Winter Gem Boxwood (Buxus microphylla japonica ‘Winter Gem’)

Winter Gem Boxwood

  • Cold Hardy Variety of Boxwood
  • Shiny, Dark Green Hedge Plant
  • Low Maintenance
  • Easy to Shape
  • Adds Beautiful Structure
  • Easy to Grow in Full Sun or Part Shade
  • Use in Formal Gardens or Informal Applications
  • Deer Really Don’t Care for this Plant

They say the best garden design should include evergreens. If you use beautiful Boxwood like Winter Gem Boxwood (Buxus microphylla japonica ‘Winter Gem’), we’re sure you’ll agree.

For a tidy landscape, there is nothing – and we mean nothing – like the formal charm of the Boxwood. You can find space for this petite broad-leaved, evergreen shrub all around your yard. It grows well in full sun or part shade.

This great plant is a versatile workhorse. It’s a petite shrub that is really packed with value.

You’ll appreciate the rich green foliage throughout the growing seasons. Rely on sophisticated Boxwood hedging throughout your landscape.

You can imagine that Boxwood plants are a bit like the “neutral-colored clothing” that you use to build an outfit around. It makes a fabulous backdrop for perennials, annuals, roses and more.

If you want a classic, traditional finish for the edges of your garden planting beds, it’s really easy. Just plant a low Boxwood hedge at the edge and keep it trimmed up.

Winter Gem is a forgiving variety that can be sheared into precise shapes. It can be pruned into conical forms or kept clipped as a boxy hedge.

Want to hear a little secret? Use Winter Gem Boxwood as a long, low hedge at the edge of your plantings. Any plantings. (Even the ones you aren’t really thrilled with…) Trust us, this small evergreen shrub will make any planting look as though you meant to do that!

It instantly elevates the tone of your landscape. Newbie or not – this plant is your best friend in the garden!

Boxwood hedges at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and Williamsburg both attest to the longevity of this garden trend.

Winter Gem Boxwood deserves a place in your landscape either as a foundation plant, formal hedge, or mixed in with your container gardens for some year round interest.

Ready for another secret? Winter Gem Boxwood looks great – even if you don’t prune it! This easy care plant naturally grows into a full, compact and rounded shape.

Boxwood looks fantastic in its natural shape. It’s still quite refined, but just a bit fluffier.

Winter Gem Boxwood could be the world’s best foundation plant. Try it trimmed, or let the plants grow out to their full height and width. Either way, you’ll be pleased. You’ll look like a garden genius!

How to Use Winter Gem Boxwood in the Landscape

Winter Gem is a very elegant evergreen with small, shiny leaves that remain on the plant year round. It grows well in either sun or partial shade.

Small oval leaves have a light green color early in spring. This fresh new growth gradually deepens to a rich, dark green hue that is glossy in the sunshine.

Winter Gem are wonderful low foundation plants that give a classic horizontal line. Shear them or leave them to grow more naturally. You’ll grow to love that softer look.

They’ll stay small naturally. This easy plant is a designer’s secret weapon. It’s smart and stylish, and makes any partner plant look more like itself.

Don’t forget to include Winter Gem Boxwood growing in with your container plants at your front entrance. They’ll make a great Filler for containers on the patio or near outdoor seating areas.

Change out the floral mix each season, but keep the Boxwood planted. They’ll help spring-flowering bulbs, summer annuals, perennials and tropical plants really pop in your landscape.

Imagine beautiful rectangular beds outlined with formally sheared Boxwood. What would you fill the interior with? Roses, perennials, spring-flowering bulbs, annuals? It’s amazing how much impact a small formal hedge of Winter Gem Boxwood will have on your garden.

Tips for Care

Winter Gem is an excellent Boxwood. It’s not fussy about soils and flourishes with at least 4 hours of sun a day. It will take full sun all day without a care in the world.

In extreme heat of Zone 9, it can be wise to give afternoon shade where possible. Be sure to give your Boxwood a thick layer of mulch underneath to cover the root system.

You have a choice when deciding how far apart to space Winter Gem Boxwood. As you can imagine, you can plant them far apart to create individual plants for a pretty, modern foundation.

However, if you want to have a dense hedge, you’ll want to plant them 18 – 24 inches apart on center. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next. You can bump that spacing up to 2 to 3 feet, if you prefer a loose informal hedge.

Boxwood really does best with well-drained soils. If you see puddles long after a rain storm, bring in more soil to create a mound of about 18 inches. You’ll plant directly into that mound to improve the drainage for the roots.

Start young plants off right with a schedule of nice, even watering to establish. During drier periods, you’ll need to provide supplemental water as needed. Regular watering is best to keep the plants stress free.

In colder regions, it is always a good idea to be sure the plant has good soil moisture going into winter. Soak it before you turn off the hoses for winter if you haven’t had rainfall.

Keep up with watering until the ground freezes, if you can. Giving adequate water in fall before winter comes will ensure there is good moisture in the leaves. This simple practice will help your Winter Gem keep its great color year round.

One of the nice things about Boxwood is that deer do seem to leave them alone. If deer get hungry enough, they will sample any plant. However, they seldom bother Boxwood.

Tips for Pruning Winter Gem Boxwood

When used as a formal hedge, these carefree, fast, and easy to grow plants will need pruning to keep them shaped up trim, neat and tidy. Prune Winter Gem in late spring after the first spring flush of growth.

Use a string line a bit taller than your desired height or width to keep your lines perfectly straight. For all hedges, it is always best to keep the lowest part of the hedge the widest and the top of the hedge the narrowest. This method of pruning will ensure nice density right to the ground.

In September, you may need to do a touch up for more formal applications to keep the desired look. We do not suggest heavy shearing in fall, especially in colder climates.

Instead, you’ll give your hedge a quick and simple “haircut”. The goal is just to tidy up the look easily. You won’t need to take much off, just a light trim.

Winter Gem is a hardy, broad-leaved evergreen is so easy to grow. It looks great in almost any landscape or garden application.

Winter Gem Boxwood (Buxus microphylla japonica ‘Winter Gem’) Details

Common name Winter Gem Boxwood
Botanical name Buxus microphylla japonica 'Winter Gem'
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Medium
Height 2 - 4 ft.
Width 1 - 3 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color Inconspicuous
Leaf color Green