Searching for a Similar Plant

(Question)

Please advise a similar looking plant that could withstand Toronto winters in the planter. Ideally it should be evergreen.
Planters will be exposed to sun about 6-7 hours daily.
Thanks

(Answer)

Hello – While I can’t be sure of the specific plant shown in your photo, a boxwood (Buxus sp.) could provide a similar appearance.  The hybrid Green Velvet Boxwood is worth considering.  Green Velvet has a loose, mounded form with glossy, dark green leaves that maintain their colour through the winter.  It should thrive in your 6-7 hours of daily sun. It has a mature height of 3 ft/.9 m and width of 4 ft/1.2 m and can be pruned at any time to maintain the desired height and shape.

Boxwoods world-wide have been experiencing issues with a fungal disease called boxwood blight. While the Green Velvet hybrid is considered resistant to this disease, you should be aware of what to watch out for in order to deal with it at an early stage. I’ve copied below our response to another gardener’s question on how to deal with boxwood blight.

Boxwoods are susceptible to sun and wind damage during the winter causing their leaves to turn an unattractive yellow-brown referred to as bronzing.  Green Velvet is noted as resistant to bronzing.  Like most evergreens grown in containers, consideration must be given to winter protection.  Your containers should be moved to a more protected location out of direct sun and harsh winds.

For other evergreens suitable for containers, have a look at another of our responses at the link below.  Good luck with your plant selection.

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/boxwood-blight/

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/evergreens-in-containers/