The Green Pillar Boxwood grows rapidly into a slender column of green, up to 9 feet tall, but only a foot or two in width. It is perfect for a striking specimen in a bed, or to mark the corners of a terrace with a formal touch. Grow it in planters or boxes for a great look, or use it for a narrow screening hedge, where horizontal space is limited. This variety is cold resistant, and hardy to zone 5. It normally doesn’t brown in winter, so it really is green all year round. Unlike other boxwoods, this one grows naturally upright, so it will not become wide, even if you never trim it – a super-easy accent plant for every garden.
- Upright narrow column of green all year
- Ideal for specimens in planters or beds
- Makes a perfect narrow screen
- Easily grown and cold resistant
- keeps its form without clipping
The Green Pillar Boxwood will grow in almost any well-drained soil, from sand to clay. It benefits from the addition of organic material when planting, and as an annual mulch, and it has some drought resistance once it is established. Plant it in full sun or partial shade. Feed regularly for the fastest growth and greenest leaves. This variety needs no trimming to stay narrow and neat, but an occasional trim will keep it perfect. In areas with heavy winter snow, permanent staking is recommended to protect your tree from falling under the weight of snow.
Everyone loves neat boxwood – as an accent plant or for smaller hedges, it can’t be beaten. Sometimes gardeners spent a lot of time trimming boxwood into shapes they need, without realizing that there are many varieties of this plant, so whatever shape you want there is certainly going to be a plant that grows that way naturally. Slim, vertical accents are always beautiful in the garden, and slender plants make perfect hedges in narrow places. If you are looking for vertical and slender, in boxwood with dense foliage and small leaves that stay green all winter, then look no further than the Green Pillar Boxwood – it has it all.
The Green Pillar Boxwood is a slender plant that will grow to around 9 feet tall, but it will remain between just 1 and 2 feet wide. It needs no trimming to keep that form, as the stems are naturally very vertical, with no tendency to grow outwards. The leaves are small, and especially glossy, making a great show in your garden. It is perfect for a bold vertical accent in your beds or planted in boxes or pots. Many homes have side boundaries with little space between your house and the property line, and yet you want privacy. A plant that grows tall, but remains slim, is exactly what you need for a difficult location like that. You can plant a row of the Green Pillar Boxwood, spacing the plants 18 inches apart, and you will have a screen well above eye-level that hardly takes up any horizontal width at all.
Growing Green Pillar Boxwood Shrubs
Grow the Green Pillar Boxwood in full sun or partial shade. Some afternoon shade is a good thing in warmer zones. Even in zone 5, this boxwood will not brown in winter, so you can use it for an all-year green color accent among your flowering shrubs. Use it to mark out a pathway, or accent the corners of a terrace. It grows in most garden soils, and once established it is moderately drought resistant, although some water during dry spells will always be appreciated. Enrich the soil with organic material when planting, and mulch around the plants in fall with more. Doing this in fall will keep the soil warmer, and also give additional protection against winter browning. Be careful to keep the mulch off the foliage and stems.
The Green Pillar Boxwood has a naturally neat and upright form, so it can be grown without trimming. For a very neat and perfect pillar, trimming once or twice a year is best. Do this in late summer, and again after the first flush of growth in spring. Allow the foliage to darken and mature before trimming. Trimmed plants, especially when grown in containers, should be fed regularly, to replace the food reserves removed by clipping. Boxwoods respond well to fertilizers with higher levels of nitrogen, such as blends for evergreens. Liquid fertilizer is best for containers, and newly planted bushes, but granular slow-release forms save work once your plants in the garden are mature, as they only need to be applied once a year. If you want to grow this plant to its maximum height and keep it very slender, you should place a permanent stake inside the foliage, close to the central stem, and tie it every six inches with a soft and slightly loose tie. This is especially important in colder areas with heavy winter snow, as the snow can push the plants down if they are not staked. There are some possible pests and diseases on boxwood, but is grown in well-drained soil, and kept growing vigorously, with an occasional trimming, your plants will stay free of serious problems.
History and Origins of Green Pillar Boxwood Shrubs
The American boxwood, Buxus sempervirens, is not native to America. It was brought from Holland in 1653 and planted on Long Island, N.Y. Only later did the English and other Europeans start using a smaller form of boxwood, called ‘Suffruticosa’, for hedges in their small gardens. That became what we today call English Boxwood. So the American boxwood was developed in different directions by American gardeners and nurserymen. The first tall but narrow boxwood was probably found at the National Arboretum, Washington D.C. around 1971, although it might also have been developed in England, we just don’t have detailed records. It is called ‘Graham Blandy’. Since then there have been selections made from that plant, which showed improvements over the original. The variety we call ‘Green Pillar’ has better winter resistance than the original, and this plant may also need less clipping to keep its slender shape. We think it might have been developed at a nursery in Oregon.