The Green Tower® Boxwood is an amazing, slender and upright variety of the American boxwood, that is perfect for tall but narrow hedges in limited spaces, or for planting to screen walls and fences. It is also perfect for narrow specimens in the garden, and as a feature in pots. It needs no trimming because it naturally grows dense and slim, reaching 8 to 10 feet in about 7 years. It stays between 1 and 2 feet wide, and it becomes denser and more solid as it grows. It can also be trimmed for perfection, becoming very tight and perfectly formed. It grows well in zones 5 to 9, and it never bronzes in the winter cold.
- Tall and slender without trimming
- Reaches 9 feet, but only 2 feet wide
- Stays green all through winter
- Resistant to root rot disease
- Grows 15 inches a year
The Green Tower® Boxwood grows in full sun or partial shade, in almost any well-drained soil, from sand to clay, and acidic or alkaline. It is easy to grow, and this variety is resistant to root rot, a lethal disease that can kill boxwood plants easily. Other pests or diseases are rare or not very important, so this plant will thrive in many different situations. It can be trimmed between spring and early fall, if you want to. This superb variety is the top choice for taller hedges in limited space.
Slender hedges are often exactly what is needed, and so are slender, upright plants, for screening walls and fences, or accenting entrances and steps. The top choice for elegance and the ideal texture is the American boxwood, but why go with just any common variety? Best to choose a carefully selected, special variety – one that is especially slender and upright, green all year, a vigorous grower, and resistant to that deadly boxwood disease, root rot. If you agree, then the Green Tower® Boxwood is your natural choice.
The Green Tower Boxwood grows vigorously, adding up to 15 inches a year to its height after the first year spend establishing its roots, so it will not take long to reach a height of 8 to 10 feet – more than enough for most screens. A major feature of this plant is that even if not trimmed it will stay narrow, no more than 2 feet wide, so it is ideal for those awkward narrow spaces, often between two houses, where you need a tall screen, but you only have a couple of feet available to grow it in. Narrow columns of green also look great in the corners where your house walls change direction, softening the angle and concealing the hard surfaces. It would look fabulous between two windows or planted in a pair either side of an entrance, or at the bottom or top of a set of garden steps. Consider one, or a cluster of three, in your foundation planting, as an attractive element in a bed of shrubs, or featured on a lawn. Grow it in pots and planters for a striking effect. All that, remember, without even trimming it, although if you want to be very formal and neat, boxwood is one of the very best plants there is for formal trimming.
The bright green leaves of the Green Tower Boxwood are small, about 1 inch long and ½ inch wide, with a leathery texture, a glossy surface, and a smooth oval shape. The more you clip the denser your hedge or specimen becomes, and the tighter and smoother the surface. There is something very satisfying about trimmed boxwood, but again, with this plant, you don’t need it to enjoy excellent dense growth and narrow structure. A major feature of this plant too is that the leaves stay wonderfully green all year round, and all through winter, without browning or darkening. Other tall, narrow boxwoods are subject to bronzing of the foliage in colder winters, but not the Green Tower Boxwood, which remains green when the mercury falls.
Then there is the matter of diseases. Many people have had problems with what is perhaps the most serious of all boxwood diseases – root rot. This disease, caused by a soil fungus called Phytophthora, causes the leaves to turn yellow, and the roots to rot. The bark around the base of the tree peels away, and your plant dies. This is the last thing you want to happen to plants in your carefully grown hedge since it will leave gaps that will be difficult to fill. Now root rot is most common in wetter soils, and you might know that your soil is well-drained, so why bother? But why take a chance, when you can grow the Green Tower Boxwood, which has good resistance to this lethal disease? It makes sense to play it safe and choose the best.
Growing Green Tower Boxwood Shrubs
Plant the Green Tower Boxwood in a sunny or partially shaded place. It tolerates quite a lot of shade, and it will grow well in shade where you can see the sky overhead, but not so well in deep shade underneath trees with heavy foliage, especially evergreens. It grows in most garden soils, from acidic to alkaline, and from sand to clay, but it should be well-drained, and not constantly wet. Once established this bush is moderately drought tolerant, but it benefits from watering during longer dry spells. It has few serious pests or diseases. For hedges plant 12 to 15 inches apart, in a row.
History and Origins of Green Tower Boxwood Shrubs
The Green Tower Boxwood is a selected form of the American boxwood, Buxus sempervirens. This tree is not an American native tree, but it derives from plants brought to America from its home in Europe a very long time ago, before Europeans started to grow the smaller variety of the same plant, called ‘Suffruticosa’. That is the variety that we today call English boxwood. The American boxwood grows into a much taller plant, and much faster growing, ideal for making hedges. Greg Rusow is the Vice-President of Monrovia Nursery Company, and at their Dayton, Oregon nursery, in 1995, he was looking at a row of an upright boxwood called ‘Graham Blandy’. He spotted one plant that looked different, and when he examined it more closely it turned out to be very dense and bushy, and it didn’t bronze in winter. It was also resistant to root rot. He patented it in 2004 with the name, ‘Monrue’. This is the plant we know by its registered trademark as the Green Tower® Boxwood.