Skywalker™ BoxwoodBuxus sempervirens 'Sky Walker' (PP#22,977)
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Buxus sempervirens 'Sky Walker' (PP#22,977)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Sky Walker® Boxwood is the fastest growing boxwood of them all, adding as much as 30 inches in a year, and reaching 20 feet or even more, while staying just a few feet wide at the base. All the growth is dense and entirely vertical, making it very easy to grow an extremely narrow pyramid of green, and train it into unique topiary forms. Use it for a vertical accent in a bed or beside a door or gate. This eye-catching and unique plant is sure to be a hit, and really add interest in any garden.
Plant the Sky Walker® Boxwood in full sun, or just a little shade, to keep the growth dense and vigorous. It will grow in any well-drained soil, needing rich, moist soil and plenty of nutrients to achieve its maximum growth potential. Pests are rare and this variety is resistant to common root diseases that can kill other boxwood varieties. Trim it from spring to late summer as needed to create the form you want. Even untrimmed it will stay incredibly narrow.
Boxwoods are usually plants for small to medium-sized hedges, or for globes and pyramids to give a more formal touch to your garden. Very different are a small group of boxwoods that have tightly-upright growth, making tall, very slender spires. There are only a few, but one, the Sky Walker Boxwood, is also the fastest growing boxwood known, adding 30 inches of growth in a year, compared to the 6 to 12 inches we expect from most other boxwood varieties. It will grow more or less indefinitely upwards, really living up to its name, and stay slim, even if untrimmed. This plant soon becomes a very striking specimen, and it can be trimmed into any form you want, including tall poodle forms, or slender spirals. It is also perfect if you want a tall column for a small space, or an accent in a bed. A plant you can really have fun with, this remarkable bush is also easy to grow and resistant to root diseases.
The Sky Walker Boxwood is a slender evergreen shrub that grows rapidly, with a very narrow pyramidal form, to become over 20 feet tall in time and no more than 6 feet wide across the base. It can be maintained by trimming to be as slender a spire as you want, giving lots of height even in a very narrow space. It will develop several vertical stems in time, or with pruning it can be kept to a single central stem. The stems almost all grow vertically upwards, and this plant makes only minimal sideways growth, particularly when it is young, resulting in an extremely narrow profile. The leaves are dark green and glossy, 1¼ inches long and ¾ of an inch wide, with a smooth oval shape. Growth is probably the most rapid of any boxwood, and under good conditions you could see 30 inches of new growth in a year, with 18 to 24 inches being typical for young, vigorous plants.
If you are looking for a striking and eye-catching focal plant, this is it. This plant will become a real conversation piece that you can train or trim as your imagination takes you or grow as a simple vertical column which will be a dramatic accent in your garden. Grow a single plant in a bed, or on a lawn, or grow a pair framing a gate or doorway. Grow an avenue along a path, or several against a wall – the possibilities are endless with this exciting plant.
The Sky Walker Boxwood is hardy from zone 6 to zone 8, covering a large part of the country.
Full sun will give the tightest growth, but a couple of hours of shade during the day will be easily tolerated. Too much shade will make the growth weak and will not give such good results.
This plant is hardy, but it benefits from regular watering and some evergreen fertilizer, to give the strongest and fastest growth. It is normally not seriously affected by pests, and it has excellent resistance to root diseases that can affect some boxwood varieties badly. It has moderate drought resistance once well-established, but regular watering during dry periods will be appreciated.
If you live in an area with much snow or ice in winter, we recommend staking, especially when young, until a thicker stem develops. Use a tall steel rod, as tall as you want to grow your plant, and drive it well into the ground directly behind it. Attack the stems loosely with nylon cord and watch that it doesn’t cut into the stems as they grow. The foliage will soon make this stake invisible. If you have planted it against a wall then you can attach it directly to the wall, with cord attached to small ring screws. With its fast growth rate you can trim at just about any time, although it is best to allow new growth to mature before trimming – you will see the leaves darken in color and become more glossy. Avoid trimming late in fall, as new growth should mature before the arrival of cold weather.
The natural form of the English boxwood, Buxus sempervirens, is a rounded bush or small, multi-stem tree. It once grew wild across much of Europe and the British Isles, but natural areas of it are rare today, due to reduction of natural spaces, and its harvesting for objects needing very hard, fine-grained wood. The original plants grown in America came from seed brought from Amsterdam in 1653, and those plants today are what we call American boxwood. It is larger and more vigorous than the modern English boxwood, a compact variety called ‘Suffruticosa’. Like all living things, each seed produces a unique individual, and over the years gardeners and nursery growers have found many unique individuals among boxwoods. The variety called ‘Sky Walker’ is perhaps to boxwood what a Harlem Globetrotter is to the rest of us – very tall. It was found by Mark Ellerbrook at his West Oregon Nursery in Beaverton, Oregon, in the spring of 2003, in a field of ordinary English boxwood plants. His sharp eyes spotted a branch on one plant that was incredibly vertical and tall, so he took cuttings from it, tested it, and found he had something unique. These changes on an existing plant are called ‘branch sports’, and this one was a random mutation that changed the growth habit of the stem. His plant was granted a patent in 2012, and it is grown under license by just a few select growers
We are very excited that we have been able to find a top-quality source of this remarkable boxwood, and we know you will love how it grows for you. The supply of these plants is very limited, so our stock will soon run out. Order now and be ready to reach for the sky.