The Winter Gem boxwood is aptly named. As popular and lovely as they may be, most boxwood shrubs have a habit of having their shiny green foliage turn to a shade of bronze and even brown, during harsh winter months. This of course depends upon both the general region the shrub may have been planted in, in addition to its specific location. Cold and drying winter winds are normally responsible for this unfortunate change in color. The Winter Gem boxwood is an exception, at least when planted in those regions where it is known to be hardy. It maintains its green coloration throughout the four seasons. The Winter Gem boxwood still isn't necessarily a good choice in just any region, but as its planting range extends from USDA Zone 5 and up, it can be grown in most parts of the country.
Culture - The Winter Gem is a cultivar of the microphylla species of the Buxus family of shrubs and plants. It grows in full sun or partial shade, and usually to a height of between 2 and 3 feet. When planting several of these boxwood plants for a border or as a garden perimeter, a spacing of 3 to 4 feet between plants is generally recommended. The Winter Gem boxwood is grown for its foliage, and not for its blossoms, which are quite inconspicuous. The flowers are somewhat fragrant however when they do appear in mid-spring. The foliage is a lighter green and the leaves a bit more rounded than is the case with the typical boxwood, but the Winter Gem is a very attractive plant. It can be propagated by hardwood cuttings, the seeds being sterile, but is most always purchased in pots. Should you want to harvest the leaves, don't. All parts of the Winter Gem boxwood are poisonous.
The Winter Gem is an ideal shrub for a formal garden. It takes to shearing and pruning quite well, and can be a landscaping artist's delight. A number of these shrubs, appropriately spaced, can make reasonably complicated patterns, so-called knot patterns, which, when viewed from a height, can be quite outstanding in appearance. If you just have a single plant, placed in the location of your choosing, the plant won't disappoint either.
Winter Gem Boxwood Care
Planting, Fertilizing, And Pruning - When planting the Winter Gem boxwood, simply follow directions given for planting most types of shrubs, separating the roots very slightly when removing the plant from its pot, and watering generously at first, and then less and less as the plant matures. Most shrubs, and the boxwood is no exception, do not particularly benefit from fertilizing the first year they are in the ground. It is far more important to mix some compost into the planting soil, and give the shrub sufficient mulch to help keep the soil moist. After the first year, the boxwood may profit from an application of slow-release fertilizer, usually applied in the spring
Summer is the best time for pruning Winter Gem Boxwood. This plant usually fills back in nicely if you've made a small mistake, or there has been some die-off on a branch or two. The same does not hold true for many evergreen plants, so you can feel free to prune away to your heat's content.
Pests - As far as pests and diseases are concerned, the Winter Gem boxwood faces the same problems as do most other boxwood species or cultivars. The boxwood psyllid, leaf mite, and leaf minor cause the most problems, as does root rot. For the most part though, depending upon where the shrub is located, and how well it is cared for, these problems seldom occur. The Winter Gem is not a high maintenance plant, though it does require sufficient watering initially to enable it to grow a strong root system.
Winter Gem Boxwood Spacing
Plant these 36 inches apart, center on center to create an evergreen hedge. If planting in mass or as a border, you can space at least 48 inches, center on center. Growing these in planters also works well, just be sure to provide enough room for the roots to grow, with a pot at least as wide as the plant.
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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)
Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.
For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)
Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)
We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.
The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.
For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.
Standard Colors: 2-3 business days
Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice
Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations
Time of Order:
- If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.
- We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location
Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.
It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.