Do you love the perfectly squared-off hedges you see in neighbors' lawns? These hedges are typically created from a type of shrub called boxwood, which is easy to trim into this distinct, flat-topped shape. Boxwood comes in several varieties, and if you're thinking of adding a clean-cut hedge row to your property, knowing a little about the most common varieties will allow you to choose the one that's right for your needs.
Perhaps the most common type of boxwood, English Boxwood is known for its dense, lush foliage, which is densely packed and thus easy to trim. This is technically a dwarf shrub variety, which means it will only reach about 3 feet in height when mature. English Boxwood requires well-drained soil to thrive, and it will develop root rot if kept in too wet of an environment. Though it grows best in a partially shaded area, it will tolerate full sunlight. Regular pruning is required to maintain the English Boxwood's shape.
Green Mountain Boxwood
If you want a slightly taller boxwood, consider the Green Mountain Boxwood, which matures at up to 5 feet in height. It is brighter green in color than the English boxwood, and its foliage does not attract pests like deer or insects. The Green Mountain Boxwood grows best in partial shade and will tolerate full shade, but it will become scorched and dry in full sunlight. Plants must be pruned several times throughout the year but only after the last spring frost.
Wee Willy Boxwood
A tiny boxwood variety, the Wee Willy matures to about 2 feet in height. Its medium-green foliage stays green throughout the winter months and is noted for its density. Wee Willy Boxwoods are best suited to partial or full sunlight and are less prone to scorching than other varieties, though they do require watering during dry spells. Pruning is not necessarily required for this variety of boxwood, though you will want to have it pruned if you want it to stay perfectly square in shape.
When deciding which boxwood variety is right for your home, you need to decide how tall of a shrub you'd prefer, whether the area you're placing the shrub is shaded or sunny, and how much pruning you're willing to do. Then, pick the variety above that's right for you. Visit your local garden store to find young shrubs to plant, or talk to a landscape professional like Maddox Garden Center & Landscaping, Inc. about adding a boxwood hedge to your yard.