Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Sarcococca Plant Profile

Sarcococca Plant Profile

Sweet Box (Sarcococca spp.) is a small evergreen shrub or groundcover that is hardy to USDA zones 6 to 8. It is native to China and is virtually maintenance-free.

It thrives in shade, even dry shade, and is deer- and rabbit-resistant.

This easy-to-grow plant can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.

Christmas Box (Sarcococca confusa) has small, white flowers in late winter that send out a sweet, vanilla-like fragrance that gives this plant its name. The red berries appear in fall and then turn black. They are enjoyed by birds. It can be pruned to a low hedge of about 3 feet wide and high.

Himalayan Sweet Box (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis) grows to only about a foot high and spreads by underground roots to cover an area about 3 feet wide. The flowers are not as sweet as the Christmas Box and the berries or drupes are black.

Sweet Box (Sarcococca ruscifolia) is very similar to Christmas Box except that the berries stay red and the plant is somewhat larger reaching 4 feet high and wide at maturity.

Sarcococca: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Video and editing by Jessica Harden

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz


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