Gardener’s Guide to Green Velvet Boxwood
If you’re on the hunt for a classic and versatile hedge or shrub with a hardiness to boast about, then the green velvet boxwood is probably the plant for you!
What is Green Velvet Boxwood?
Green velvet is a species of boxwood shrub that grows very dense and full but doesn’t grow as tall as some other types of boxwood. It is also one of the slower growing varieties which means that you wouldn’t have to succumb to the pressure of pruning it every couple of weeks. This tree typically grows to a height of around two to four feet and a spread or width of about three two or three feet, which is great for decoration and mild privacy but it isn’t going to reach the large sizes of a proper privacy hedge. As you might expect, this type of boxwood is an evergreen which means that it won’t lose its leaves during the cold months of the year. In fact, this species is hailed as retaining bright green color throughout the winter whereas other species can sometimes appear dull or darker in color.
The Pros of Green Velvet Boxwood
One of the main advantages of the green velvet boxwood is that it pretty much retains a nice, round shape on its own with very little need for severe pruning unless you want a square-shaped hedge. If you do prefer a rounded hedge then you need only do a bit of light pruning to keep down the appearance of scraggly stems and leaves. This is great for those of us who don’t have an extensive amount of time to devote to meticulously trimming away at each bush until the perfect results are achieved. For those of us who wouldn’t go to this extent for a shrub anyway, then it still has the advantage of saving you from having to hire a lawn care professional yet you can still have the impressive looking hedge that looks like you spend tons of time maintaining it.
The green velvet variety is also a fairly fast grower initially but after it reaches its “mature height” its growth rate tends to slow down. If you space these plants out appropriately when they are young and freshly planted, they should fill in to make a traditional wall-like shrub in about two seasons (or two years, for most of us). The green velvet boxwood is also a great option if you like the idea of a flowering shrub. That’s right; this species of boxwood actually produces small flowers. Although they aren’t “showy” by any means, they are delicate and can make a nice welcome to the spring season. They are also pleasantly fragrant but not overpowering in strength.
Planting Green Velvet Boxwood
This type of boxwood is great for practically any use. You can plant it as a border along your driveway, a walk way, along a fence, or against your house. It can also be left as a standalone plant or a low-growing hedge.
The good news is that the green velvet boxwood is very adaptable and can handle a variety of soil types. The more organic matter your soil has, the better off your boxwood will be. The ideal sunlight exposure for this plant is anywhere from partial to full sunlight, which makes it a very convenient and adaptable plant. If you are going to grow more than one of these shrubs then they should be spaced out at least 18 to 24 inches apart. This will allow each bush to spread out enough that their growth isn’t hindered yet they will still be able to touch and form a nice hedge if that is an option that you want to have later on. If you want the plants to remain separate then you should space them further apart or be prepared to do a bit of light pruning as they mature.
Young boxwoods will need to be fertilized so that they develop strong root systems. Choose a fertilizer with a good amount of phosphorus and apply it according to the instructions on the bag. When your plants get older you can switch to a nitrogen fertilizer which will help ensure that your boxwood’s leaves remain nice and bright. Most mature boxwoods only need to be fertilized once a year but you can do a quarterly soil test to see if the soil is low on any specific nutrient and then choose a fertilizer specifically designed to boost that element.
Your freshly-planted boxwood will need to be watered about once a week for the first month. After this time you will probably only need to water the plant in times of excessive heat or dryness. If you live in a place where the summers can be quite brutal then the best time to water your boxwood will be in the evening after the sun starts to go down. This will give the shrub all night to absorb the water without worry of it evaporating away too quickly.
Things to Avoid
There are a few things that this kind of boxwood may have trouble tolerating, and that’s excessive water in the soil, direct sun in the winter, and heavy snow. If these elements can be a problem in your area then you can remedy the situation by fixing a protective structure for the plant(s). You can prevent water from pooling around the shrub by planting it in a location where the ground doesn’t dip to allow water to collect.