Buxus Sempervirens

Box, Boxwood, Little Leaf Boxwood

Formal gardens have been fashionable around the world since the times of early civilisations and still today they remain popular, especially with the resurgence of Tuscan and Victorian landscape styles. One of the key components of these formal designs is low, clipped hedges that edge the geometric patterns or shapes. These are often referred to as box or boxed hedges. Careful selection of the right plant types for the scale and size of the garden and the climatic conditions are paramount to successful formal hedging. The following selection includes all the most suitable subjects, such as the Buxus, or Boxwood, for a broad range of South African garden conditions.  

Buxus Sempervirens ‘Faulkner’

Buxus Sempervirens, or the common Boxwood, is used all over the cold, northern hemisphere as a hedging plant because it tolerates heavy snow and icy weather. It is extremely versatile, however, and South African gardeners use it extensively for low hedging and topiary.

Buxus Sempervirens ‘Faulkner’ grows into a compact, upright specimen with dense foliage. Left unclipped, the mature height and width is approximately 1m x 90cm.

Buxus is evergreen and very hardy and can be shaped into any form. For gardeners who enjoy ordered and very neat growth without having to do too much maintenance, this plant has become a favourite for containers and low hedges.

Plants should be spaced at 35 cm intervals and the recommended height to which it should be grown is 35 to 50 cm, with a suggested base width of 25 to 35 cm. It has a low growth rate and grows best in cold, temperate climates.

Buxus Microphylla ‘Faulkner’

This compact variety of Buxus is perfect for hedging although it grows very slowly.

It is the ideal plant for formal gardens as it can be shaped successfully into just about any shape you desire. It grows in full sun to light shade reaching about 1m x 90 cm if untrimmed.

What they need

Buxus tolerates a range of light conditions from full sun to fairly dense shade. The plan needs plenty of water in warm weather but will grow practically anywhere, even in high frost and cold areas.

Feed with a nitrogen rich fertilizer in spring and late summer for the best results.

The Gardener