The Dwarf English Boxwood (Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) Care Guide

The Dwarf English Boxwood, otherwise known as the Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ or Boxwood ‘Suffruticosa’, Common Boxwood ‘Suffruticosa’, English Boxwood ‘Suffruticosa’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Dwarf English Boxwood Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

But if you prefer to watch a short video instead, check it out here:

In order to take proper care of your Dwarf English Boxwood you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Dwarf English Boxwood prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
  • Light: Keep your Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Dwarf English Boxwood in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Dwarf English Boxwood this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa' (Boxwood) Plant

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Dwarf English Boxwood belongs to the Buxaceae family, the genus Buxus and the species Sempervirens, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ (BUK-sus sem-per-VY-renz).

As with other Buxus’s, the Dwarf English Boxwood is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Dwarf English Boxwood. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 6 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a and the ideal climate zone is between 3, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Dwarf English Boxwood is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the Dwarf English Boxwood actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ can grow up to 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) in 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) and 2′ – 4′ (60cm – 120cm) in 2′ – 4′ (60cm – 120cm). 

These dimensions make the Dwarf English Boxwood a relatively medium shrub compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful compact, and rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 36″ (90cm) free so the Dwarf English Boxwood can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Dwarf English Boxwood is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa' (Boxwood) Care


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Dwarf English Boxwood in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Dwarf English Boxwood since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Dwarf English Boxwood prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Dwarf English Boxwood requires soil with clay, and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Dwarf English Boxwood requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in shade, or partial sun to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Dwarf English Boxwood will be present year round in your garden.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.


You can expect your Dwarf English Boxwood to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).


The leaves from the Dwarf English Boxwood have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ to be around (< 1 inch) in size.

Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa' (Boxwood) Garden

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Dwarf English Boxwood is well known for its tolerance to drought and animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ will be fine.


Does your Dwarf English Boxwood have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Buxus Sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most cottage, contemporary and mediterranean gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of mediterranean garden, city and courtyard, formal garden, and in modern garden styles. 

In particular, the Dwarf English Boxwood’s best location within your garden is in ground covers, banks and slopes, patio and containers, beds and borders, hedges and screens, and in small gardens, others use it for landscaping in a topiary, mass planting, container, border, edging, hedge, or an urban garden.

Companion Plants

Dwarf English Boxwood’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Spiraea, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Weigela will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Dwarf English Boxwood in your garden or home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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