Buxus / Boxwood

boxwoodHere’s a plant we think of as too formal, too boring, too (fill in the blank). But I suspect our criticisms of boxwoods are based primarily on the way they’re traditionally grown — pruned to soldierly uniformity, despite the less than robust good health enjoyed by plants thus brutalized by shearers. (The poor plants must whimper in dread when they see gardeners approaching with the damn things.)

The boxwood you see here is called ‘Green Ice’ — it’s a hybrid between B. sempervirens (common, American or English boxwood) and Asian boxwoods (B. microphylla), which are much more tolerant of cold, heat, disease and insects. The details below apply to it and similar hybrids, like ‘Green Gem,’ ‘Green Mountain,’ and ‘Green Velvet’.


  • Very resistant to disease and insects.
  • Hardy in Zones 5-8. (The Korean variety survives Zone 4.)
  • Grows 3-4′ tall and wide.
  • Full sun or part shade.