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Fragrant Valley™ Sweetbox
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Himalayan Sweetbox is an energizing little evergreen Accent that fills those who grow it with feelings of hope and cheer. You see, it opens its blossoms in late winter, when we’re tired of cold, dreary days and are longing for signs of spring. The blooms aren’t big, but boy are they fragrant! The intoxicating scent hangs in the cool winter air, providing a pleasant surprise for everyone who walks by. Plant this perfume powerhouse near your front door, patio, or a shady, well-traveled path so that you and your guests are sure to get a late winter pick-me-up.
Sweetbox gets its name from the fact that it belongs to the Boxwood family and is distinguished by its intensely sweet-smelling flowers. Himalayan Sweetbox originates in the western Himalayas and Afghanistan, but it is a beloved evergreen Accent in all parts of the world where it thrives. The selection we offer here has the awkward name of ‘Sarsid #1’, though it exhibits nothing but grace and charm. Sarsid #1 stands out from other Sweetbox varieties for its long, narrow leaves, short habit, and good vigor. It was discovered in British Columbia in 2002 by nurseryman Gurjit Sidhu. Sidhu plucked the superior plant from a crop of 2000 seedlings.
Himalayan Sweetbox makes a compact plant that grows at a slow but steady pace. Its low, gradually spreading habit suits it for use at the front of the border. You can also mass it to create a wonderful, weed-smothering groundcover in shady spaces.
How to Grow
Plant Himalayan Sweetbox in a shady site. Too much sun may beach out the foliage. This Accentprefers low-pH soils—if Rhododendrons and Azaleas are popular in your region, then you probably have the acidic conditions that Sweetbox enjoys. It also appreciates a good supply of organic matter and excellent drainage. Provide regular water during the establishment period; after a year or two it will be able to withstand moderate dry spells on its own. Himalayan Sweetbox flourishes in areas with mild winters. It is a favorite in the Pacific Northwest, and it does well in the Southeast, too.
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