Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Non-native Asclepias curassavica
March 09, 2005 - I have some plants given to me by a neighbor, here in Florida. She says they are called Butterfly Reel or by another name Asclepias Curassavica. I have been unable to locate any info. on this plant. ...
view the full question and answer

Ridding property of Dichelostemma Firecracker Plant from Cleburne TX
April 11, 2012 - How do we get rid of Dichelostemma-Firecracker plant? It has invaded our yard & we hate it! How do we kill it?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock for non-native Plumbago auriculata
May 19, 2008 - I planted some full plumbago plants that were in containers, in a partially shaded area, they had beautiful flowers when I purchased them, but have since lost them all and the plant is looking very wi...
view the full question and answer

Common name of non-native Senna corymbosa (Argentine senna)
July 16, 2011 - I just had a plant identified as Senna corymbosa. Can you tell me whether it's a Texas native and what its common name is? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Wintering non-native liriope spicata indoors in Chillicothe IL
November 08, 2013 - I live in zone 5, zip 62523, wintering liriope spicata starter plants in basement, ambient consistent. Do I need grow lamps or is the plant satisfied being dormant as long as I do not let it dry out? ...
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.