Boxwoods smell of urine?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by tyler_mott85, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    Hey all, I'm doing an install tomorrow at a customer's house. I have 3 Green Gem Boxwoods. These are the Darker colored, denser round shaped variety. As I was going through the plans with the client everything was rosey. She did research on plants and came upon several websites, which i have since looked at myself, that claim that boxwoods can smell of cat urine.

    I have never heard this myself but I figured if there were multiple websites making the claim I would check with you all fine people to see what your experiences are with this claim.

    The three different points I have picked up in just a few minutes of researching this is the following:

    1) It is only certain varieties of boxwoods that can have the smell
    2) It can be any variety of boxwood but the smell is caused by the sun heating up the oil in the leaves
    3) The smell is in the nose of the beholder. Some people think it smells foul others think it smells earthy.

    What's your opinion?
  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I have winter green buxus plants along my walkway..............they smell to high heaven's of cat urine after they are trimmed.
    Fashion Azaleas and or Formosa's smell like a skunk at certain times.
  3. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    I looooove the smell. And you have to have a lot of them to even smell it. A few plants isn't going to be noticeable.
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  4. clean_cut

    clean_cut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,327

    Strange,never heard of that...interesting
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  5. StoneFaced

    StoneFaced LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    One of my favorite shrubs. Last week planted about 30 green smell. This evening I trimmed 9 Korean Boxwood. There is a mild fragrance, but I enjoy it. Then again, I also like the smell of diesel and manure.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    ya they have an odor to them,its alot worse this year i think its from all the rain we have had.
  7. Creative Cuts

    Creative Cuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    always thought a cat pissed on every bush i've ever installed
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    So do you guys like the smell of the Nandina Domestica?? It doesn't have a pleasant odor after it is trimmed either.
  9. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Yep, I have one customer that has two 30 foot lines of them on their front walk. Every time I walk by them either mowing or whatever, they smell like a truck load of cats pissed on them. The hotter it is, the worse it getts.
  10. SMC

    SMC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    One nice thing about the boxwood is the smell keeps the deer from eating them. They are a good plant to use in the landscape where deer damage is a problem.

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