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Common Box Buxus sempervirens 'Vardar Valley'

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Common Box:

Phonetic Spelling
BUK-sus sem-per-VEE-renz
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

‘Vardar Valley’ boxwood is a woody, broadleaf evergreen, perennial shrub or tree in the Buxaceae (boxwood) family. It is is one of the most cold hardy cultivars of boxwood and has distinctive blue-green leaves.  While this dense, mounding shrub can grow 2 to 3 feet in height and 3 to 6 feet in width it only puts on an average of 2 inches a year. 

Plant in well-drained sandy or clay soil in full sun to partial shade. Avoid areas where drainage is poor as this can lead to root rot. Morning sun is best.  Plants grown in full shade suffer in appearance with more sparse foliage. When growing in full sun be mindful of leaf scorch, especially if plants receive reflected heat from hardscape elements.  Protect from winter winds which can cause dehydration and bronzing. Protect shallow roots with a heavy layer of mulch and avoid cultivation around the shallow roots as this can damage the plant. Pruning is tolerated, even heavy pruning but only after the last frost as the new growth is tender and can be easily damaged by cold temperatures.  

‘The new growth on Vardar Valley’ boxwood is powdery blue-green fading to deep green. Pale green or gold non-showy flowers appear in the spring with a delicate fragrance that attracts bees. Plants are resistant to deer and rabbits along with insect pests like leaf miners and mites and the disease boxwood blight.

'Vadar Valley' has branches that extend to the ground making it a good choice for a border front.  Plant it in small groups or prune it into topiaries in formal English or cottage gardens.  Use it along foundations or shear it into a low narrow hedge. This plant can be grown in large containers on a patio or dot it along a sloped area in the landscape. Its evergreen foliage makes a nice addition to a winter garden or a rock garden, and its heady fragrant flowers  or a pollinator garden.  

Quick ID Hints:

  • The leaf is glossy with a smooth leathery feel.
  • Leaf color is a bluish green.
  • The leaf is elliptical or oblong and simple.
  • Leaf arrangement is opposite.
  • Stem has a square shape instead of round.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Boxwood psyllids are occasional insect problems. Susceptible to leaf spot. New growth is easily damaged by late frosts.

VIDEO Created by Elizabeth Meyer for "Trees, Shrubs and Conifers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Buxus sempervirens.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#fragrant flowers#small spaces#specimen#slow growing#bonsai#winter interest#slopes#cottage garden#accent plant#rabbit resistant#mass planting#topiary#hedges#deer resistant#foundation planting#formal garden#cold tolerant#English garden#border front#small group plantings#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#container plant#low hedge
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#fragrant flowers#small spaces#specimen#slow growing#bonsai#winter interest#slopes#cottage garden#accent plant#rabbit resistant#mass planting#topiary#hedges#deer resistant#foundation planting#formal garden#cold tolerant#English garden#border front#small group plantings#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#container plant#low hedge
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Buxus
    Species:
    sempervirens
    Family:
    Buxaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Boxwood blight
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Dehiscent capsule 1/3" long that matures to brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Pale green non-showy
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leathery green leaves, holds color in winter. Green/blue on top of leaf, yellow on bottom.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Insect Pests
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Dogs and cats: vomiting, diarrhea; Horses: colic, diarrhea, respiratory failure, seizures
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No