Content Detail

Korean boxwood is a small, mounded, broadleaf evergreen shrub with small, glossy, light green leaves and a uniform formal habit.

  • Family (English) Boxwood
  • Family (botanic) Buxaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), Small shrub (3-5 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous, Fragrant
  • Shape or form Mounded
  • Growth rate Slow

Native geographic location and habitat:

This boxwood is native to Asia.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

This shrub has simple, opposite oval leaves. They are bright green in the summer and turn brownish-yellow in winter.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

The flowers are inconspicuous but fragrant. 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit is a small, dry capsule which is not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Korean boxwood grows 2 to 2 1/2 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide. Its form is mounded but somewhat open. It does best in full sun or part shade. Tolerant of most soil types but needs good drainage and mulch to keep the root system cool and moist. It is tolerant of aerial salt spray, pruning, and shearing. An extremely hardy plant that is a good choice for northern climates but it does need protection from drying winter winds. 

List of pests, diseases, and problems:

Psyllids and leaf miners are possible insect problems. Root rot can be a problem in wet soils.

Wintergreen (Buxus microphylla var. koreana ‘Wintergreen’)

A cultivar that grows 2 to 3 feet high and wide with a compact form. It maintains its green color in winter better than the species.


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