Monday, January 12, 2015

Featured Plant of The Day: 'Green Velvet' Boxwood

Buxus x 'Green Velvet' 

Type    Shrub, woody plant
Hardy range    5A to 9A
Height    36" to 4' / 90cm to 1.20m
Spread    36" to 4' / 90cm to 1.20m
Growth rate    Slow
Form    Rounded
Exposure    Partial shade or partial sun to full sun
Persistence    Evergreen

Bloom Color    Green
Bloom Time    Spring

This plant tolerates some drought.
This plant will grow in dry soil.
Suitable soil is well-drained/loamy, sandy or clay.
The pH preference is an acidic to slightly alkaline (less than 6.8 to 7.7) soil.

Leaf Color    Green
Fall Color    Yellow
This plant has attractive foliage.

Landscape Uses
-    Container plantings
-    Foundation planting
-    Hedge
-    Massing

Attributes and Features
-    Inconspicuous blooms
-    Inconspicuous fruit

Propagation is from  cuttings.
This plant has low flammability.

Culture Notes
This Boxwood is a fine-textured evergreen that tolerates shearing exceptionally well and is commonly used as a border or hedge.  It is best grown where the root zone can be mulched and left undisturbed.  This evergreen requires a well-drained soil and prefers shading in winter if grown on exposed sites.  Pollen causes significant allergy in certain people. Plants resist browsing by deer.

It is particularly suited to small borders or hedges (6 to 24 inches tall) and works well as an edging along paths.  Plant as a facer plant to fill in spaces in a shrub border or along a deck or patio to soften the edge or help provide the feeling of enclosure. This is a cultivar resulting from a cross with one of the hardiest boxwoods. 'Green Velvet' and 'Green Mountain' hold green color well in the winter sun and cold and are certainly among the best selections for northern locations.

The optimum location for boxwood would be a spot protected from exposure to direct wind in winter that receives less than full day winter sun. This would be especially important in regions with winter temperatures below -20 degrees. Plants have a shallow, fibrous root system that benefits from a thin mulch layer. This is one of a group of crosses that remain green reportedly even at temperatures of 20 below zero. Plants in an exposed location in a very cold winter (<20 24="" a="" apart="" below="" best="" better="" boxwoods.="" br="" but="" can="" clearly="" color="" emerges="" establish="" foliage="" green.="" green="" hedge.="" in="" inches="" is="" it="" many="" new="" of="" off="" one="" other="" plant="" retains="" selections.="" slightly="" than="" the="" to="" turn="" winter="">
Best growth is in soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.2. Lime the soil with dolomitic limestone to raise the pH if soil is too acidic. In colder climates, plant in an area protected from winter winds. Leaves on most boxwoods turn reddish brown in winter in full sun.

Plant 24 inches apart for establishing a hedge.

Planting and establishing shrubs

The most common cause of young plant failure is planting too deep.  Plant the root ball no deeper than it was in the nursery.  In most instances, the root flare zone (point where the top-most root in the root ball originates from the trunk) should be located just above the landscape soil surface. Sometimes plants come from the nursery with soil over the root flare. If there is soil over this area, scrape it off.  The planting hole should be at least twice the width of the root ball, preferably wider.  In all but exceptional circumstances where the soil is very poor, there is no need to incorporate anything into the backfill soil except the loosened soil that came out of the planting hole.  Never place ANY soil over the root ball. If a row or grouping of plants is to be installed, excavating or loosening the soil in the entire bed and incorporating organic matter enhances root growth and establishment rate.

Weed suppression during establishment is essential.  Apply a 3-inch thick layer of mulch around the plant to help control weed growth.  Keep it at least 10 inches from the trunk.  If you apply it over the root ball, apply only a one or two inch layer.   This allows rainwater and air to easily enter the root ball and keeps the trunk dry.  Placing mulch against the trunk or applying too thick a layer above the root ball can kill the plant by oxygen starvation, death of bark, stem and root diseases, prevention of hardening off for winter, vole and other rodent damage to the trunk, keeping soil too wet, or repelling water.  Regular irrigation through the first growing season after planting encourages rapid root growth, which is essential for quick plant establishment.

Featured Plant of The Day: Ballota

Ballota pseudodictamnus

Type Perennial
Hardy range 8B to 10B
Height 12" to 20" / 30cm to 50cm
Growth rate Average
Form Spreading or horizontal
Exposure Full sun
Persistence Evergreen

Bloom Color Pink and white
Bloom Time Spring and Summer

Environment This plant tolerates drought.
This plant will grow in dry soil.
Suitable soil is well-drained/loamy.
The pH preference is a neutral to slightly alkaline (6.8 to 7.7) soil.

Leaf Color Green and silvery
This plant has attractive foliage.

Culture Notes This is an evergreen perennial that is tolerant of poor soils and hot dry areas. Protect from severe frosts and cut back in early spring.