workers. It is waiting to receive a patent, and it has been released as Green Borders™, through Garden Debut, a Greenleaf subsidiary that makes valuable new garden plants available to gardeners across the country.

Buying the Green Borders™ Japanese Boxwood at the Tree Center

We know this new variety is going to be the answer to the question, “What is the best boxwood for hedges?” But it won’t stop there, because with its broad, low form it is also ideal for border planting in the foreground or middle-ground of your beds. The demand is going to be huge, so while we still can ship to you, order now.

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Green Borders Boxwood

Buxus microphylla var. japonica 'Grebor' (PPAF)