Zone: 4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Shade Height: 2-3' Width/Spread: 3'

Neatball boxwood (Buxus microphylla) is a tidy evergreen that’s surprisingly tough. As its name implies, it naturally grows in an irresistible globe shape, but it also keeps its dark green color through winter better than other boxwood. No worries about bronze or pale leaves bringing down your winter landscape! Neatball boxwood also exhibits better hardiness than many boxwoods, thriving even in USDA zone 4b.

Why grow Neatball boxwood?
– No pruning required for that classic round boxwood shape

– Keeps its nice dark green color, even in winter

– More cold tolerant than other boxwoods – grows even in USDA zone 4b


Light: Boxwood is one of the only shrubs that reliably thrives in full sun to full shade.

Soil: Any well-drained soil will do though slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils are best.

Water: Average water needs. Though boxwood can show some drought tolerance, excessive dryness causes stress that can lead to pest and disease issues.

Fertilizing: Little needed; one early spring application of a granular fertilizer formulated for woody plants is sufficient, unless plant experienced severe winter stress.

Pruning: Neatball boxwood naturally grows into an appealing globe shape. It may be trimmed if desired – do so after the new growth has emerged but before it hardens off, usually late spring. Remove any winter damaged portions in early spring.

Other considerations: Though Neatball boxwood was selected especially for its ability to maintain good, dark green color in winter, boxwoods in general are susceptible to winter damage, with leaves turning bronze, brown, or tan. Minimize any winter damage by keeping the plants covered with a good 2-3″/5-7cm layer of shredded bark mulch. If autumn weather has been dry, water plants by hand up until the ground freezes: winter drought stress is the biggest cause of winter damage on boxwoods.

Botanical Name

Buxus microphylla 'NSBBL' PPAF; CBRAF


4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Flower Color


Foliage Color







Full Sun, Part Sun, Shade


Average, Moist, Well-draining

Season of Interest

Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter, Year Round


Borders, Containers, Cutting Gardens, Low Hedges, Mass Planting


Alkaline soil, Compact, Deer resistant, Disease resistant, Evergreen, Heat tolerant, New, Winter Interest

Blooms On

Old wood

SKU: 7448-1 Categories: , , , Tag: 

Scholarship Application

*Completing this form does not guarantee a scholarship. A staff member will confirm scholarship availability directly. Receipts must be submitted within 10 weeks from the conclusion of the event.
Gardening Simplified magazine
[everest_form id="4997"]