Virtues: Petite Pillar boxwood brings all the classic beauty and formality of boxwood, but with no need for trimming to keep it compact. Topping out at three feet tall and two feet wide, it's a fine option for small gardens and containers. It serves well as a place marker, such as at the start of a pathway or flanking a gate, or, if planted in multiples, a low hedge or edging.
Common name: Petite Pillar boxwood
Botanical name: Buxus sempervirens Petite Pillar or 'MonAlex'
Exposure: Full to part sun
Foliage: Small oval leaves are carried in opposite pairs spaced close together on the stems. The leaves are a dark green on top and lighter green on the backside. Evergreen.
Habit: This small boxwood grows between two and three feet tall, with a width of two feet. It naturally forms a low columnar shape without trimming.
Origin: The species Buxus sempervirens, or common boxwood, is native to southern Europe, Western Asia and northern Africa. The cultivar Petite Pillar, or 'MonAlex', is a Monrovia introduction.
How to grow it: Plant Petite Pillar boxwood in full to part sun. It requires moderate soil moisture and needs supplemental watering in times of drought. Because this boxwood is naturally compact, it should not need pruning. USDA Zones 5–9.
Image credit: Monrovia