Close up of Buxus foliage

Korean Box

Buxus sinica var. insularis

Synonyms: Korean Boxwood, Buxus microphylla var. koreana.

Korean Box is the classic topiary and hedging plant for Japanese or formal style gardens. It’s not limited just to this application though. It also works well as a low hedge or border plant in many other garden styles, such as English gardens, subtropical arrangements and in commercial plantings. Growing to around 1.5m, Korean Box forms a neat and dense hedge. It grows relatively slowly and so only requires pruning once or twice a year. This helps is maintain shape and density.

It is also worth addressing the confusion around this species here. Formally considered a form of Buxus microphylla, it has since been moved to Buxus sinica, along with its close cousin the Japanese Box (incl. cultivars such as ‘Faulkner’ and ‘Winter Green’).


  • Hedging
  • Screening
  • Pots & Tubs
  • Japanese gardens
  • Formal gardens
  • Topiary
  • Low border


Prune lightly and regularly to encourage dense growth. Unclipped plants will be much more open and with an irregular shape. Can grow in part shade but usually maintains tighter growth in full sun. Does best in rich, well-drained soil. Won’t tolerate waterlogged soils for long. Use quality fertilizer such as Troforte or Organic Link several times a year to ensure strong, clean growth.


  • Fine foliage

  • Dense growth suitable for hedging/topiary

  • No real flowers, so no flower mess

  • Great choice for shaping or topiary


Height: 1-2m
Width: 0.5-2m


Full sun to part shade


Low to moderate watering. Can survive drought periods once established.

Growth Rate

Slow to moderate.
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