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Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'

English Boxwood

‘Suffruticosa’ (English) is known for its soft, billowy outline and lush foliage. English boxwood is often referred to as “dwarf boxwood” due to its slow growth rate. However, in an ideal environment, the plant will continue to grow for 75 to 150 years and develop into a very large shrub. As a result, take care to avoid using this plant where it will ultimately be too large for the desired use. English boxwood has a distinct odor. Deer resistant.

  • Slow to medium growth rate; 1"-2" per year

Saunders Brothers has discontinued growing English Boxwood due to it's susceptibility to boxwood blight.


  • Category:Shrubs
  • Hardiness Zone:6-8
  • Height:2 Feet
  • Spread:2 Feet

Additional Information about Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'

‘Suffruticosa’ (English) is known for its soft, billowy outline and lush foliage. English boxwood is often referred to as “dwarf boxwood” due to its slow growth rate. However, in an ideal environment, the plant will continue to grow for 75 to 150 years and develop into a very large shrub. As a result, take care to avoid using this plant where it will ultimately be too large for the desired use. English boxwood has a distinct odor. Deer resistant.

Growing & Maintenance Tips for Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'

English boxwood thrives when left basically unpruned. Never shear. Shearing will increase the foliage density and thus the chance of disease problems. English thrives best when planted in shade to partial shade and left unpruned. Thinning is recommended either in early winter for holiday decorations or in late winter to early spring before new growth appears. This will help sunlight and air to penetrate the canopy of the plant and reduce disease incidence. Use hand pruners.  

English boxwood is very resistant to boxwood leafminer but very susceptible to boxwood blight. Take special attention when planting and caring for English boxwood as it is prone to disease issues. Do not replant it in areas where other English boxwood have died due to disease problems or on sites where English were previously planted. Avoid areas with poor drainage and areas with direct afternoon sun. Monitor soil pH and maintain in 6.5-7.0 range.

Interesting Notes about Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'

Comments: English boxwood in its optimal environment is untouched in its beauty. It has probably been the most extensively planted boxwood in the United States over the past 100 years. However, many people have planted it on undesirable sites and the plant has not done well. If planting English boxwood, take special considerations. If conditions are questionable, consider a different cultivar. Unfortunately, this may be a plant of the past.  

Uses: Medium specimen, foundation plant, foliage for holiday decorations.

Substitutes: ‘Little Missy’, ‘Justin Brouwers’, ‘Green Beauty’, ‘Green Velvet’, ‘Green Mound’, ‘Green Gem’