boxwood ‘Wintergreen’


boxwood ‘Wintergreen’ (Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Wintergreen’) is generally considered as a low maintenance shrub. It will tolerate significant and regular pruning to maintain shape, size, and/or artistic structure.

The Korean boxwood is an often maligned, but underestimated, evergreen shrub for the landscape. Some of you may recognize the older name–B. microphylla var. koreana–for this plant. This broadleaf evergreen member of the Buxaceae can grow up to 4 ft. tall with a spread of 4-5 ft. Growing best in full sun with moderate soil moisture, plants can tolerate part shade if not over-watered.

Foliage of Buxus sinica var. insularis, as a species, will turn brownish yellow in Midwestern winters. However, leaves of ‘Wintergreen’ are much less likely to display this color change and will remain green to green-yellow throughout the winter. ‘Wintergreen’ also shows improved resistance to the three primary insect pests of boxwood: boxwood leaf miner, boxwood mite, and psyllids.

Specimens of B. sinica var. insularis ‘Wintergreen’ can be found growing in massed plantings at the south end of the Lurie Garden, mostly adjacent to other evergreen shrub plantings. Garden staff maintain these small stands of ‘Wintergreen’ to an overall formal shape for each mass planting with a generally loose texture for individual plants. The few pest insect issues in the boxwood plantings–boxwood mites and mealybugs–are easily controlled with the introduction of predatory mites and green lacewing insects.

Botanical Name
Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘Wintergreen’
Common Name boxwood ‘Wintergreen’
Family Buxaceae
USDA Zone 4 to 9
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest All Seasons
Height and Spread
2-4ft x 3-5ft (60-120cm x 90-150cm)
Flower Color
Attracts Wildlife
Additional Information Native range: Asia
Location in Lurie Garden
Low Hedge by the South Lawn