Stinky boxwoods

patrice607(5)June 28, 2007

I'm posting for a neighbor who has boxwoods surrounding her porch. They like to sit outside in the summertime and hate the smell of the boxwoods. She is asking if there is any kind of spray that they could use to eliminate the smell.

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gardengal48

I suppose you could try air freshener or scented candles :-)) LOL - there is nothing you can spray that will effectively neutralize that catty aroma - boxwoods are notorious for this and the reason I prefer to use Japanese holly as a boxwood substitute in my landscape designs. Plus, Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) doesn't discolor in winter as most boxwoods do.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:31AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I refuse to have boxwood anywhere on my property for this reason. Yuk, I hate that smell. When we were house shopping a couple of years ago, the presence of mature boxwood at a neighbor's home dissuaded us from a purchase! We could smell them from the back yard. Gardengal, I've always thought of it as a 'doggy' smell, lol!

This is another perfect example of how we silly humans sometimes allow ourselves to be held hostage (as I put it) by our landscaping. We may hate the sight of something, or it scratches our eyes out, or we have to turn sideways to get into the front door, or can't sit on the porch because of the smell.....but do we remove the offending plants? I don't hesitate for one second, but I think that so many people hesitate for years before they yank something inappropriate out.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 11:47AM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

There's a deer repellent that I thought was called "Deer Away" with a floral and fairly pleasant smell. I must be misremembering the name, though, because when I looked up Deer Away, I see it's made from eggs - the wrong thing altogether! I'll see if I can find the one I have in mind (I gave mine away when I moved to a deer-free garden).

Personally I like the smell of boxwoods, but if I didn't, and if for some reason I decided not to replace the boxwoods, this is what I would try.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 12:54PM
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cobalt_blue

I have boxwoods and have never really noticed much of a smell from them at all, let alone a "catty" odor.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 6:04PM
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greenguy1(z7 Maryland)

I think reaction to the boxwood smell is one of those personal things. I'm in the "stinky" camp myself, but I know lots of people who love the "fragrance" of boxwood.

I'm with Rhizo 1 here, your friends should consider replacing the boxwoods. In fact, if they are nicely grown ones, nurseries might be interested in buying them, as they are relatively easy to transplant even at large sizes and big boxwoods (at least here in Maryland) are always in big demand.

- Steve

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 7:33AM
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gardengal48

I agree that plant fragrances and aromas in general are very subjective. I know a number of folks that think the blossoms of Viburnum tinus have an unpleasant scent, often described as "old gym shoes" or worse, but I've never noticed it. And I can't count the number of people that adore gardenias because of their fragrance, yet I find them cloying and slightly nauseating.

But walking by a hedge of boxwood or a planting of certain types of juniper on a sunny summer day, that odor reminiscent of cat urine carries just too strongly for me to appreciate :-) And I'm a pet lover! I wouldn't hesitate to rip 'em out.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:50AM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

This is the one I was thinking of - Deer Solution.

Doesn't do a thing for the deer, but it's a reasonably pleasant scent and it won't hurt the shrubs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deer Solution

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:09AM
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saypoint(6b CT)

I remember when we moved into our new home in NC with boxwoods all around the front door (my first experience with boxwood) I was sure a neighborhood cat was spraying my front door and steps. After I found out what it was, I didn't mind it so much. Now I plant them away from the patio and entrance.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 11:51AM
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