Sarcococca confusa

sweet box

2 litre pot
pot size guide
£14.99 Buy
9cm pot
pot size guide
£8.99 £5.99 Buy

Neat dark-green foliage throughout the year and clusters of ivory-white stamens in winter on this highly fragrant small shrub - excellent in containers near doorways

Val Bourne - Garden Writer

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All you can buy delivered for £4.99

  • Position: partial to deep shade
  • Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: slow-growing to average
  • Flowering period: December to March
  • Flower colour: white
  • Other features: the flowers are followed by spherical, glossy, black berries
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    Sweetly scented, pure white flowers from December to March and lustrous, dark green leaves. This wonderful, winter-flowering, dense, evergreen shrub is perfect for a shady border or woodland garden. To fully appreciate the fabulous, vanilla-like fragrance plant in moist, well-drained soil close to an entrance or path. Copes well with dry shade and urban-pollution.

  • Garden care: In late winter or early spring lightly trim or prune back shoots that spoil the plant's symmetry. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted compost around the base of the plant.

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by PowerReviews
CrocusSarcococca confusa

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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(15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)


Perfect for shade!

By Jason

from Cambridgeshire


  • Attractive
  • Fragrant
  • Hardy
  • Healthy
  • Versatile


    Best Uses

      Comments about Crocus Sarcococca confusa:

      I've purchased a lot of plants from Crocus and to be honest I can't remember if I purchased our Sarcococca confuse from you or not but I thought it was worth writing a review on the plant and I will be buying more from you as soon as they're back in stock and am confident the quality will be as good as everything else we have purchased.
      We have a north facing front garden and an area within it that never gets any sun at all, not even in the height of summer when the sun is at its highest. It was in that spot we planted some of these plants and all I can say is that they are thriving. They look fantastic all year, have grown very well and are now nicely hedged and smell amazing all through the winter. They really are the perfect plants for the spot. I should add that as the area in question is also up against two walls it can also get dry but this doesn't seem to matter to the plants. We will definitely be getting some more for other tricky shady areas.

      • Your Gardening Experience:
      • Experienced

      Comment on this review


      Do you want to ask a question about this?

      If so, click on the button and fill in the box below. We will post the question on the website, together with your alias (bunnykins, digger1, plantdotty etc etc) and where you are from (Sunningdale/Glasgow etc). We'll also post the answer to your question!
      20 Questions | 22 Answers
      Displaying questions 1-10Previous | Next »
      • Q:

        Hello Crocus. I have a question! I am interested in creating a hedge to go around my front garden and was thinking of using these plants (Sarcococca confusa) as it has such an amazing fragrance. Can you give me an idea of how quickly it might grow, and also if it can be 'hedged' -i.e. pruned to be quite flat so that it doesn't invade the footpath at the front too much? Thankyou very much, Rachel
        Asked on 17/2/2015 by Rachel from Essex

        1 answer

        • Plant Doctor


          Hello there
          Yes you can plant and prune this plant to create a hedge, - I would plant at 30cm intervals. How fast it will grow is hard to say as many external factors can affect the growth of a plant, such as how much water it has, or the nutrients etc. but it is quite slow growing normally. Hope this helps.

          Answered on 24/2/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
      • Q:

        I am thinking about planting a hedge of sarcococca confusa around a bay window. I would be grateful for advice about spacing.
        Asked on 2/8/2013 by hedgehunter from South London

        1 answer

        • Plant Doctor



          To create a nice, dense hedge, these should be planted at 30cm intervals.

          I hope this helps,

          Answered on 2/11/2013 by Helen from Crocus
      • Q:

        Help with plants for N/East facing garden

        Hi, I have a little problem choosing some plants....... I really like the look and size of the 'Shady Pink' pre-designed corner planting plan, but our problem is that we have a north east facing garden, so we get no sun at all in the winter, and direct sun for only half a day on either side of the garden during the summer. Would this planting plan be suitable for that level of shade? We are actually are buying plants for the entire garden, so we'd need about 6 new shrubs, and maybe a small tree (we were thinking about the Prunus Amanogawa). Could you please help us with a few shrubs that would do well in these conditions? For perennials, we have been recommended; - Geranium Johnson's Blue, Kniphofia, Crocosmia, and Helleborus foetidus. Are these suitable? Many many thanks! Regards, Josee
        Asked on 4/12/2010 by Josee Mallet

        1 answer

        • A:

          Hello Josee, It is always difficult to give a definitive answer to the shade issue, but looking at the Shady Pink border, the most shade tolerant plants include Anemone hupehensis Hadspen Abundance, Thalictrum aquilegiifolium and Dryopteris erythrosora. If you click on the following link it will take you to all our shade-loving shrubs and for the shade -loving perennials Of the plants you have listed, the Prunus, Helleborus foetidus, Kniphofia and Crocosmia will be OK as long as there is more sun than shade. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

