En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Dandelions in bluebonnets in Bastrop TX
May 31, 2012 - I have a 20'x60' front yard area where I planted bluebonnets. It has become horrifically inundated with dandelions. How do I eradicate the dandelions while preserving the bluebonnets ? Thanks ...
view the full question and answer

Trimming spineless yucca in Chicago
April 05, 2011 - I have a spineless yucca (indoors) which is 11 feet tall and thirty-five years old. When the yucca recently started to scrape the ceiling, I moved it away (roughly 20 feet) from the windows to an area...
view the full question and answer

Why are there gnats in my houseplants?
July 22, 2009 - I have flying brown gnats in my house plants. Can you tell me why?
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

Euphorbia 'Cherokee' leaves drying from Benson AZ
October 24, 2012 - I have a Euphorbia 'Cherokee' in a pot and has been growing nicely but some of the leaves are turning red and drying up and falling off. Is this normal for this plant?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center