Sarcococca hookeriana var. Humilis

20% off selected shrubs & climbers
9cm pot £8.99 £7.19
available to order from spring
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Sarcococca hookeriana var. Humilis sweet box: Very fragrant, dainty white flowers on this dwarf evergreen shrub

  • Position: partial to deep shade
  • Soil: any well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: slow-growing to average
  • Flowering period: December to February
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    A spreading, evergreen shrub with highly scented white flowers in winter, and slightly aromatic, lance-shaped, dark green leaves. This tough shade-tolerant shrub provides much-needed structure, scent and colour, and is ideal for a shady shrub or mixed border. The flowers are followed by long lasting, blue-black berries.

  • Garden care: Lightly trim after flowering, if necessary. Add plenty of well-rotted compost when planting as may become chlorotic if planted on poor, dry soils.

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Eventual height & spread



in a container down side of house




5.0 1


I have just taken delivery of two Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis plants from you. Their fragrance is incredible for two little plants. Your details state they are "slow-growing to average". Could you please let me know how much I can reasonably expect them to grow this year so I can decide where to plant them. I had left a largish space for each but if they are very slow-growers, then I may change my plan. Thanks very much.


Hello, This is a very difficult question to answer as the growth rate is very much affected by external factors such as the availability of water, light and nutrients. It will also vary on the age of the plant, and when it was planted. I'm really sorry not to be more help.


Hello, I'm looking for compact evergreen shrubs, ideally scented and easy to shape with interesting foliage... Not much to ask I know.. :) Thanks


Hello there It really depends what the soil is, the aspect, how much sun the plant will get etc. This Sarcococca is an excellent plant for a shady area that has a wonderful scent, is evergreen, and can be pruned. I have also attached a link below to evergreen shrubs that have scented flowers. You can further refine the search to the plants eventual size, soil type, the aspect etc.

The sarcococca leaves are not large they are ideal being evergreen and strongly scented in the spring. The flowers have no petals but are made up of white short strands and is surprising the perfume from small flowers. I have had two in the garden for several years and an annual clip over is all that they need to keep in a restricted space. As a bonus, the bush has berries after flowering,which I leave on the ground, around the bush to make new plants.


Whe is the best time to plant Sarcococca hookeriana humilis please?


Hello, These are fully hardy pot grown plants, so you can planty them out at any time of the year provided the ground is not frozen or waterelogged. Traditionally however spring or autumn are considered the best times.


I have two pots by my front door, which are mostly in shade, and quite dry as they are under the eaves. I would like to plant something evergreen, which will flower and flourish in those conditions. They need to be fairly low maintenance and compact. I currently have camellias in the pots but they are getting straggly and need repotting every year or two. Thank you


Hello, I think it will be difficult for any plant to flourish in the conditions you describe, however provided they are kept well watered, these should be able to survive. Skimmia Viburnum Sarcococca


Plants for an difficult area HELP, please...... I have moved into one of those places where the front garden is just paving blocks (I do need to use it as I have no garage). I have managed to put in a curved triangular bed which is about 5 foot either side - I could increase this by another foot if it helps. The site is extremely windy, catches the frosts and only gets the sun in the late afternoon. Also rain runs down into this area. I am looking for ideas on what to plant......should I go for several small plants, or one specimen plant? Nothing can get taller than around 3 - 4 foot. I also plan to put some spring bulbs in, but I don't want to give myself too much work as I am a pensioner and on my own, and already have a reasonable sized back garden to cope with. Is this impossible or can you help me? Many thanks Sue

Susan Chipchase

Hello Sue, This does sound like a pretty inhospitable situation, so you will need some tough plants - here are your best options. Cotoneaster horiontalis Cotoneaster dammeri Sarcococca confusa Viburnum davidii Aucuba (which can be cut back hard when necessary) Skimmia I hope this gives you a few ideas. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Sarcococca confusa-is it scented? Hi, Last spring I purchased a Sarcococca confusa as a gift for a friend after hearing on the radio about it's lovely perfume when it flowered in the winter, and that ideally it should be planted near the door to the house to best benefit the scent. Although my friend has told me her plant has been covered in flowers and looks really healthy there is no perfume at all which is quite disappointing. Have we just been unlucky or is there a specific variety I should have chosen as I intend to buy more of these plants. I would be very grateful if you could give me some advice on this. Many thanks June

