Buxus microphylla Faulkner

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Buxus microphylla 'Faulkner', commonly known as Faulkner Box, is a popular cultivar of the Japanese Box known for its compact growth habit and excellent foliage colour retention. It belongs to the Buxaceae family and is valued for its dense, glossy leaves and versatility in garden design.

Height and Width

  • Height: Typically reaches a height of 0.8 to 1 metre.
  • Width: Spreads out to a width of about 0.8 to 1 metre.

Soil Type

  • Soil Preference: Faulkner Box prefers well-drained soils. It thrives in a range of soil types including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. It performs best in slightly acidic to neutral pH soils but is tolerant of a variety of soil conditions as long as they are well-draining.

Plant Description

  • Foliage: The shrub features small, oval-shaped leaves that are bright green when young, maturing to a deep, glossy dark green. The foliage is dense and maintains its colour well throughout the year, even in full sun.
  • Growth Habit: Buxus microphylla 'Faulkner' has a compact and rounded growth habit, making it ideal for formal hedges, borders, and topiary work. It is slow-growing, which makes it easy to maintain its shape.

Flower Description

  • Flower Colour: The flowers are small and inconspicuous, typically a pale green or yellowish colour.
  • Flower Shape: The flowers are tiny and clustered, often going unnoticed as they are not a significant ornamental feature of the plant.
  • Blooming Season: Faulkner Box typically blooms in late spring to early summer, though the flowers are not a primary attraction of this plant.
  • Attracts Wildlife: The flowers are not particularly known for attracting wildlife, but the dense foliage can provide shelter for small garden creatures.

Cultivation and Care

  • Watering: Requires regular watering during its initial growth period. Once established, it is moderately drought-tolerant but performs best with consistent moisture, especially during prolonged dry periods.
  • Sunlight: Prefers full sun to partial shade. It can tolerate a variety of light conditions, but full sun encourages the best foliage density and colour.
  • Pruning: Responds well to pruning and can be shaped easily. Regular pruning is recommended to maintain its form, particularly if used as a hedge or topiary.
  • Fertilising: Benefits from a balanced fertiliser applied in early spring to promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage.

Additional Notes

  • Pests and Diseases: Generally pest and disease-resistant, but can be susceptible to boxwood blight and leaf miners. Good air circulation and proper spacing can help prevent disease.
  • Uses: Ideal for formal gardens, low hedges, borders, and topiary. It can also be grown in containers and used in various garden styles, including traditional and contemporary designs