Japanese Boxwood

Buxus microphylla

The classy, very hardy Japanese boxwood is the ideal low-maintenance green shrub for South Florida homeowners.

Japanese boxwood

Small, thick leaves, slow rate of growth and a bushy habit make this a dream of a plant for neat freaks and shrub sculptors.

It's perfect for formal, manicured landscaping...or you can just trim occasionally for a nice, natural look like the plant pictured here.

This compact shrub works virtually anywhere - mobile home planters, foundation plantings, under trees, you name it.

It can be used instead of the more typical Schillings holly for a small green shrub - the leaves are a brighter green than Schillings, and Japanese boxwood can take varying degrees of light.

Leaf detail

Plant specs

This wonderfully easy-care shrub grows slowly and can be kept 2 to 3 feet tall.

Cold hardy anywhere in South Florida, this small evergreen boxwood is moderately drought-tolerant once established.

It will grow in any kind of light - from full sun to full shade. Also it's considered a deer-resistant plant (though nothing is deer-proof).

Plant care

Plant with top soil or organic peat moss added to the hole. You can also mix in composted cow manure for soil enrichment.

How much trimming you do depends on how manicured you'd like to keep the plant. Since this little shrub grows slowly, you'll only need to trim occasionally - especially if you don't need a perfectly manicured look.

Regular watering works best but make sure there's enough time for the plant to dry out between waterings. If you don't have irrigation, hand water during dry spells.

Fertilize 3 times a year - spring summer and fall - with a top quality granular fertilizer.

Plant spacing

Since these boxwoods grow so slowly, plant them 2 feet apart if you'd like them to form a low hedge. Come out from the house 2 or more feet.

This shrub makes an easy-care plant for a container or planter.

Landscape uses for Japanese boxwood

  • foundation plant
  • bordering a walkway
  • surrounding a tree or palm
  • low hedge to line a driveway
  • small hedge planting in front of taller hedge shrubs
  • in a container for poolcage, patio, porch or lanai
  • along the edge of a deck, porch or patio

A.K.A. (also known as): Littleleaf Boxwood


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Depending on the amount of sun or shade, consider variegated peperomia, dwarf oyster plant, society garlic, Mexican heather, Aztec grass, African iris, and dwarf chenille.

Other shrubs you might like: Schillings (Dwarf Yaupon) Holly, Indian Hawthorne

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