The Q&A Archives: Hardiness of Green Mountain Boxwood

Question: I'd like to plant a green mountain boxwood in our Grayslake IL (zone 4) yard. Will it really stay green here all winter? Does it need an acidic soil? Can it withstand clay and strong winds? Some catalogs show this plant as hardy only to zone 5 so I'm a bit concerned.

Answer: Sadly, I would not recommend boxwoods for a windy location in zone 4 or 5, it is too drying for them during the winter. Also, an exposed and windy site can make your location colder by a half a zone or more. So in my experience it would be unrealistic to expect boxwoods to perform well there. I would suggest you work with your county extension and/or local professional nursery staff to determine which evergreens would thrive in the area you want to plant -- taking into account wind, sun, soil, and your design goals -- and then select your favorite from among those.

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