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

Saturday - February 19, 2011

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Pruning of overgrown non-native boxwood from Round Rock TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have several large over-grown Japanese Boxwoods that we'd really like to trim down in height about 10 to 12 inches, however most of the middle and lower sections of the bushes are bare or very sparse with leaves. We are afraid that we will kill them if we trim them this much. They were already planted at the house when we moved in, in 1983. The house was built in 1979. If lowering the height isn't recommended, is there anything we can do to get the bushes to appear full again? How long can Japanese Boxwoods live? I can email a picture if that would help.

ANSWER:

No member of the genus Buxus (boxwood) is native to North America. They are widely planted in the United States in an attempt to emulate the formal English landscape. We are not sure which of the popular species of Buxus was planted by the previous owners of your property. Two articles from University of Connecticut Horticulture discuss Buxus microphylla, which is native to Japan and Buxus sempervirens, which is native to southern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to the United States but to the area in which the plant is being grown. A native plant will have a better chance of surviving and will consume less resources in doing so.

Answers to your questions about boxwood can be found in this Virginia Cooperative Extension article Boxwood in the Landscape.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native weeping willow in Greenville NY
September 10, 2009 - We live on the border of Zones 5b and 6a and have a weeping willow that grew so much in only 3 years and did quite well. However, there are aerial roots growing on its bark as well as part of the bark...
view the full question and answer

Identification of non-native Grape Hyacinth
April 13, 2013 - Mr Smarty Plants, can you tell me please, what is the name of the flower in the attached link? I see numerous references to it as blue bells or bluebells, but when I check the USDA Plants database, no...
view the full question and answer

Is Viburnum dilatatum 'Henneke' (Cardinal Candy) toxic to horses?
July 01, 2014 - Is Viburnum-Cardinal Candy/Viburnum dilatatum 'Henneke' reported to be toxic or non-toxic to horses?
view the full question and answer

Information on care and transplant of non-native Bamboo in North Carolina
April 15, 2006 - I am considering transplanting some bamboo from my backyard to my side yard in Northern Randolph County, Central Piedmont, North Carolina. Could you offer me any pointers on a direct ground to gro...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Empress trees in Beaumont TX
September 26, 2009 - I want to grow some Empress Trees in our yard. We have a huge yard and it is right on the corner of a cross street where they have just put a traffic light. People stopped at the light can see into ...
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