I Love Variegated Boxwood

Oct 18, 2019 | Gardens, Love This!

Name: Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’  aka variegated boxwood.

Type of Plant: A slow growing evergreen shrub that does well in full sun to part shade. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9. 

Why I Love/Hate this plant: Any plant that has variegated foliage adds excitement to the landscape, and the variegated boxwood does just that. Since it’s slow growing, it can cook along for years in a foundation planting without outgrowing its location. I appreciate that I seldom have to prune this plant! Yes, you can shear it into a round, formal ball shape, but in most cases I think it’s more attractive left to its genetically determined shape.

I find that this plant has less winter damage than most green boxwoods. I also know that it grows well with part-day sun.

A Word to the Wise: Place this near shrubs with larger leaves (Rhododendrons or Hydrangeas, for example) or in with needled evergreens or conifers with dark green foliage. It’s also stunning near a purple-foliaged Physocarpus or Diervilla.

This plant has been in my part-sun front garden for nine years. I seldom prune it, and it stays neat and rounded all on its own. It’s only about four feet tall and wide after all of that time, so no fighting with fast growth!

Here is another variegated boxwood growing where it only gets a few hours of morning sun. It looked good with my marigolds, even after they fell over in our latest “bomb cyclone.” 



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