It used to bother me that my boxwood would change color from green to bronze in winter. Over time, I’ve come to enjoy the change somewhat. Some years, the change is very dramatic. Here’s why.
The color change of the foliage is really quite common and nothing to be alarmed about. The bronzing occurs mostly in plants that have eastern or southern exposure. Plants with this exposure will typically receive full morning or afternoon sun on bright winter days. When combined with prevailing winds and fluctuating high and low temps, rapid changes in the leaf tissue cause the leaf to change color.
Boxwood in protected environments may remain green except on top where there is more exposure. The profile image (above) provides some evidence that the bronzing occurs as a result of the environmental effects of the sun and wind. Note that the right side of the plant, which faces north and the front porch, remains green. The left side and top is completely exposed all winter and has changed color.
If you prefer your boxwood to remain evergreen, ask your local nursery what varieties hold their green color best. Otherwise, embrace the change and extra winter interest as your plants transform from green to bronzy-orange during the winter months. The green foliage returns once temps warm and stabilize.