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Buxus microphylla

small-leaved box

A slow-growing, dense, rounded to spreading shrub to 75cm high, with opposite, rounded to elliptic dark green leaves to 2cm long, that turn bronze in winter. Small yellow-green flowers are produced in the leaf axils in spring

Synonyms
Buxus japonica 'Nana'
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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green Bronze
Position
  • Partial shade
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Buxaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Ingestion may cause stomach upset, contact may irritate the skin. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Buxus can be evergreen shrubs or small trees, with simple, leathery, opposite leaves and clusters of small, pale yellow flowers followed by pale green to brown fruits

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any fertile, well-drained soil, preferably in light shade though will tolerate full sun; in dry soils this can lead to dull foliage and scorching. See box cultivation for more detailed advice

Propagation

Propagate by seed, by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer, or by grafting in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Patio and container plants
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Garden edging
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 8 (evergreens); trim hedges and edging plants in summer. Tolerates hard pruning; this is best done in spring, and followed by feeding and mulching

Pests

May be susceptible to box tree caterpillar, box sucker, mussel scale and red spider mite

Diseases

May be susceptible to leaf spot and box blight

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