Find out why landscape designers love working with this specific plant.

By Tovah Martin
Updated June 03, 2020
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Richard Fousler

Drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and ever so adaptable, boxwood is an evergreen shrub that deserves a place in the garden. Its versatility—it can be used as edging, hedges, screens, and specimen plants—makes it a landscaping favorite.

Why You Should Consider Using Boxwood in Your Yard

With a blustery location plundered by deer from all directions, Andrea Filippone, President of AJF Designs, turned to boxwood and found the plant of her dreams. Not only is it durable against the elements—including drought—but this infinitely adaptable evergreen is not on the menu for nibblers. As a result, Andrea has become a major advocate for boxwood, suggesting it to clients and selling plants from her boxwood nursery. Her goal is to make many different cultivars of boxwood readily available for all who want to add the plant to their garden. At the end of the day, the shrub has given Filippone a handsome workhorse for accenting her home front without a whole lot of arduous labor.

Tips for Growing

A secret for growing robust boxwood is organic soil full of microbes and good fungi resulting from the application of compost and compost tea. Mulching (she uses leaf mulch) is how Filippone reduces the need to irrigate while also cutting down on weeding. Boxwood will grow in full sun, but a slightly shaded area is best, according to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). Making sure the ground is not too compacted is key to growing boxwood. To increase the acidity in soil—soil should have a pH of 6.8-7.5 for optimal growing conditions—NYBG suggests adding dolomite lime to keep the soil more acidic for a longer period of time.

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