Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 06, 2005

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Littleleaf Boxwood and native alternatives for Baltimore
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for a small hedge or shrub, that will look nice year round, and won't get too large. I live in Baltimore, MD. I have heard of Winter Gem Boxwood. Will this prove hardy in my area? How would I care for it best to ensure proper growth? Is there something else you would recommend? It cannot be harmful to dogs and I'm not looking for something that would draw bees or other annoying insects (butterflies are OK).

ANSWER:

Winter Gem Boxwood or Littleleaf Boxwood (Buxus microphylla) is very cold hardy and seems to fit your other criteria. It does, however, have fragrant flowers and will attract bees and other insects when it is in bloom. You can read all about Buxus microphylla at Floridata Marketplace.

Since Buxus microphyllais not a native (it comes from Japan), you might like to consider something native to your area. You can do an Advanced Search for plants native to Maryland using several characteristics (such as Growth Form, Growing Conditions, etc.) in the Native Plants Database on the Wildflower Center web page. Here are three possibilities you can read about:

1. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia).

2. Leather leaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata). Our web page doesn't show a picture, but you can see one in the USDA Plants Database.

3. Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera).

You can find suppliers of native plants in your area on the Wildflower Center web page by selecting "Explore Plants" from the side bar and then choosing "Suppliers Directory". You will then be able to search "Nurseries" and/or "Seed Companies" for suppliers of native plants in your state or region.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native dwarf palm leaves yellowing in Katy TX
March 30, 2013 - 1 month ago we planted dwarf palms, the leaves are turning yellow, does this mean we are over watering them? If so how much water do they require? Is there anything we can give them? We also have a fa...
view the full question and answer

Micro clover for groundcover
March 10, 2012 - Hi there! I am interested in overseeding my lawn with a micro clover mix.. however, I cannot find any information on the web about how it might act here in Central Texas. Do you have any experience wi...
view the full question and answer

Identification of red/yellow/black flower in California
April 15, 2013 - Plant found, April Mount Diablo CA 6 symmetrical petals red with a pattern of a yellow flower with black edge in the centre, I can not identify, please help.
view the full question and answer

Information for native garden in Guadalajara, Mexico
July 24, 2006 - I am trying to start up my native garden in Guadalajara Mexico but have not been able to find many databases or info. Any advice or suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native peach trees in Austin
November 14, 2008 - I have 2 peach trees that are 2 years old. Last year I pruned them in February and do not want to prune them again this year. I want to cut the little sucker limbs off of them this year. When can I do...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.