common box - ball
- Position: partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: slow-growing
- Other features: contact with the sap may cause skin irritation
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A pair of these tightly clipped box spheres look great flanking a set of steps, a doorway or a path. One of our recommended plants, they're perfect for planting in a large terracotta pot in a partially shady site, where the glossy, dark-green leaves provide all year foliage interest and structure. Box are happy growing in a sunnier 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 them in a partially shady spot in the garden.
- Garden care: Ensure that the soil or compost is never allowed to dry out. Carefully cut back plants grown as hedges or topiary in mid- or late summer. Carry out rejuvenative pruning in late spring. After pruning apply a top-dressing of a balanced slow-release fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone (organic) or Osmacote (inorganic) around the base of the plant, ensuring that none touches the leaves or stems.
- CAUTION toxic if eaten/skin & eye irritant
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Q:Can I use Berberis thunbergii f. 'Atropurpurea Nana' as an alternative to Box balls?
Good afternoon I have a client who wants to replace some Buxus balls in pots either side of an entrance door which have died. I am considering suggesting Berberis thunbergii f. 'Atropurpurea Nana' as an alternative (in v. large pots) and would be interested in your views and any other suggestions. The site is partially shady and the plants will not get watered often. Ideally I would be looking for specimen size plants, ideally shaped like balls. Do you have any in specimen sizes and at what price? Thank you Regards StuartAsked on 8/3/2010 by Part Timer
A:Hello Stuart, I'm afraid all plants will need to be kept well watered, especially when they are newly planted, or are confined to a pot. The Berberis (like the box) is certainly one of the tougher plants, but it is deciduous, so won't look great in winter. Alternatively, you could opt for any of the following, but we only sell the smaller sizes listed on the site. Sarcococca confusa http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/sarcococca-confusa-/classid.4367/ Skimmia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.skimmia/ Viburnum davidii http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/viburnum-davidii-/classid.8067/ I hope this gives you a few ideas. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 9/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
I bought some Buxus from you last year,- 2 are still healthy but one, which was in a tub next to the other 2, so in the same situation, has gone yellow and appears to be dying. What might have caused this please, and is there any way of resurrecting the plant? Many thanks for your help, HilaryAsked on 3/12/2009 by H Corroon
A:Hello Hilary, As it is growing in a pot, the most likely problems are either too much or too little watering. I would check to make sure that the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot is not blocked or that when you do water it, it doesn't just run around the sides of the rootball. The other thing to look out for is box blight, but this is usually accompanied by a fungal growth. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 3/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Salvia suggestion please
Please could you advise me? I am looking to use a Salvia to plant with Buxus balls, Hakonechloa and Lavender. I need a strong, long flowering and easy caring Salvia variety that will not grow too tall. Your advise would be invaluable Thank you JackieAsked on 26/8/2009 by jackie middleton
A:Hello Jackie, Salvia nemorosa Caradonna probably has the longest flowering period, but it does get to 75cm tall - just click on the following lin to go straight to it. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/salvia-nemorosa-caradonna/classid.2000006629/ If that is too tall, then Saliva nemorosa Ostfriesland may be a better option http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/perennials/salvia-nemorosa-ostfriesland/classid.3545/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 27/8/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Plants for outside my front door
Hi Crocus I live in a flat and have pots outside my external front door. What plants can I grow in pots, in semi shade that will attract the bees? Thank you for your help. Kind regards GuyAsked on 29/7/2009 by Guy Smith
A:Hello Guy, The following plants would be suitable for your pots. Forget-me-not (Myosotis species) Bellflowers (Campanula species) Cranesbill (Geranium species) Dahlia - single-flowered species and cultivars Hellebores (Helleborus species) Japanese anemone (Anemone ?? hybrida) Fritillaries (Fritillaria species) Grape hyacinth (Muscari species) Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) Box (Buxus sempervirens) Christmas box (Sarcococca species) I hope this helps, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 30/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:What is that plants name?
Hi, Could you please help me to find a product of which I actually do not know its name but it is that plant that many people keep on their windows and it is like a small bush with the shape of a sphere. Thanks! BenedettaAsked on 30/6/2009 by Arnoldi Benedetta
A:Hello Benedetta, I wonder if you mean Buxus sempervirens, which can be trained as topiary into all sorts of shapes - including balls.Answered on 4/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Help shaping box plants
Can you advise if you sell anything to help shape box edges. I remember seeing wire frames somewhere that can be used.Asked on 1/8/2007 by Matthew Lewis
A:We do sell a wire frame that can be used to help shape topiary - just click on the following link to go straight to it. http://www.crocus.co.uk/product/_/quick-hen-topiary-maker/classid.2000005040/Answered on 1/8/2007 by Crocus
Q:What tough plants can I grow in big pots?