          Answered on 4/13/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
      • Q:

        Plants for an difficult area

        HELP, please...... I have moved into one of those places where the front garden is just paving blocks (I do need to use it as I have no garage). I have managed to put in a curved triangular bed which is about 5 foot either side - I could increase this by another foot if it helps. The site is extremely windy, catches the frosts and only gets the sun in the late afternoon. Also rain runs down into this area. I am looking for ideas on what to plant......should I go for several small plants, or one specimen plant? Nothing can get taller than around 3 - 4 foot. I also plan to put some spring bulbs in, but I don't want to give myself too much work as I am a pensioner and on my own, and already have a reasonable sized back garden to cope with. Is this impossible or can you help me? Many thanks Sue
        Asked on 3/18/2010 by Susan Chipchase

        1 answer

      • 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 Stuart
        Asked on 3/8/2010 by Part Timer

        1 answer

      • Q:

        Balcony plants please

        I have just moved into an apartment with little room, could you please recommend evergreens, if possible with fragrance and colour. Balcony size is nearly 3 by 5 metres, south facing. Most grateful Yvonne
        Asked on 2/27/2010 by Yvonne Gowers

        1 answer

      • Q:

        When to plant Sarcococca confusa

        Hello, I am thinking of buying the above shrub, can you please tell me when is it the best time to plant it? I live in Cumbria which is currently still very cold with intermittent frosts. Thanks
        Asked on 2/19/2010 by Jackie Kerr

        3 answers

        • A:

          Hello There, These plants are fully hardy so can be planted out at any time of the year as long as the ground isn't frozen. The ideal time for planting however is spring or autumn. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

          Answered on 2/19/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
        • A:

          Hello, I have just taken delivery today of my last order,-a Sarococca and 2 x Erigeron karvinskianus. Can I check with you where they have been stored to date? Have they been kept outside or in an unheated green house etc... I am trying to ascertain whether I can keep them outside until planting now? It is only February and there is still ice and snow forecast here in the next week or so. Thanks

          Answered on 2/24/2010 by Jackie Kerr
        • A:

          Hello There, These plants have been grown outside and as they are fully hardy they should be planted out as soon as the ground is not frozen. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

          Answered on 2/24/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
      • Q:

        Sarcococca confusa information

        Hello, Some questions please:- Are the berries on Sarcococca confusa harmful to children? What should soil pH do they need? How soon should I re-pot the plant when supplied? With kind regards, Geoffrey
        Asked on 2/15/2010 by GM Beresford Hartwell

        1 answer

        • A:

          Hello There, The berries are not listed as toxic, however I would discourage your children from eating them as they may feel unwell if they have enough! As for the soil, they are fairly tolerant of most types so as long as you do not have an extremely low or high pH they should be fine. Finally, ideally they should be planted out as soon as possible - spring is perfect for planting. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

          Answered on 2/16/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
      • Q:

        Sarcococca confusa-is it scented?

        Hi, Last spring I purchased a Sarcococca confusa as a gift for a friend after hearing on the radio about it's lovely perfume when it flowered in the winter, and that ideally it should be planted near the door to the house to best benefit the scent. Although my friend has told me her plant has been covered in flowers and looks really healthy there is no perfume at all which is quite disappointing. Have we just been unlucky or is there a specific variety I should have chosen as I intend to buy more of these plants. I would be very grateful if you could give me some advice on this. Many thanks June
        Asked on 1/20/2010 by Iain Yule

        1 answer

        • A:

          Hello There, The most commonly available Sarcococca is S, confusa and this has highly scented flowers. The S. hookeriana flowers are still quite scented, but not quite as strong. If she has one of these then I am mystified as to why hers does not give off a beautiful scent if it is in flower. I'm sorry not to be more help. Helen Plant Doctor

          Answered on 1/20/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
      • Q:

        Winter flowering shrubs and climbers to plant with new hedge

        Hello, I have newly planted a hedge (made up from Hornbeam, Rosa rugosa, Blackthorn, Cornus, Hawthorn and Hazel) about 50ft long. I have been told that if I was to plant amongst the hedge some winter flowering Clematis such as 'Wisley Cream' it would give some nice colour these bleak winter months when the hedge is bare of foliage. The hedge is south facing and although the ground is ???good??? heavy Cambridgeshire clay the hedge has been planted in a trench back filled with leaf mulch, chipped wood and spent peat. Although I have said about in-planting Clematis in the hedge, I am open to other plant suggestions if you have any. Regards Terry
        Asked on 12/31/2009 by Terry Allum

        1 answer

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