Green Velvet Boxwood

Buxus x ‘Green Velvet’

Description & Overview

Green Velvet Boxwood graces landscapes with a full-bodied mounded form, great for use in hedges, foundation plantings, and accenting. Maintaining excellent green foliage, it provides winter interest. This broadleaf evergreen is versatile in poor to rich soil conditions, as well as full sun to slightly shady locations. A key plant in any historical or formal landscape!

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Introduced
Mature Height: 3-4ft
Mature Spread: 4-5ft
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Round, full-bodied globe shape
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Prefers moist, well-drained alkaline soil
Flower: Inconspicuous, fragrant pale green
Bloom Period: Mid Spring
Foliage: Glossy dark green, evergreen
Fall Color: Retains dark green color through winter
Fruit Notes: Small green capsule, inconspicuous

Boxwood are salable in a wide range of Container grown and B&B sizes. Here are some examples.

Mixed sizes of salable B&B Green Velvet Boxwood

Suggested Uses:

Historically utilized as a hedge in formal garden settings, Green Velvet is not confined to just this use. A stately plant for foundations which provides winter interest, it can also be used as an accent or statement plant in the landscape. Although it prefers evenly moist, well-drained soil, it is tolerant of heavy clay soils. It performs well in full sun but can scorch, so a slightly shaded, dappled shade, or morning sun location is ideal.

Wildlife Value:

When used in a hedge, the close-clustered, dense branching structure provides many small native birds shelter from predators such as finches, chickadees, and sparrows.

Maintenance Tips:

Green Velvet Boxwood can be left to grow into its natural mounded habit or pruned to create a hedge. Be sure to complete any annual pruning by the end of September to avoid winter damage. Spacing is important when creating a hedge so that over time they do not become crowded; we recommend no closer than 2 feet apart. Learn more about Hedging & Shearing.


All parts of this plant are toxic meaning deer and rabbits tend to leave it alone.

Newer growth can be more susceptible to winter damage and foliage tends to bronze in harsh winters, especially when exposed to winter winds and intense, full sun. Avoid this by planting in a more protected location and provide dappled sunlight, or early morning sun. After pruning, boxwood is said to have an odor reminiscent of cat urine; however, it doesn’t last all season.

There are no serious insect or disease problems. Boxwood blight is a growing problem in the Midwest – learn more about Johnson’s Nursery Boxwood Blight Compliance.

Leaf Lore:

As all parts of boxwoods are toxic, they don’t have much of a medicinal history; however, boxwoods planted by the door were thought to keep out witches. Witches were known to be habitual counters of leaves on plants. The idea was that if you plant a boxwood by the door, the witch will obsessively be compelled to count the leaves, but the leaves are so small and closer together that the witch would lose her place and have to start over.

The common name ‘boxwood’ is referring to prior use of the wood to make boxes. Green Velvet Boxwood finds its place among many hybrid boxwoods. Specifically, English (B. sempervirens) and Korean (B. microphylla var. koreana).

Companion Plants:

The possibilities for companion plants are endless as boxwood tolerate full sun to shade. Some of our favorites are Summer Wine™ Ninebark, Autumn Fire Sedum, Summer Peek-a-Boo Allium, Red Drift® Rose, and Annabelle Hydrangea.

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