What is a Green Gem Boxwood?

Vasanth S.
Vasanth S.
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Man mowing the grass

A green gem boxwood is a shrub that is part of the Buxaceae plant family. It is a dwarf variety that develops into a dense ball shape, and landscapers often use the plant as a hedge or as an edging shrub around a garden. The shrubs typically grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 4-9.

This plant was produced by crossbreeding two species within the genus Buxus: Buxus microphylla var. koreana and Buxus sempervirens. The first is native to eastern Asia, while the second is native to Europe. It was introduced in Ontario, Canada, by Sheridan Nurseries.

This evergreen shrub typically grows 2 to 4 feet (0.6-1.2 m) in height and width. It features dark green foliage that is densely packed in a mound shape. The foliage becomes slightly bronzed during the fall. In the spring, the green gem boxwood produces small, white flowers, which are usually not very noticeable.

Gardeners should grow the boxwood in well-draining soil that has a neutral pH. The area in which the plant is placed should have exposure to sunlight for optimum growth, but the shrub can thrive in partial shade. It can also thrive in drought conditions for a limited period of time. The first season of a newly planted boxwood requires regular watering to establish a root system and fertilizer in the spring to help with growth. Overgrowth can be controlled by pruning.

This shrub can be used in a variety of landscape designs. As a topiary, it can be pruned into perfect spheres, and it can be planted as a specimen as well. Some plants that can be planted with the green gem boxwood include roses and rhododendrons.

It is best to protect this shrub from the winter wind because it tends to cause the tip of branches to die. These branches should be removed before the new season to promote new growth. Other problems that affect the green gem boxwood include pests and fungal disease. The boxwood mite feeds on the upper and lower surface of leaves and usually causes discoloration, but applying insecticidal soap to the foliage can reduce the infestation. Phytophthora root rot is a fungal disease that affects the roots of this plant, prevent them from absorbing nutrients from the soil. This causes the leaves to bronze.

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Discussion Comments


@rundocuri- I have grown green gem boxwood shrubs for years, and I have a few tips for keeping them healthy throughout a long winter.

Since this is a shrub that doesn't do well when the weather is freezing and there is a lot of snow on the ground for extended periods of time, it's best to protect it from these elements. Planting green gem boxwood shrubs close to a home will allow them extra protection because of the heat from the home. In addition, if a house has an overhanging roof that partially covers the vegetation around it, this is an ideal location for green gem boxwoods. The walls of a house will also shield these shrubs from strong winds.

If you don't have this type of structure, or you don't want to plant these shrubs close to your house, you might want to consider covering them during very cold, wintry forecasts. You can also pile extra mulch around the bases of these plants in the fall, which will help to insulate them from the cold and give them added strength when strong winds are predicted.


I like the looks of the green gem boxwood plant, but I haven't had much luck growing them. Just like the article says, I have found them too sensitive to extremely cold, winter weather. Does anyone have some tips for getting gem boxwood shrubs to thrive, even during a harsh winter?

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