Boxwoods are wonderful plants for every garden. These mounds of small leaves make great backgrounds for flowering shrubs, perfect miniature hedges, specimens to dot around randomly or arrange in patterns, and of course they are perfect for placing in planters and pots for that formal look around your home. The problem is that many are not especially hardy, so in colder areas like zones 4 and 5 the choices are very limited, and almost all of them will suffer some winter foliage loss, or burning, meaning that in spring they need restorative trimming, and time to re-sprout, before they look great again.
At least, that was true until the Green Ice® Boxwood came along. This hybrid boxwood is set to become the ‘go-to’ variety for all gardeners in cold areas, because it holds its lovely olive-green leaf color perfectly through the coldest weather, and it comes out in spring looking just as good as it did in fall.
Growing Green Ice® Boxwoods
The Green Ice® Boxwood grows vigorously and rapidly to a height of between 2 and 4 feet tall, forming a dense mound of many leafy branches. A mature plant will be about 3 feet wide, and untrimmed plants are usually a little taller than they are wide. The whole plant is covered in tiny olive-green leaves, which are oval and about three-quarters of an inch long. Plants that are regularly trimmed will have significantly smaller leaves. The leaves are glossy and smooth, with smooth edges and a very neat appearance.
The new leaves in spring are paler-green, with an attractive bluish tone to them, which disappears as the leaves mature to a rich green. The great feature of this plant is the permanence of the green color, throughout very cold weather down into zone 4. As well, some people find boxwood gives off a disagreeable smell, which is completely absent from this plant, so if you find boxwood ‘smelly’, then choose Green Ice.
Planting and Initial Care
The Green Ice® Boxwood is easy to grow in almost any part of the garden, from full sun to light full shade. The growth will be thinner in very shaded areas, and you should give more attention to water and fertilizer if it is growing beneath large trees and shrubs. It will grow in almost any garden soil, preferring moist, well-drained, sandy soil with plenty of organic material added. This boxwood is usually free of the pests and diseases that can bother other boxwood varieties. If grown in raised pots or urns in zones 4 and 5, it is best to remove the plants in late fall and bury the roots in the garden, to protect them from cold. Replace them in the urns in early spring.
Uses on Your Property
You can use the Green Ice® Boxwood virtually everywhere in your garden. The traditional use for boxwood is for low hedges to surround beds or terraces, and this one is ideal. Its exceptionally vigorous growth means it responds well to trimming, becoming very, very dense, with a solid surface you will love to see. For a hedge, place your bushes in a row, allowing 12 to 15 inches between each plant.
The Green Ice® Boxwood can also be trimmed into round balls and low pyramids, in the same way as suggested to create a hedge. These formal features look perfect at the corners of lawns, or in pairs along a pathway, or to mark an entrance. These globes can also be planted in attractive planter boxes, pots or urns, and used on either side of a doorway, on a patio, or in other locations. In planters it can be grown alone for a more modern look or surrounded by trailing and flowering plants for more color and variety.
Boxwood is also used in Japanese gardens, where groupings of plants are trimmed into informal cloud-like patterns, called Niwaki. You can do this to give your Asian-inspired planting greater authenticity. In less formal gardens, let your Green Ice® Boxwoods grow naturally, without trimming, into wonderful irregular mounds of green among your other plants.
Care and Maintenance
Trim lightly as they grow, keeping the top a little narrower than the bottom, so that your hedge remains green right to the ground. You can easily maintain a hedge that is less than 12 inches tall and just a few inches wide, or you can quickly grow it larger to as much as 3 feet tall. Once your hedge is mature, trim lightly in spring, before the new growth appears, and then again in early summer once the new growth has matured to its final color. A second trimming may be needed in late summer, depending on the location, soil fertility, watering and temperatures.
History and Origins of the Green Ice® Boxwood
The Green Ice® Boxwood was discovered as a chance seedling by Marlene Krasinsky and Robert E.Bayusik, in 1964 in the town of Portage, Pennsylvania. Its exact parentage is unknown, but its appearance suggests it is a hybrid between the English Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) and the Korean Boxwood (Buxus sinica var. insularis). Its unusually vigorous growth also suggests it is a hybrid plant.
Noticing its properties, they tested this plant for years, sending plants to be grown in different regions, to find out its hardiness. It passed with flying colors, and it is highly-recommended for colder areas, where winter burning is a problem, but also in warmer places, for its toughness and vigor. The plant was trademarked as Green Ice, and patented, for its unique combination of properties, in 1999. Because a plant cannot have a trademark name as a cultivar name, ‘Krazgreen’ is the usual cultivar name given to this plant.
Boxwood is such a useful plant in the garden, and the Green Ice® Boxwood is a top choice. We always ship large numbers of boxwood across the country, so our stocks of this exceptional variety will not be with us long. Order now, and never look at burned boxwoods again – but do it soon, or they will be gone.