Buxus microphylla var japonica

Buxus microphylla
Buxus microphylla

This is a faster growing variety than many other buxus species. Buxus microphylla var japonica is known both as the Japanese Box or Little leaf Box.

A popular evergreen small shrub used widely as a hedging plant. Usually clipped to shape and sometimes used for topiary. The foliage is bright and glossy and this variety will tolerate warmer climates more readily than other species.

Useful for its fast growing habit and dense bushy growth it has some advantages over other buxus species especially in warmer climates, as it tolerates heat more than others.

Glossy green foliage is attractive through the year. With its fast growing habit Buxus microphylla var japonica will require a little more regular clipping and pruning than others. However it is very tough, drought tolerant and easily pruned to shape.

Best when pruned to between 2 ft and 6 ft with between a 2ft and 3ft width or spread.


Buxus microphylla grows well in a humus rich moist well drained soil, a sunny position is suitable. Some water required during dry spells.

It will however thrive in less than optimum conditions, coping well with a range of soil conditions.

Plant at 1ft intervals apart for a good dense low growing hedge


  • Yellowing foliage, often caused by a lack of lime.
  • Scale, caused by insects and usually a spray with white oil will cure the problem.


  • Buxus microphylla ‘Faulkner’ is a dwarf variety.


Easy by softwood cuttings

  • Look for good stems and take cuttings at around 6 inches long
  • Dip in a rooting or striking hormone (powder or liquid)
  • Use a normal potting soil mix with some added sand for drainage
  • If possible use a propagator that will provide bottom heat
  • At signs of new growth remove from propagator and prepare to harden off outdoors in the shade.
  • Increase exposure to the sun gradually over 8 weeks.
  • Plants are best overwintered for one year until a good root system has developed.