Boxwoods have been widely cultivated in the U.S. for centuries. They are popular shrubs that are used in many different ways, such as hedges, borders, and topiaries, and are often grown in containers. The way they have been grown, as well as their location, will affect the suitability of what companion plants you choose for boxwoods.
When deciding what to plant in front of boxwood shrubs, you need to start with plants that pair well with them. You also need to choose plants that will thrive in the same growing conditions. Additionally, you should consider the overall look you want to achieve in terms of color, texture, and form.
20 Amazing Plants to Plant in Front of Boxwoods
There are so many amazing plants you can plant in front of boxwoods, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We have singled out 20 of the best.
For the sake of variety, we have opted for 5 perennial plants plus 5 perennial flowers, as well as 5 annual flowers, and 5 herbs. They all pair well with boxwood shrubs.
#1 Caladium is a pretty, shade-loving plant that contrasts very well with boxwoods. Leaves range from red and pink to green.
#2 Coleus has unusually colored leaves that will add dark red and green in front of your boxwood hedge.
#3 Hostas like the shade and will grow well next to boxwoods.
#4 Liriope is a flowering, grass-like plant that is often used for landscaping. It is resistant to drought and deer.
#5 Germander is a gorgeous low-growing shrubby plant with pink, blue, or white flowers, and it complements boxwoods beautifully.
#6 Begonia is an evergreen plant with colorful flowers that combine well with boxwoods.
#7 Daylilies have foliage that blends well with boxwood foliage and flowers that add color and form. Mix yellows, orange, gold, and red, or choose one color for effect.
#8 Foxgloves are low-maintenance plants that produce lovely purple blooms.
#9 Gardenia leaves are green and glossy and their blooms are white. They are perfect for adding texture and contrast in front of boxwoods.
#10 Roses are often grown in front of boxwoods for color, form, and contrast. Their care requirements are very similar to boxwoods.
#11 Geranium flowers range from white to bright pink and red and will contrast beautifully when planted in front of a boxwood shrub.
#12 Impatiens is a very pretty, low-growing bedding plant that works well in front of boxwoods.
#13 Marigold flowers are brightly colored and will add a glorious splash of color against green boxwood shrubs.
#14 Salvia flowers are dramatic in shape and color, purple, blue, pink, and red being favorites in front of boxwoods.
#15 Zinnia flowers look great and make an ideal annual companion plant for boxwood shrubs.
#16 Lady’s mantle is a low-growing herb that grows well in part sun and shade.
#17 Rosemary is a relatively tall-growing herb that gets pretty blue or blue-purple flowers. It’s one of the best herbs to grow in front of boxwood shrubs.
#18 Sage has a silvery green leaf and is a great addition for both contrast and texture in front of boxwoods.
#19 Thyme is a tolerant herb that will add textured contrast to a boxwood shrub.
#20 Wormwood is easy-to-grow and looks good against boxwoods.
What plants pair well with boxwoods?
Boxwoods are versatile plants that can be paired with a variety of other plants to create beautiful and harmonious garden designs. In addition to those mentioned above, hydrangeas, phlox, carnations, coneflowers, and Black-eyed Susans also pair well with boxwoods.
Ornamental grasses are also interesting because they create contrasting textures and visual interest. Or, for something a bit different, consider low-growing shrubs.
Dwarf evergreen shrubs including dwarf conifers and compact juniper shrubs pair particularly well with boxwoods.
Remember to consider factors such as light requirements, soil conditions, and mature plant sizes when you choose plants to pair with boxwoods. It’s also a good idea to consider the overall look you want to achieve.
What is the best way to cover boxwoods?
If you live in an area that experiences harsh weather conditions in winter, it’s a good idea to cover your boxwood shrubs. There are various methods including frames and supports, mulching, and temporary covers.
But the most common method is to use burlap wrapping. This works particularly well because it allows the air to circulate while shielding the plant from windburn and heavy snow.
Before the first frost of the season, wrap your boxwoods loosely in burlap, ensuring that the top, sides, and exposed branches are adequately covered. Secure the burlap with twine or clothes pegs.
Creating a protective frame around boxwoods using stakes and chicken wire or hardware cloth also works well. Build a frame that is large enough to enclose the boxwood, leaving space for air circulation.
Then cover the frame with burlap or frost fabric to shield the plant from freezing temperatures and wind damage. Just avoid covering your boxwoods for extended periods of time as this can lead to fungal diseases.
Where is the best place to plant boxwood?
There are various factors that you need to consider when planting boxwood shrubs. These include climatic considerations, light and soil conditions, and the landscape design you aim to achieve.
There are many different types of boxwood shrubs, and some have different preferences and hardiness levels than others. For instance, some varieties are more tolerant of cold temperatures, while others grow better in milder climates.
Most boxwoods prefer partial shade to full sun conditions. Assess the light conditions in your garden and choose a location that provides the appropriate amount of light.
All boxwood plants grow best in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. You should always add compost to the soil, but if it is really poor, consider planting boxwoods in raised beds.
Generally, they should be protected from strong winds and extreme weather conditions. So, it’s usually best if you plant them near buildings, fences, or natural windbreaks to provide some protection.
It is also prudent to plant your boxwoods in a location that is easily accessible for maintenance, including pruning, watering, and fertilizing.
Boxwoods are slow-growing shrubs. But if planted in the right place, they can live for centuries.
When planting in front of boxwoods it is sensible to choose plants that thrive in similar conditions. But it is also important to choose plants that will complement your boxwoods in terms of color, texture, and appearance.
You will find that when deciding what plant or plants to choose, the choice is huge. Options range from annual or perennial flowers to low-growing shrubs and groundcovers, to herbs.