Buxus microphylla, commonly called littleleaf boxwood, grows to only 3 to 4 feet tall with an equal spread. Its dense evergreen foliage is the main attraction with this plant. Littleleaf boxwood, which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, is usually propagated from cuttings to obtain an exact clone of the parent plant. The seeds germinate readily, provided you treat them to the same conditions they would encounter in nature.
1 Moisten enough sphagnum peat moss to completely envelop the littleleaf boxwood seeds. Wring it out well after pouring water over it.
2 Push the boxwood seeds into the peat moss and place the bundle in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for one to three months.
3 Fill pots with sterile seed starting mix that you have moistened. Plant the seeds 1/8 inch deep in the medium.
4 Place the potted seeds on a heat mat set to between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in a shady -- not dark -- area. Keep the soil slightly moist and the boxwood seeds should germinate within one month.
5 Gradually reduce the temperature on the heat mat over the course of one week, until it is turned off. Continue to keep the soil moist.
6 Remove the seedlings carefully when they have their third set of leaves and plant them into individual pots filled with equal parts of peat moss and sand. Continue to keep the medium slightly moist.
Items you will need
- Sphagnum peat moss
- Plastic bag
- Sterile seed starting mix
- Heat mat
- Plant the boxwood seedlings into the garden in late spring or early summer, in a lightly shaded area.
- Littleleaf boxwood is slightly toxic if eaten. Keep small children away from the plants.
- The sap in littleleaf boxwood may cause dermatitis. Wear gloves if you're sensitive to the sap.
- Floridata: Buxus Sempervirens
- Floridata: Buxus Microphylla
- The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation; Michael A. Dirr and Charles W Heuser, Jr.
- Plants for a Future: Buxus Microphylla
- University of Connecticut: Buxus Microphylla
- North Carolina State University: Buxus Microphylla Var. Japonica
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images