American Boxwood

American Boxwood

Plant Name: American Boxwood

Category: Shrub 

The cold hardy, drought tolerant American Boxwood grows to a mature height of 10-12 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide. These dark green, shiny, evergreen shrubs are easy to maintain, are both pest and disease resistant, and can withstand excessive snow and ice, without breaking. 

Scientific Name: Buxus sempervirens

Common Name(s): Common Boxwood or American Boxwood

Family: Buxaceae

Hardiness Zones: 5-9

Uses: dense privacy screens, hedges, edging, accents, or specimen plants.

Height: 10-12 ft

Spread: 8-10 ft

Shape: Wide-spread, oblong shape (from ground up)

Leaf Color: Shiny, Dark green (upper surface) Pale Green (lower surface) 

Leaf Texture: Smooth

Fall Color: Evergreen

Bloom Time: Mid-Spring

Bloom Color: Tiny “white” flowers

Roots: Broad, and shallow 

Spacing: 3-5 ft


Growing Zones


Light Requirement: Full sun – partial shade

Optimal pH: 6.5-7.0

Salt Tolerance: Moderate

Soil Tolerance: Well-drained

Pest Resistance: Resistant to Most

Soil Preference: loamy; sand, silt, and clay


Pests: While pest seem to be attracted to boxwoods in general, they do not care for the American Boxwood. However, if you see any pests, you may be looking at a Boxwood Mite, Boxwood Psyllid, or Boxwood Leafminer. These pests, generally small in size, will invade your plants leaves, eating away at their sap, or building mines in them. To rid your boxwood from these nasty nuisances, use a spray or an insecticide.

Diseases: The hardy American Boxwoods are disease resistant but because some things are beyond your control, your boxwood may fall prey to certain diseases. Some of the diseases prone to boxwoods are Decline (Twig Blight, Die-back), Canker, Root Rot, and Nematodes.

Check to make sure you have the proper ph levels, and soil conditions, and make sure that you are not over-watering or under-watering your boxwood. Sometimes these things can put them at higher risk for disease. Should your boxwoods get one of these diseases, just spray your plants with a half-water/ half dish detergent soap mixture. If this does not help to cure it, then hit it with a spray-on fungicide, or a spray-on insecticide.

Planting Directions: To plant your hardy American Boxwood, you will want to remove all grass and rocks from the planting area, and break-up any existing clumps of dirt. Dig a hole slightly shallower than the height of the root ball, and place the boxwood into the hole, leaving just the tip (the root flare) of the root ball above the ground. Slowly return half the soil back into the hole, pack it firmly, and water well. Then, finish filling the hole with the remaining soil, and water slowly at the base. Remember to mulch around the tree about 2’-3’ up to but not touching the trees trunk. This will help keep your tree warm and moist for optimum growth.

Fertilizing: Fertilizing your Boxwoods can promote root growth, and provide the best results, especially when you fertilize in late fall. A 10-6-4, granular product is best, and it should be applied around the base of the plant, just beyond the drip line, where the most active roots are located. But you do not want to fertilize unless your Boxwood Shrubs are mulched and your soil is moist, in an effort not to burn up your plant. 

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