Winter Gem Boxwood

Buxus Microphylla 'Winter Gem'

Family: Boxwood

Type: Shrub

Other Common Name: Littleleaf Boxwood; Japanese Boxwood

Winter Gem Boxwood is a robust, evergreen shrub known for its versatility and hardiness. It’s a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers due to its dense, glossy foliage.

This plant maintains its vibrant green color throughout the year, making it an excellent choice for adding year-round interest to gardens. Its compact growth habit allows for easy shaping and pruning.

Winter Gem Boxwood thrives in a variety of climates, from cold winters to moderate summers. It’s highly adaptable, making it a go-to for gardeners in various zones.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 4b-5a

Deer Resistant: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Average to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade


Growth Rate: Slow

Average Height (feet): 6

Average Spread (feet): 6

Average Life Span (years): 30

Form: Round


Foliage Color: Green

Foliage Shape: Oval

Landscaping Your Yard With Winter Gem Boxwood

Winter Gem Boxwood is perfect for creating structured garden designs. It’s commonly used for hedges, borders, and formal gardens.

This shrub can be pruned into various shapes, offering creative flexibility in landscape design. Its dense foliage provides a lush, green backdrop in any garden setting.

Incorporating Winter Gem Boxwood in your yard adds a touch of elegance. Its evergreen nature ensures your landscape looks great throughout the year.


Suitable Garden Styles

Formal Gardens

Winter Gem Boxwood is a classic choice for formal gardens. Its ability to be shaped into precise, geometric forms complements the structured nature of these gardens. The plant's consistent color and dense growth pattern make it ideal for creating symmetrical designs and elegant borders.

Cottage Gardens

In cottage gardens, Winter Gem Boxwood adds a touch of formality and contrast. Its dense, manicured appearance balances the typically free-flowing and colorful plants of a cottage-style garden. This juxtaposition creates a visually appealing and harmonious landscape.

Contemporary Gardens

For contemporary garden styles, Winter Gem Boxwood offers a sleek, modern look. Its simple yet bold form can be used to create clean lines and minimalist designs. This makes it a great choice for modern landscapes focusing on form and texture over color.

Winter Gem Boxwood Landscaping Ideas

Using Winter Gem Boxwood in group plantings can create a dramatic effect. Its uniform color and texture provide a cohesive look.

Incorporate it as a natural fence or privacy screen. Its dense growth habit makes it perfect for creating secluded areas in your garden.

Mix Winter Gem Boxwood with flowering plants for contrast. The evergreen backdrop highlights seasonal blooms, adding depth to your garden design.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, the Winter Gem Boxwood begins to grow new, bright green foliage. This fresh growth contrasts beautifully with the darker, older leaves, adding depth and vibrancy to the plant's appearance. The shrub's lush, full form makes it a standout in the spring garden.


During summer, the Winter Gem Boxwood's rich green foliage becomes denser and more vibrant. The plant remains a steadfast, green anchor in the garden, offering a cooling visual in the heat of summer. Its resistance to summer heat makes it a reliable choice for consistent garden beauty.


In fall, while other plants begin to lose their leaves, Winter Gem Boxwood maintains its lush, green appearance. The evergreen leaves provide a stark contrast to the changing colors around them, making it a valuable plant for autumn interest in the garden.


Winter reveals the true resilience of the Winter Gem Boxwood. The shrub retains its deep green color, standing out against the barren, often snow-covered landscape. This endurance through the cold months makes it an essential element for winter garden interest.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Winter Gem Boxwood thrives in areas with partial to full sunlight. It’s adaptable but prefers locations where it can receive at least four to six hours of sunlight daily. Avoid excessively shaded areas to ensure healthy growth.


This shrub is versatile, tolerating a range of light conditions, from full sun to partial shade. In regions with intense summer heat, it benefits from some afternoon shade to protect its foliage from scorching.


Winter Gem Boxwood prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. It can tolerate a variety of soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soils, as long as they are well-draining.


When planting Winter Gem Boxwood, space them about 2 to 3 feet apart. This spacing allows for adequate air circulation and growth, helping to prevent issues like fungal diseases due to overcrowding.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Winter Gem Boxwood is in the spring or early fall. These seasons offer moderate temperatures and natural rainfall, which help the plants establish their root systems.

How to Plant

Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Place the plant in the hole, fill it with soil, and water thoroughly. Ensure the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding ground to promote proper root development.

Plant Care Tips


Regular watering is crucial during the first growing season. Once established, Winter Gem Boxwood is relatively drought-tolerant, but it benefits from occasional watering during prolonged dry spells.


Fertilize in early spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to weak growth and potential disease problems.


Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. This helps maintain the desired shape and size, and encourages dense, healthy foliage.

By Season


Spring Care

In spring, remove any dead or damaged branches to maintain plant health. This is also the ideal time to apply fertilizer and mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

Summer Care

During summer, monitor for pests and diseases. Keep the soil moderately moist, especially in hot, dry weather. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and keeps roots cool.

Fall Care

In fall, reduce watering to prepare the plant for dormancy. Clear fallen leaves from around the base to prevent fungal diseases and ensure the soil drains well to avoid root rot.

Winter Care

In winter, protect the plant from extreme cold and drying winds with burlap screens if needed. Ensure the soil doesn't become waterlogged, as this can be detrimental to the roots.


How Fast Does Winter Gem Boxwood Grow?

Winter Gem Boxwood has a moderate growth rate, typically adding about 3-6 inches per year. This makes it manageable for most gardeners and ideal for hedges or topiary.

Can Winter Gem Boxwood Grow in Pots?

Yes, Winter Gem Boxwood is well-suited for container gardening. Ensure the pot has good drainage and the plant is watered and fertilized regularly.

Is Winter Gem Boxwood Deer Resistant?

While no plant is completely deer-proof, Winter Gem Boxwood is considered deer resistant. Its dense foliage and texture are not preferred by deer, making it a good choice in areas with deer pressure.

Products That Feature This Plant

Beatific Border

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