What to Plant in Front of Boxwoods: 15 Amazing Plants to Consider

what to plant in front of boxwoods

Boxwoods, the faithful and sturdy garden staple, standing tall and strong, protectively framing the garden. But what lies in front of them? The empty space, the canvas, the opportunity for endless creativity. What could be the perfect match for the boxwoods, what to plant in front of boxwoods to create the ultimate garden symphony? Well, keep reading to know the options.

Boxwoods have long been associated with tradition, endurance, and permanence. Their timeless elegance and practicality make them the perfect symbol for longevity and steadfastness. They are the garden’s anchor, the constant, and the reliable. But even the strongest of anchors can benefit from a little help.

As a green-thumbed devotee, I’ve spent a great deal of time and have researched the ideal plants to pair up with my precious boxwoods. I have tested numerous blends and achieved varied outcomes, yet lastly, I have finally found the perfect set of plants that go well with boxwoods.

You may be stunned at some of the plants on this inventory, however, accept me when I state that they are the ideal completion to your boxwoods. Subsequently, without any more ado, here are the best plants to plant in front of boxwoods:

Benefits of Putting Plants in Front of Boxwoods


Increased aesthetic appeal:

Boxwoods are a popular choice for landscaping due to their attractive, evergreen foliage and ability to be pruned into different shapes. Planting colorful or flowering plants in front of them can create a beautiful contrast and add visual interest to your landscape.

Improved privacy:

Depending on the height and density of your boxwood shrubs, they may provide a natural barrier that can increase your privacy. Planting additional vegetation in front of them can further enhance this effect.

Soil conservation:

Plants in front of boxwoods can help protect the soil from erosion caused by wind and rain. The roots of the plants will also help to improve soil structure and retain moisture.

Increased diversity:

Add a variety of plants to your garden, and you’ll be helping the biodiversity and providing a sweet home for creatures like birds and bugs. It’s easy to get started.

Seasonal interest:

Many plants offer seasonal interest through their flowers, foliage, or berries. Planting these in front of your boxwoods can help to create a dynamic and changing landscape throughout the year.

Perennials to Plant in Front of Boxwoods

When choosing boxwood companion plants, it’s important to consider factors such as soil type, sun exposure, and watering needs. Here are some perennials to consider planting in front of your boxwoods:

1. Hosta:


Hostas are a great choice for planting in front of boxwoods.These dark-green lovers are here to stay, giving your outdoor space that extra bit of lushness and structure that boxwoods can never provide. From the deep blues to the zesty yellows, from petite varieties to giants – hostas offer a wide range of colors, sizes and shapes so you can find just the right one for your needs. Go on, get creative. Some popular hosta varieties include ‘Blue Angel,’ ‘Frances Williams,’ and ‘Guacamole.’

2. Lavender:


In search of an impressive boxwood companion plant? Try Lavender! Its aroma can magically mask the smell of boxwoods which some people find a bit off-putting. Not to mention, it has long graceful stems with pretty purple blooms that create a striking contrast with the deep green foliage of boxwoods. Bonus? It can even thrive in hot and dry climates, so you don’t need to worry about constantly watering it.

3. Daylily:


Daylilies for days! These vibrant, trumpet-shaped beauties add a pop of color to your garden with their tall and slender stems. From sunny yellows and oranges to sultry reds and purples, there’s a daylily in every hue you can imagine. Plus, they are the perfect low-maintenance plant – just a simple trim and they’re good to go! So, if you want your garden to be the talk of the town, it’s time to add some daylilies to the mix.

4. Salvia:


Salvia – a hardy charmer that’ll bring life to your boxwoods. Its tall slender stems topped with bright blue or purple flowers make for an eye-catching contrast with the boxwoods’ dark foliage. A great pick for warmer climes, this drought-tolerant perennial won’t need much looking after in hot and dry conditions.

5. Heuchera:


Heuchera, also known as coral bells, is a popular perennial that works well in front of boxwoods. It produces compact, mounding foliage in a range of colors, from deep burgundy to bright green. Heuchera also produces delicate spikes of small, bell-shaped flowers in the summer months.

This plant is a cinch to nurture and needs the bare minimum of attention, making it ideal for the inexperienced green-thumb. It’s easy peasy! No need to break a sweat. Just sprinkle some water on time and you’re good to go.

Ornamental Grasses to Plant in Front of Boxwoods

1. Fountain grass:

Fountain grass

The tall, slender blades of Fountain grass will add texture and movement to your garden. Moreover, it’s drought-resistant and easy to care for! Speaking of aesthetic appeal, it boasts delicate pink flowers for extra color.