Iain Yule

Hello There, The most commonly available Sarcococca is S, confusa and this has highly scented flowers. The S. hookeriana flowers are still quite scented, but not quite as strong. If she has one of these then I am mystified as to why hers does not give off a beautiful scent if it is in flower. I'm sorry not to be more help. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Winter flowering shrubs and climbers to plant with new hedge Hello, I have newly planted a hedge (made up from Hornbeam, Rosa rugosa, Blackthorn, Cornus, Hawthorn and Hazel) about 50ft long. I have been told that if I was to plant amongst the hedge some winter flowering Clematis such as 'Wisley Cream' it would give some nice colour these bleak winter months when the hedge is bare of foliage. The hedge is south facing and although the ground is ???good??? heavy Cambridgeshire clay the hedge has been planted in a trench back filled with leaf mulch, chipped wood and spent peat. Although I have said about in-planting Clematis in the hedge, I am open to other plant suggestions if you have any. Regards Terry

Terry Allum

Hello Terry, If you click on the following link it will take you to all our winter flowering climbers - of which the Jasminum is tougher and more like a shrub. Alternatively, this link will take you to all our winter flowering shrubs. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Low maintenance exterior plants for office lightwell Hello Plant Doctor, Please advise on which evergreen plants would be suitable for a shady lightwell in my new office. Many Thanks, Colin


Hello Colin, If you click on the following link it will take you to a selection of evergreen shrubs that can tolerate low light levels. I hope this gives you a few ideas. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Plants for outside my front door Hi Crocus I live in a flat and have pots outside my external front door. What plants can I grow in pots, in semi shade that will attract the bees? Thank you for your help. Kind regards Guy

Guy Smith

Hello Guy, The following plants would be suitable for your pots. Forget-me-not (Myosotis species) Bellflowers (Campanula species) Cranesbill (Geranium species) Dahlia - single-flowered species and cultivars Hellebores (Helleborus species) Japanese anemone (Anemone ?? hybrida) Fritillaries (Fritillaria species) Grape hyacinth (Muscari species) Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) Box (Buxus sempervirens) Christmas box (Sarcococca species) I hope this helps, Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Plants suitable for patio pots Hello I wanted to enquire if you have a Sarocococca hookeriana var. humilis, I looked online but it's not listed. I am askng for that particular plant, because I only have a patio and want plants that won't grow to an enormous size or require spectacular care. A rosemary and a dwarf syringa I bought from you are doing very well. Plants always arrive in very good condition which I really appreciate. A Myrtus communis subsp. 'Tarentina' which I potted up immediately in a larger pot suffered shock I think, - I wonder what you know about this myrtle? I am wanting to grow plants on a small patio in containers and wonder if the following plants are suitable:- Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis (if you have got it) or a Sarcococca hookeriana digyna (which is in your listings). Winter Jasmine, or any of the other Jasmines, Wintersweet, Witchhazel, Abelia grandiflora but would this be too large for my patio- I am thinking of winter cheer with its red berries, and Nandina Domestica. Many thanks Bernadette

Bernadette Matthews

Hello Bernadette, I'm afraid we do not sell Sacrocococca hookeriana var. humilis, but the other two we list will be fine in a large pot as long as they are kept well fed and watered. It is my experience that most plants will cope if the pot is big enough and they are well looked after, however larger plants like the Jasminum nudiflorum, Wintersweet, Witchhazel, Abelia or Nandinas will eventually run out of steam and need to be placed into the garden. You should however be able to get a good few years from them. As for the Myrtus, I have not heard that they particularly dislike being moved, but as they are not fully hardy they need protection in winter. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk


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