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Looking for Substitutes for Buxus ‘Green Mountain’? Try Buxus ‘Green Ice’ or ‘John Baldwin’

Buxus microphylla var. koreana x sempervirens ‘Green Mountain’ has become a darling of landscape designers and rightly so. This slow-growing hybrid with glossy dark green leaves is a great choice when both beauty and practicality are required. But its popularity sometimes means that it’s hard to find.  We’d like to suggest two other cultivars that make great substitutes: Buxus microphylla var. koreana x sempervierens ‘Green Ice’ and Buxus microphylla ‘John Baldwin’.

Buxus ‘Green Ice’

If a hardy, dense, and compact boxwood with a dark green glossy leaf and minimal care appeals, then look no further than Buxus ‘Green Ice’. This slow-growing beauty stands in wonderfully for Buxus ‘Green Mountain’ and can be used in formal gardens, hedges, or as foundation plantings. Discovered as a chance seedling by Marlene Krasinsky and Robert E. Bayusik in 1964 in western Pennsylvania, Buxus ‘Green Ice’ is a hybrid of Buxus microphylla var. koreana and Buxus sempervierens. 

  • Green Ice 2-1Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen boxwood
  • Zones: 4-8
  • Height: 3 - 4 feet 
  • Spread:  3 – 4 feet
  • Colors: deep glossy green leaves, blue-green spring blush
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water: Medium (adaptable to various moisture conditions)
  • Uses: Low hedge, border planting, formal garden
  • Benefits: Deer resistant, little pruning, dense upright columnar habit

Buxus ‘Green Ice’ is one of our favorites for two main reasons. First, it is hardy to zone 4 and maintains its dark green color without bronzing unlike Buxus ‘Green Mountain’ that tends to bronze in winter. Second, its dense, mounding habit is easy to maintain and requires minimal pruning. It will grow a little bit taller than it is wide but will mature at less than 5 feet. Its compact size makes it perfect for a low hedge or border. As a bonus for those who dislike the ‘fragrance’ of boxwoods, Buxus ‘Green Ice’ is odor free.

Buxus ‘John Baldwin’

With small dark green glossy leaves, and a dense, multi-stemmed upright habit, Buxus ‘John Baldwin’ makes a great substitute for Buxus ‘Green Mountain’ and is an excellent cultivar for formal gardens and hedges.

  • John BaldwinPlant Type: Broadleaf evergreen boxwood
  • Zones: 6-9
  • Height: 3 - 4 feet (eventually 4-5 feet tall after 10 years if not pruned)
  • Spread:  2 - 4 feet
  • Colors: Dark green glossy leaves
  • Light: Full sun or light to medium shade
  • Water: Medium
  • Uses: Low hedge, foundation planting, formal garden
  • Benefits: Rabbit and deer resistant, slow growing, upright columnar

Discovered in 1950 as an open-pollinated seedling in Williamsburg, Virginia by Dr. John T. Baldwin, Jr. of the College of William and Mary, it was later named after Dr. Baldwin and eventually registered by PD Larson in The Boxwood Bulletin in 1988.

Buxus ‘John Baldwin’ takes to pruning extremely well. It grows somewhat more slowly than Buxus ‘Green Mountain’ and tends to grow taller than it is wide. It shows some resistance to leaf miner but does bronze in the winter especially when placed in sunny, unprotected areas. In spring, the bronzing readily goes away with fresh growth.

We currently have both cultivars in stock.  You can call or email us with your order, shop online at our website, or shop our availability via Landscape Hub.


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