How to grow Sarcococca common name Sweet box.

Sarcococca is a lesser known, but very versatile shrub. It is evergreen with glossy leaves, and compact, making it ideal for smaller gardens and spaces. It loves growing in shade or semishade and it has wonderfully fragrant flowers in winter. Although the flowers are small, almost insignificant, you will smell their sweet scent long before you actually come across the Sarcococca.

The different species vary in height between .5m>2m with many around 1m and below. These smaller varieties are ideal for a scented, low growing hedge and the very compact varieties of .5m would make lovely border edging, especially around herb and parterre gardens. It responds well to clipping and, although its common name is sweet box, it does not suffer from box blight, which afflicts Buxus sempervirens. Sarcococca is slow growing. The flowers are long lasting, after which there are berries which the birds will eat.

How to grow Sarcococca and good varieties to plant

Sarcococca is an easy to grow shrub. A very useful garden shrub as it will tolerate shade, including dense shade. The ideal growing conditions for Sarcococca are fertile soil, which is moist and well drained. But truth is Sarcococca will grow on chalk, clay, loam and sand, acid or alkaline so any type of soil. The only attention is possibly a light trim in spring, but then only if needed. This would be if the shrub has grown unevenly to tidy up the shape, or to keep it to size.  Most varieties, but not all, are fully hardy. It will grow on virtually any soil provided it is not too dry, and will tolerate drier soils in very shady conditions. It will even tolerate neglect, making it an easy garden shrub.

Commonly grown varieties are: S.hookeriana all have the lovely white sweet scented flowers but check the varieties as they vary in height. S.hookeriana winter gem and S. hookeriana var. humilis fragrant valley are both small shrubs only around 0.5m whereas S. hookeriana digyna will reach 2m. Sarcococca confusa lies between the two growing to around 1m. All varieties are pest free.

10 + varieties of Sarcococca on Sale at crocus (affiliate link here for more info.) 

green wheelbarrow means easy to grow

Sarcococca is tagged green wheelbarrow as it is very easy to grow.

Last updated 18.02.2022