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Green Velvet Boxwood VS. Winter Gem Boxwood (comparison)

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

Boxwood Green Velvet VS. Boxwood Winter Gem 

Green Velvet and Winter Gem Boxwoods are two of the most popular smaller sized evergreens sold in our area. They have many similarities such as: they are both boxwoods, stay small, evergreen, deer resistant, bloom in April, grow about any where,  have shallow root systems, hardy in zones 5 – 9, low maintenance, can take heavy pruning, and they both work great planted as hedges or just as single plantings. They have gained in popularity over the last decade because they are just so easy. They can be trimmed or left to grow naturally. They will grow in about any soil but prefer a moist, yet well drained soil. They will grow in sun or shade, but the ideal location would be either a morning sun and afternoon shade or a filtered sun. Both of these varieties are less prone to getting the "bronze" look in winter that many types of boxwood get. If they are in full sun and the temperatures are really cold even these two can get the bronze color. But, if planted in shade they will rarely aquire that coloring.

Green velvet boxwood                              boxwood wintergem

          Green Velvet                                                                   Winter Gem 

Even though they are very similar in many ways they do have a few differences too. Green Velvet is a cross between Buxus sempervirens and Buxus microphylla koreana. Winter Gem is Buxus sinica var. insularis and is often referred to as Korean Boxwood. Both have small rounded leaves, but Green Velvet has a more pale green leaf than the darker more shiny leafed Winter Gem, and the Green Velvet leaf has kind of a point on the tip. Green Velvet gets about 2’ – 4’ tall and wide whereas Winter Gem only gets about 2’ – 3’ tall and wide. The habit of the Green Velvet is more naturally mounding. The branches of the Winter Gem are a little more upright, yet the plants themselves are not any more upright than the Green Velvet.

Boxwood Green Velvet                               winter gem boxwood                                                                         

             Green Velvet                                                                    Winter Gem                                                                

Both of these boxwoods are excellent choices for use in landscapes around the St. Louis area. Each variety has been used for many years and has proven to hold up well through heat, cold, wet springs, and dry summers. You would be hard pressed to find a better small evergreen shrub that is as versatile and as hardy as Green Velvet and Winter Gem.

Tags: Plants, Evergreens, Shrubs