Looking for the best upright boxwood for your garden or landscape? According to wholesale boxwood growers, Saunders Brothers Nursery in Roanoke, VA and Weigel Farms near Greensboro, NC, the best is 'Dee Runk' (pictured).
Over the past quarter century, the boxwood cultivar 'Graham Blandy' had been the standard bearer, but commercial landscapers have increasingly complained about losing plants to pythium and phytophthora root rot diseases. 'Dee Runk' and another called 'Fastigiata' possess better disease resistance. ‘Dee Runk’ is also more reliable than the root rot prone ‘Sky Pencil’ holly (Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil').
Buxus sempervirens ‘Dee Runk’ is remarkably winter hardy (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). Growth rate is medium, reaching 10 feet in height and 3 feet in width after 15 years. New foliage begins with a bluish-green tint and matures dark green. Boxwoods are deer-resistant and pollution tolerant.
In general, boxwoods tolerate most garden light conditions from full sun or moderate shade at the edge of a woodland garden. ‘Dee Runk’ also handles poor clay sites, provided soils are well-drained.
Landscape uses: specimen, screens/formal hedges, in containers, and a foundation shrub that won’t interfere with roof eaves in future years.