The Q&A Archives: Boxwood [Carissa]

Question: I purchased 4 Boxwood [Carissa]Plants today. There were no instructions for care. Also I have a fig tree I planted in the spring. The leaves are turning brown. The tree is still green. Is this just from the heat?

Answer: Boxwood Beauty Carissa Natal Plum is an attractive, dwarf, nearly spineless cultivar of Carissa macrocarpa which is a spiny shrub native to South Africa. This tropical, evergreen plant has thick, leathery leaves which are oval to roundish. The leaves are glossy; bright dark green on the upper surface, paler below and opposite on the stem. Milky, latex sap is exuded when the plant is cut or broken. The star-shaped, tubular, white flowers are borne singly or in small clusters at the branch tips throughout the year. Sweetly fragrant flowers attract beetles, hawk-moths and other night-flyers. The fruit is a red, crimson or magenta berry which attracts birds and other wildlife.

Plant Natal plum in full sun, it will tolerate some shade but flowering and fruiting may be reduced in the shade. Natal plum prefers well-drained, sandy, neutral soil. It is moderately drought tolerant and very salt tolerant, both salt spray and in the soil. Natal plum is frost-tender. Prune lightly as needed, Natal plum is slow growing and does not recover well from harsh pruning. Use Natal plum ?Boxwood Beauty? as a low growing hedge, foundation plant, groundcover, in seaside gardens, containers and beds.

I'm sure your fig tree is just showing stress from the hot summer weather.

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