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Better boxwood 

New varieties billed as insect and disease resistant

GET READY—there are two new boxwoods in town, and they are both resistant to boxwood blight and boxwood leafminer. Yes, our beloved evergreen is now even better. 

Boxwood has been the longtime evergreen anchor for landscapes for as long as I can remember. Two of the biggest problems with boxwood plantings, whether young or mature, are boxwood blight and boxwood leafminer. Either one could turn a beautiful boxwood planting into a disaster zone. If you are thinking about planting some boxwoods, consider planting one of the new varieties: NewGen Freedom and NewGen Independence. 

Being resistant does not mean that these varieties are disease or insect proof. Pay close attention to where and how you plant them. Proper planting environment is important in supporting natural resistance. Most importantly, plant in areas that are well drained and where the soil is not heavily compacted. 

Freedom is the larger of the two, maturing at about 5 feet tall but easily managed to a smaller size with regular pruning. It is vigorous and is slightly taller than wide. It is a great substitute for Wintergreen, Winter Gem and Green Mountain. 

Independence is slower growing and matures at 4 feet tall. It has a distinctly rounded shape and is a great substitute for Green Beauty, Green Velvet and Green Mound. 

Even with this resistance, it is not advisable to plant these varieties where a boxwood blight infection has damaged or killed a planting. You can plant them in areas where you have had previous problems with leafminer, but monitor them regularly. 

These new boxwood varieties are now available at your local independent garden centers.

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