The Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ (Boxleaf Euonymus) Full Care Guide

The Boxleaf Euonymus, otherwise known as the Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ or Euphorbia ‘Diamond Delight”, is a rather well known perennial plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this perennial 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 Boxleaf Euonymus Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

In order to take proper care of your Boxleaf Euonymus you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

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

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

Euonymus japonicus 'Microphyllus' care

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Boxleaf Euonymus belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family, the genus Euphorbia and the species Hypericifolia, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ (yoo-ON-ih-mus juh-PON-ih-kus my-kro-FIL-us).

As with other species like the Green Spire Euonymus, the Boxleaf Euonymus is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Boxleaf Euonymus is a plant native to the Tropical and subtropical Americas.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Boxleaf Euonymus is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 11 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a and the ideal climate zone is between 13, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2.

Growth and Size


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


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

The Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ can grow up to 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm) in 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm) and 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm) in 10″ – 1′ (25cm – 30cm). 

These dimensions make the Boxleaf Euonymus a relatively small perennial 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 rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 8″ – 12″ (20cm – 30cm) free so the Boxleaf Euonymus can spread to its best extent.


In terms of watering, the Boxleaf Euonymus 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 Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.

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

Euonymus japonicus 'Microphyllus' up close


As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Boxleaf Euonymus in soil with 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, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

However, in our experience, the best solution to knowing the right amount of water for your Boxleaf Euonymus is with the ‘thumb’ technique. Basically, you insert your finger into the soil, and based if you feel the soil moist or dry, you determine if it needs any water, which is the most appropriate way to go about watering your leafy friend.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Boxleaf Euonymus prefers to have soil with good drainage, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand and loam.

This is why most experts agree that the Boxleaf Euonymus requires soil with loam (silt), sand, and shallow rocky, 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 Boxleaf Euonymus requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

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

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Boxleaf Euonymus will be present year round in your garden.

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


You can expect your Boxleaf Euonymus to flower around the spring, summer and the fall months from April to June (spring), from July to September (summer), and from October to December (fall).

The Boxleaf Euonymus produces some beautiful green, or white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Boxleaf Euonymus 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 Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Euonymus japonicus 'Microphyllus' buds

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Boxleaf Euonymus is well known for its tolerance to drought and animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new Boxleaf Euonymus? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ owners agree that this perennial will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and mediterranean gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, gravel and rock garden, and in mediterranean garden styles. 

In particular, the Boxleaf Euonymus’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a coastal exposure, hedge, border, container, or a mass planting.

Companion Plants

Boxleaf Euonymus’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Rhododendron, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

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


And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Boxleaf Euonymus to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

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.

Recent Posts