Buxus sinica var. insularis 'Winter Gem'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 9 Professionals
Common Name: Korean boxwood
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Buxaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Culture

Best grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, sandy loams with a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH in sun-dappled part shade. Tolerant of pruning and shearing. Avoid cultivating around plants because they have shallow roots. Roots appreciate a good mulch (1-2”). Thin plants and remove dead/damaged branches annually to improve air circulation. Carefully remove heavy snow accumulations from plants as quickly as practicable to minimize stem/branch damage. Among the various types of boxwoods, Korean boxwoods are generally noted for having the best winter hardiness and are good selections for the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Winter Gem’ is a Korean boxwood that typically matures to 2-3’ tall and as wide. It is an evergreen shrub that features small, oval-rounded, dark green leaves. Yellowish-green spring flowers are inconspicuous. Synonymous with and sometimes sold in commerce as Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Winter Gem’ or Buxus microphylla var. koreana ‘Winter Gem.’

Problems

Boxwoods can be somewhat temperamental plants to grow in the St. Louis area where the evergreen foliage tends to bronze (turn unattractive brownish-yellow) in harsh winters, particularly if plants are located in open areas exposed to full sun and winter winds. ‘Winter Gem’ is noted for its ability to retain good green foliage throughout winter, however. If properly sited, plants otherwise require little special care other than annual pruning. No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to blights and leaf spot. Root rot can also be a problem in poorly-drained soils. The three main insect pests of boxwoods are boxwood leaf miner, boxwood mite and psyllids.

Garden Uses

Small hedge or mass as a ground cover. Also useful as specimens or in small groups in a variety of landscape applications including shrub borders or foundation plantings.