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

Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
October 16, 2011 - We have Bermuda grass. Large patches have died due to the drought and our yard has been taken over by weeds and St. Augustine grass whose seeds must have blown in. Even when the grass was in great con...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Gloxinias
August 20, 2004 - How do I care for my newly acquired Gloxinias?
view the full question and answer

Non-native herbs being burned by pool chlorine in St. Petersburg, FL
July 11, 2010 - My herb garden is next to my swimming pool, which is serviced by a company using chlorine. I have found that on the two unsuccessful attempt to establish my herb garden, the herbs burn off after the p...
view the full question and answer

Mexican species Orbexilum melanocarpum.
January 04, 2013 - This is not a question; just a note to supplement a previous MSP post answering a query about a source for Orbexilum. The "mountain pea" that the original questioner was asking about is the e...
view the full question and answer

Care of Jade plant
September 06, 2007 - Hi there, I have a question and really appreciate your time helping me regarding my plant. I bought a Jade plant; 35 yr. old ; very thick stems and healthy at the time of purchase from a very si...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center