Get this perennial grass in your outdoor space today! It’s a perfect pick for any garden.

2. Blue fescue:

Blue fescue

For a splash of color and texture, Blue fescue is an ideal ornamental grass to plant in front of boxwoods. Its blue-gray blades and round shape add a unique contrast to the evergreen shrubs. This low-growing grass requires little maintenance and prefers full sun, making it perfect for hot, dry climates.

3. Japanese forest grass:

Japanese forest grass

Japanese forest grass is a great option for those who want to add some interest to their garden. Its soft, flowing foliage adds a gentle touch to any landscape. This grass prefers partial shade and moist soil, making it a perfect companion to boxwoods. Its yellow-green foliage adds a pop of color to your garden.

4. Feather reed grass:

Feather reed grass

Feather reed grass is a tall, slender grass that is perfect for adding height and texture to your landscape. Its feathery plumes add movement and interest to your garden. This grass prefers full sun and well-drained soil, making it perfect for planting in front of boxwoods.

5. Zebra grass:

Zebra grass

Zebra grass is a unique ornamental grass that adds interest to any garden. Its yellow and green striped blades create a bold contrast against the boxwoods. This grass prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Its tall stature and feathery plumes add texture and interest to your landscape.

Shrubs to Plant in Front of Boxwoods

1. Japanese aucuba:

Japanese aucuba

When considering what to plant with boxwood, one great option is the Japanese aucuba. This evergreen shrub features dark green, glossy leaves with splashes of yellow, making it a visually striking complement to the boxwood’s more traditional look. The Japanese aucuba thrives in partial shade and moist, well-drained soil, making it an ideal choice for planting alongside boxwoods in a variety of garden settings.

2. Hydrangeas:


Another option for planting in front of boxwoods is the hydrangea. These beautiful shrubs feature large, showy blooms in shades of pink, blue, and white, and add a touch of elegance to any garden. Hydrangeas prefer partial shade and moist soil, and can be planted in front of boxwoods to create a colorful, layered effect.

3. Knock out roses:

Knock out roses

For a pop of vibrancy and scent, why not try adding some Knock out roses alongside those boxwoods? These fuss-free shrubs have stunning blooms in cheerful shades of pink, red, and yellow, plus they’re known for their disease resistance and tough nature. Make sure to give these babies full sun, as well as soil that drains well, and you’ll have a garden that looks drop-dead gorgeous.

4. Dwarf alberta spruce:

Dwarf alberta spruce

If you’re looking for a more formal look, consider planting dwarf Alberta spruce in front of your boxwoods. These compact evergreens feature dense, symmetrical growth and a classic conical shape, and add a touch of elegance to any garden. Dwarf Alberta spruce prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and is an excellent choice for creating a formal, structured garden design.

5. Spirea:


Lastly, spirea is another great option for planting in front of boxwoods. These hardy shrubs feature delicate pink or white blooms in the spring and summer, and are known for their low maintenance and easy care. Spirea prefer full sun and well-drained soil, and can be planted in front of boxwoods to create a layered, textured effect in your garden.

How to Landscape a Boxwood

How to Landscape a Boxwood

Consider the location:

Peep into those dirt divas and find a suitable spot for them to exude their beauty. Boxwoods love well-draining soils and a generous helping of sunshine, so check if your zone (5-9) gives them what they desire.

Plotting the layout:

All sorts of landscaping styles can be jazzed up with boxwoods. Size and shape of your yard, along with the desired look, are key factors to consider when deciding for them. These plants can be employed as borders, hedges, focal points, or to frame other lovely flora.

Finding a cultivar:

Oh-so many cultivars of boxwoods exist, each with a distinct growth habit, size, and color. Pick one that’ll suit your landscaping needs while harmonizing nicely with the other greens around.

Planting adeptly:

Once you’ve done your digging around, it’s time to put them in the ground. Plant boxwoods in a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. To improve soil quality, mix in organic matter such as compost or peat moss. Additionally, water them regularly and cover the base with mulch to help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.


Boxwoods love a good pruning session and they can be easily crafted into different forms. Prune these plants in early spring before new growth starts to help maintain shape and size. Avoid trimming them during hot, dry weather or when they are winter-preparing.

Fertilizing fanatically:

Fertilization is key to keeping boxwoods healthy and displaying the right shades of green. Opt for a balanced fertilizer with a 10-10-10 or 16-4-8 ratio and follow instructions while applying it.


Boxwoods are prone to pests and diseases, such as boxwood leaf miner, boxwood mites, and boxwood blight. Inspect them regularly for signs of damage or infestation and take necessary steps to control any issues that arise.

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