Position – Full Sun or part shade
Soil – Well-drained
Flowering Period –Summer, winter
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Sarcococca are often referred to as ‘Christmas Box’ or ‘Sweet Box’ and are compact evergreen shrubs, native to China and introduced to Britain by the famous plant hunter and botanist, Jozeph Hooker. These highly attractive shrubs display simple, leathery leaves and small, perfumed pale flowers that blossom during winter and spring, closely followed by purple, red or black berries. Sarcococca make the perfect addition to banks and slopes or as container plants within a cottage or informal garden. A row of these plants will form a beautiful low set hedge or space divider. You should expect to see Sarcococca grow to an approximate height of 60cm (24”) and a spread of 45cm (18”).
Sarcococca are best planted in moist, well-drained soil of chalk, clay, sand or loam within an acidic, alkaline or neutral PH balance. These shrubs are best positioned in full shade or part shade, although full sun will be tolerated if placed in exceedingly damp soil. To prepare the soil prior to planting, mix the existing soil with ripe compost and sharp sand. Plant in a hole that is the same depth as the container, with an extra inch width ways for the roots to develop as they mature.
During late winter, it is recommended that you lightly trim or prune back any shoots to tidy your shrub, maintaining a healthy shape and structure. Once you have pruned Sarcococca, you may wish to apply a generous layer of mulch consisting of well rotted compost – this should be applied around the base of the plant, taking care not to touch the stem. It has also been suggested that your shrub will benefit from an annual application of bone meal fertiliser as this will aid in its overall health and development.
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