- Position: partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil, including chalky
- Rate of growth: slow-growing
- Hardiness: fully hardy
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Common box makes a fabulous formal hedge for a partially shady site, forming a dense, evergreen screen of small, rounded, lustrous, dark green leaves. One of our recommended plants, it's an excellent backdrop for traditional herbaceous borders.
Box is happy growing in a sunny spot but the combination of dry soil and full sun may encourage poor growth and leaf scorching. If you have sandy soil, it is best to keep it in a partially shady spot in the garden.
- Garden care: For maximum results plant 30cm (12in) apart in well-prepared, fertile soil and water regularly until well established. Ensure that the soil or compost is never allowed to dry out. Trim plants grown as hedges or topiary in mid- or late summer. If you want to maintain a really precise outline, then you can clip it twice a year - once in June, and then again in August/September. Apply a top-dressing of a balanced slow-release fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone (organic) or Osmocote (inorganic) around the base of the plant in spring, making sure that none touches the leaves or stems.
“Slow-growing box for topiary and hedges and the best small, wintergreen structure plant of all - and only a once-a-year June trim!”
Val Bourne - Garden Writer