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Boxwood

Boxwoods

Boxwood Hedges have always been distinguished as superior plant choices within any landscape design however knowing how to care for them is key to sustaining excellence. Selecting the right cultivar is crucial because in Michigan, winter hardiness zone is the foundation to a vibrant boxwood hedge. In the last decade much has been said in the media and government about global warming and many have become too comfortable with selecting Boxwoods that are hardy up to zone 5 instead of the long standing zone 4 which we have been always told to adhere too. Despite whatever your opinions are about how real global warming is it doesn’t mean you should risk centuries of wisdom by opting to spend hard earned money on plants that may not survive beyond 5 years due to a swing in harsh winter conditions. “Green Velvet” and “Mountain Top” are two of my favorite cultivars to select instead of “Winter Gem”.

Just like heading off to the grocery store with a list of your needs, this list should help you during the selection process should unforeseen inventory challenges occur.

There are 3 main varieties of Boxwoods; Common Boxwoods, Japanese Boxwoods and Korean Boxwoods. Since there are over 400+ cultivars of Common Boxwoods alone coupled with the Hybrids which are a cross between the afore mentioned varieties please keep in mind that these selections are merely suggesting what I believe to be the best. Their zone (cold hardiness), color, growth habit and sun/ shade tolerance are all listed on tags but what about pest resistance and odors? What we’ve learned is that sometimes a tag may be missing crucial traits or even listing an incorrect hardiness zone thereby subjecting your plants to harsher extremes than it is fully capable of handling.

Green Mountain Boxwood

  • Canadian Hybrid (Common x Korean)
  • Zones 4b-9 {picture}
  • Doesn’t have the smell as most commons do
  • Susceptible to Leafminers
  • Nice dark color during winter months
  • Least prone to root rot
  • Susceptible to Boxwood Blight
  • Great replacement for Alberta Spruces

Vadar Valley Boxwood

  • Common Boxwood
  • Zones 5b-9 {picture}
  • Most resistant to Leafminers but very subject to psyllids
  • Great green color but must be protected from winter sun
  • For those who like the fragrance this one has it
  • Great storied past having been discovered in Macedonia in 1935

Winter Gem Boxwood

  • Canadian Hybrid (Japanese x Korean)
  • Zones 5-9 {picture}
  • Very dense little leaf foliage
  • Quicker growth and recovery potential
  • Vibrant green color to brighten a sightline
  • Susceptible to Leafminers but easiest to control using systemics
  • Extremely prone to Boxwood Blight Disease

Green Velvet Boxwood

  • Hybrid (Japanese x Korean)
  • Zones 4-9 {picture}
  • Excellent color retention all seasons
  • Susceptible to Leafminers but easily controlled using systemics
  • Requires well-drained soils

Insects can also cause extensive damage. The insect shown in the image below inside the Boxwood leaf is called a Leaf Miner. This insect can be controlled by applying a systemic insecticide into the soil along with a high quality liquid tree fertilizer.


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