The fastest growing dense hedge is known as the Japanese boxwood. The Japanese boxwood is a broadleaved evergreen that is typically used as a foundation shrub or hedge on residential and commercial lawns because of its thick, year-round cover. The low-maintenance hedge requires little care and can easily be pruned into any shape.
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Japanese boxwood can grow in full sun but prefer partial shade areas. The leaves are glossy and green in the spring, summer and fall months but often develop an orangish-bronze colour due to the winter sun. The hedge is never planted near windy or poorly drained areas where winter winds and root diseases injure and destroy the plant.
The Japanese boxwood grows 8 to 20 feet tall at a rate of about 6 inches per year.
The Japanese boxwood is watered once a week and a 3-inch layer of organic mulch, such as straw or bark, is applied at the base of the hedge to keep the roots cool and moist. Pruning is done yearly to create a rectangular or rounded shape to the hedge.
Boxwood leafminer is a small mosquito-like fly that attacks the leaves. The adult female fly deposits her eggs on the underside of the leaf. When the eggs hatch, the larva feed on the leaf, causing it to turn brown, irregularly swell and blister. Treatment is in the form of insecticides.
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- ''The Book of Outdoor Gardening''; Editors of Smith & Hawken; 1996
- ''Landscaping Southern Gardens''; Sunset Books; 2006
- North Carolina State University; Growing Boxwoods in the Landscape; Erv Evans, et al.
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension; Boxwood Diseases and Insect Pests; Marjan Kluepfel, et al.; 2000