Potted Boxwoods vs. Potted Cedars

April 22nd, 2022
Potted Boxwoods vs. Potted Cedars

Boxwoods, whether potted or not are not the same thing as cedars, potted or not. Boxwoods are shrubs from the genus Boxus with the family Buxaceae. Cedars for hedging are usually the Western Red Cedar and the Emerald Cedar which are both from the genus Thuja. The Western Red Cedar and the Emerald are not actually true cedars from the genus, Cedrus, but they have come to be known as cedars in common parlance and in the horticulture business. 

Choosing Between Boxwoods and Cedars

Both Boxwoods and Western Red or Emerald Cedars are well suited for the Vancouver area and Lower Mainland climate, and they both will stay green through the winter. Choosing one or the other is really a matter of personal taste and choice. The cedars are conifers, and the boxwoods are not, so the leaves look a little different. 

Caring for Your Hedging

These two types of hedging are very common on the Lower Mainland, and both grow fast. They will also both have similar needs in the beginning: water, sun, and mulching. It’s also okay to give your hedging a dilute (maybe half strength) application of fertilizer when you water in the summer. The added mulch will also improve your soil over time as it breaks down. 

Pruning Options

All of these choices for hedging can be pruned for a nice, neat shape or left less pruned or unpruned for a shaggy, more natural look. Boxwoods can also be pruned into unusual topiary shapes. 

If you have any questions about using cedars or boxwoods for hedging or you are interested in planting a hedge this spring, give us a call on the Lower Mainland at (778) 241-5664, as cedar hedging is our business. 


Pacific West Cedars, based in Langley, British Columbia, farms, supplies, and installs cedar hedging on the Lower Mainland. They offer two kinds of cedars plus boxwoods: Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), and Emerald Cedars (Thuja occidentalis “Smaragd”). They work with landscapers, contractors, and also directly with the public. 

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about cedars, we encourage you to call us at (778) 241-5664.


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