I am looking for plants to fill up some outdoor planters facing a carpark. I want something tough please - can you give me 2 to 3 options?Asked on 6/2/2006 by Fung
A:There are several plants that will be suitable for growing in your containers. Below I have listed plants that are quite low maintenance and tough - just on the links below to access my suggestions:- Elaeagnus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.elaeagnus/?s=elaeagnus Aucuba http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.aucuba/?s=aucuba Euonymus http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/euonymus-fortunei-emerald-gaiety/classid.3820/ Fatsia japonica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/fatsia-japonica-/classid.3840/ Buxus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.buxus/?s=buxus Skimmia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.skimmia/?s=skimmiaAnswered on 8/2/2006 by Crocus
Q:Which plants are Deer proof?
I want a list of Deer proof plants please. It`s either a change in habitat or environment, but I get total devastation now and in the last two years they come up the drive.Asked on 3/2/2006 by david
A:Deer can be a real problem and deer proof plants are usually thorny, poisonous or simply taste awful, but it is hard to give a definitive list as you might get the odd deer with unusual tastes which might like the bitter taste! Below is a list of good plants that generally are quite successful though. Cornus varieties, Rhus, Sophora, Solanum, Berberis, Rosemary, Buxus, Cotoneaster, Ilex, Pyracantha, Garrya, Juniperus, Nandina, Elaeagnus, Aralia, Aucuba, Cortaderia, Yucca, Santolina, Hypericum, Myrtle, Vinca, Achillea, Digitalis, Echinacea and Dryopteris. Finally, fencing is one method to protect garden crops from deer. Since deer jump, you need an 8-foot fence for best results or stout chicken-wire fencing securely around smaller garden plots. Alternatively, fence the area with a thorny shrub, preferably something that will grow to at least 6 feet. Deer eat roses and some thorns but hawthorn, boxwood and holly will exclude them. Deer are also deterred by dogs, hanging aluminum foil, mirrors, wood that hits objects in the wind and other noise-makers. Some old-fashioned repellents are human hair and blood and bonemeal. Hanging bars of fragrant deodorant soap from branches may work. Other well-known deer repellents are mothballs or moth flakes spread on the ground or put in mesh bags for hanging in a tree. Unfortunately though, no repellent is 100 percent effective, especially if the deer population is high and deer are starving.Answered on 6/2/2006 by Crocus
Q:What can I plant that the deers won't eat?
What types of plants do deer not like? If you could help me out I could greatly appreciate it.Asked on 18/3/2005 by Kelly L. Sliker
A:Deer can be a real problem and deer proof plants are usually thorny, poisonous or simply taste awful. It is hard to give a definitive list as you might get the odd deer with unusual taste which might like a bitter taste, but the following is a list of plants that generally are quite successful. Cornus varieties, Rhus, Sophora, Solanum, Berberis, Rosemary, Buxus, Cotoneaster, Ilex, Pyracantha, Garrya, Juniperus, Nandina, Eleagnus, Aralia, Aucuba, Cortaderia, Yucca, Santolina, Hypericum, Myrtle, Vinca, Achillea, Digitalis, Echinacea and Dryopteris. Finally fencing is one method to protect garden crops from deer. Since deer jump, you need an 8-foot fence for best results or stout chicken-wire fencing securely around smaller garden plots. Alternatively, fence the area with a thorny shrub, preferably something that will grow to at least 6 feet. Deer do eat roses and some other thorns but hawthorn, boxwood and holly tend to keep them out. Deer are also deterred by dogs, hanging aluminum foil, mirrors, wood that hits objects in the wind and other noise-makers. Some old-fashioned repellents are human hair and blood and bonemeal. Hanging bars of fragrant deodorant soap from branches may work. Other well-known deer repellents are mothballs or moth flakes spread on the ground or put in mesh bags for hanging in a tree. Unfortunately though, no repellent is 100 percent effective, especially if the deer population is high and deer are starving.Answered on 21/3/2005 by Crocus
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