© RHS/Tim Sandall



Botanical name: Buxus

Box is usually grown as a clipped, formal plant or hedge, although there are many types that are ideal for naturalistic planting too. While box has been a traditional stalwart in gardens for centuries, it is now proving more difficult to grow well due to pests and disease marring its neat appearance.


Box has small glossy dark green leaves throughout the year, held on a woody framework of branches. It is often clipped into neat formal shapes, such as balls, cones or low hedges.


Box thrives in moist but well-drained soil, rich in organic matter. It is happy in containers as well as borders, in everything from full sun to dense shade. It copes well with regular trimming.


It will struggle in waterlogged soil or really dry conditions. Harsh weather can damage its glossy green foliage, but it should soon recover.

Did you know?

The leaves of box plants have a distinctive aroma that is strongest in hot weather – some people love the smell, others hate it!

Growing guide

Box we recommend

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Useful advice

Box blight

Box blight

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Box sucker

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Box tree caterpillar

Box: problems

Box: problems

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