Korean boxwood in containers anyone?

kimcocoApril 22, 2009

Wondering if anyone in Wisconsin has boxwood that they grow in urns for the growing season? My second choice would be a smaller Rhododendron, since this is east facing with only partial sunlight in the morning, dappled.

I'd like to do this in my urns at the front of my house, and then overwinter them possibly in the garage over the winter. According to what I've seen on the internet, Korean boxwood would probably be my best choice for this.

If you do this, tell me the best way to overwinter.

Comments, suggestions?

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Hi Kim
I've started a couple dozen Korean Boxwoods from cuttings from my plants in the yard, and they overwinter in pots just fine right out in the open. I live in Manitowoc near Lake Michigan and we're considered zone 5. So the K Boxwoods should be fine left outside over winter. Of course, you might lose your pots if they are cement or pottery unless you cover them to keep excess water out. The little boxwoods I have growing in just the nursery-type black plastic pots have survived several winters now, just sitting on the ground in a planting area. One of these years I'll find a place to plant them out in the yard.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 5:17PM
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Rachel, do you know the exact cultivar? I went to the nursery today and when I asked them if they carried korean boxwood, the response I got was that all boxwood are Korean. They didn't understand what I was asking for.

What they carry are the Sheridan cultivars which are Green Mountain, Green Velvet, Green Gem, and Buxus Glencoe Chicagoland Green. I believe these are hybrids between Buxus microphylla var. koreana and Buxus sempervirens.

I believe the Korean boxwood I'm looking for is
B. sinica var. insularis 'Wintergreen', hardy to zone 4, but I'm finding conflicting info on the web - it states that Korean Boxwood Buxus microphylla var. koreana also has a cultivar named 'Wintergreen', and the more I research I'm finding that Korean boxwood (Buxus sinica var. insularis), is formerly known by a different scientific name (Buxus microphylla var. koreana), so they're one and the same??? And then I found that there is little leaf wintergreen and big leaf wintergreen.

As I'm rambling on here...my intention is to use these in my urns during the growing season, and then store them in my detached garage, or yard in containers, for the winter months. I don't keep soil in my urns over the winter season.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 2:35AM
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I have no idea what cultivar of boxwood I have, but the leaves are very dark green and smaller than the plants my one daughter has. Both of our boxwoods survive the winters well. I'm only about a mile from Lake Michigan, and she lives at Reedsville about 20 miles inland. So our climates differ a little during the winter. I think I'd dig the boxwoods into the garden over winter, then repot them in the urns for the summer. I'm not sure how they would react to being in an enclosed place all winter. Leaving them outside with possibly a little protection would be better for them, as the exposure to light and water outside would be better than what you could achieve in a garage. The thing I like best about boxwood is the way it smells on a very warm day. It's the same smell that came from all the boxwoods surrounding the gardens and lawns in Williamsburg, Virginia. There is also more than just Korean Boxwood. There is also an English Boxwood, but I don't think the English boxwood is as hardy as the Korean.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:54PM
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I have 3 Green Mountain boxwood. They have been moved nearly every year for the last 5 years as my garden has been evolving. Durable and hardy, they put on new growth in spring regardless of the unavoidable root pruning they receive. You might notice that they get droopy after transplanting if not kept well watered.

If you have the room, I'd put them into the ground as Rachel suggested, although I wouldn't surprise me if they did fine in the garage as long as it is bright and they aren't allowed to dry out.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 6:40AM
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I called Lieds nursery today and they have the Korean boxwood I'm looking for ....woohoo...can't wait to plant them in my urns. I'm on 1/8 acre, so it will be a struggle to find somewhere to put these in the ground for the winter, but I'll figure out something.

I also purchased about 7 Green Mountain boxwood as I've read those take shearing well. I want to plant these as a hedge. $5 a piece at Steins for 1 gallon pots, regular price $11.99. Not bad, huh?

Janet, you sound like me moving everything around every year. I have Green Velvet boxwood that are being moved for the third year in a row, but after this I THINK it will be their permanent location. LOL.

Thanks for the feedback.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Gardens aren't static and neither are my visions. lol

Am I right about your boxwoods growing despite the moves? To me, boxwoods are under-rated. Still hard to place in the garden because they have so much presence.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:08PM
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Janet, you are exactly right about the boxwood! Every time I move them I expect them to decline, but they get bigger every year, no matter what time of year they're moved. I did get a little winterburn this year, but that was my fault for not covering them completely.

I started off with a few, now I have a Green Gem boxwood hedge lining my retaining wall, Green Velvet up front and back, Green Gem in the back yard, and my newest Green Mountain (7 of them).

For the ones I haven't moved, they grow considerably within a couple of years. Wouldn't give them up. I have one in almost full shade, Green Velvet, and that's a little more open in appearance, but still nice and healthy.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:46PM
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