Johnson Brothers Plant Finder
Dwarf Sweet Box
Sarcococca hookeriana 'var. humilis'
Dwarf Sweet Box
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 24 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 6b
Other Names: Dwarf Christmas Box
This attractive prostrate, dwarf shrub offers deep green glossy foliage and sweetly fragrant blooms in the dead of winter, unlike most species; flowering is followed by red berries that turn black over summer and persist until the following winter
Dwarf Sweet Box is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent black berries in early summer. It has attractive dark green foliage. The glossy pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. It features dainty clusters of fragrant creamy white flowers along the branches from early fall to late winter.
Dwarf Sweet Box is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Dwarf Sweet Box is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Dwarf Sweet Box will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.
This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Dwarf Sweet Box makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It can be used either as 'filler' or as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, depending on the height and form of the other plants used in the container planting. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.