Sarcococca confusa

3 × 9cm pots £29.97 £24.99
in stock (shipped within 5-7 working days)
9cm pot £9.99
in stock (shipped within 5-7 working days)
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Sarcococca confusa sweet box: Sweetly scented, pure white flowers December to March

  • Position: partial to deep shade
  • Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: slow-growing to average
  • Flowering period: December to March
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    Sweetly scented, pure white flowers from December to March and lustrous, dark green leaves. This wonderful, winter-flowering, dense, evergreen shrub is perfect for a shady border or woodland garden. To fully appreciate the fabulous, vanilla-like fragrance plant in moist, well-drained soil close to an entrance or path. Copes well with dry shade and urban pollution.

  • Garden care: In late winter or early spring lightly trim or prune back shoots that spoil the plant's symmetry. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted compost around the base of the plant.

  • Humans/Pets Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten

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Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread

Notes on Sarcococca confusa

"Neat dark-green foliage throughout the year and clusters of ivory-white stamens in winter on this highly fragrant small shrub - excellent in containers near doorways"

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Looking Healthy in Our Poor Soil


Because we have mining bees and I don't like to disturb the ground too much where they nest I bought the 9cm pot. As this is a slow grower I would probably recommend buying a larger pot if you can. Having said that the plant is very healthy and although it has taken 18 months to establish itself in our poor soil it is now starting to put on lots of taller growth. Our soil is very poor and I find Crocus plants are generally the only ones that are hardy enough to grow in our garden.




I love this site


Its a new house with a new garden so I love experimenting i haven't a clue what I am doing bit I enjoy doing it!!

daisy fingers

Seaton Carew


Very aromatic


I've had this for 18 months and it still hasn't reached 30cm tall which is a disappointment. However it is Feb 5th & covered in berries and flowers and emitting a very strong vanilla scent which was its purpose. I grow it in a planter in 100% full shade behind a 2m high gate so nothing much is going to grow quickly there. The smell hits you when you open the gate and is impossible to miss. Certainly overpowers the scent of an oily old motorcycle stood next to it. I guess it will be attractive when full grown but it's the scent that makes this a top plant. The only thing I can compare it to is Dregea Sinensis in relation to aroma. That plant rocks too (and grows far more quickly)




Winter greenery in shady border


Bought this for some permanent greenery in a mixed border under a weeping willow. Doing well despite the lack of rain this summer and competition for light and water.




a most fabulous plant!


A good healthy plant, rather small, but it will grow well. Best to cheer up January/ February time...




Winter Flowering Plant


I am looking forward to seeing this plant flower.Growing well now, but did have trouble getting it started. Have put it in a pot of compost to give it a boost.I dont expect it to suddenly flower but I am a patient gardener.

arty gardener

West Midlands


Sarcococca confusa


Plant is very small and slow growing so will take some years to be of good use as bee forage.


South Wales


Interesting workhorse for a tricky space


This little plant takes me by surprise when it is looking fairly boring as a small evergreen and then bursts into fragrance with its insignificant flowers. Then in winter it has suddenly developed interesting berries. It is very slow growing although my heavy clay is a challenge for many plants.

Hopeful Hazel

Milton Keynes


so much to offer


This is a hardy healthy plant which I clip lightly into shape after it has flowered and it forms a dense glossy mound shape. On this, in late winter early spring, it has sweet very fragrant small white flowers and then black berries. Never sad or sorrynot eaten by slugs or snails, It grows in partial shade and makes a smart structural accent at the end of a border. Love this plant which I have now had for about 10 years.




Perfect for shade!


I've purchased a lot of plants from Crocus and to be honest I can't remember if I purchased our Sarcococca confuse from you or not but I thought it was worth writing a review on the plant and I will be buying more from you as soon as they're back in stock and am confident the quality will be as good as everything else we have purchased. We have a north facing front garden and an area within it that never gets any sun at all, not even in the height of summer when the sun is at its highest. It was in that spot we planted some of these plants and all I can say is that they are thriving. They look fantastic all year, have grown very well and are now nicely hedged and smell amazing all through the winter. They really are the perfect plants for the spot. I should add that as the area in question is also up against two walls it can also get dry but this doesn't seem to matter to the plants. We will definitely be getting some more for other tricky shady areas.




Sarcococca confusa

4.3 10


Hello, I bought a couple of Sarcococca confusa for a rectangular planter in a shady corner in a north facing garden. I'm not an experienced gardener and I'm in need of advice. What is the best compost/soil or mix I can use to plant it in? Do I need fertiliser before or after planting, or during the year? Many thanks


Hello, These can be grown in John Innes No 2 compost, and should be kept well watered. This does contain some nutreients, but usually only enough for 6 week or so, so after that you will need to feed them with a good general purpose fertiliser, following the manufacturers instructions on the bottle/packet.


Hi my sarcococca confusa was planted in a pot 2 yrs ago when I first bought it. I think it may have got too much sun as it began to yellow. 6 months ago I placed it into dryish shade north facing in the ground yet all the leaves have remained yellow. I have fed it but it hasn't picked up, have you any advice?


Hello, There are a couple of things that could be the cause of this yellowing. It may be that it needs to go into a larger pot with some fresh compost, or it might need another feed. I am not sure what you have used previously, but some fertilisers need to be applied at regular intervals. I would also make sure that you are feeding it with the right thing, and I would recommend a good balanced fertiliser such as Vitax Q4 or Growmore. Unfortunately now though it is getting a little late for feeding as you do not wait to encourage lots of soft new growth before the frosts, so it may have to wait until spring next year.


Hello there, have had this plant for 4 years and it refuses to grow! I planted in ground but it started to look really ill so dug up and moved to another location, didn't do well at all so dug up and potted it, it is looking much healthier since potting but it hasn't grown, I added some root grow when potting as the root system was pretty lame, I have it in a mixture of potting compost, John Innes No3 with a little grit sand and lots of food. Everything in my garden is lush and growing like crazy, it is only the sweet box and a Nandina that are giving me this grief. Please help! Thank you.


Hello, It has to be said that this is not the fastest growing plant in the world, so you do need patience - and unfortunately, lifting and moving it may have slowed it down even further.


Hello Crocus. I have a question! I am interested in creating a hedge to go around my front garden and was thinking of using these plants (Sarcococca confusa) as it has such an amazing fragrance. Can you give me an idea of how quickly it might grow, and also if it can be 'hedged' -i.e. pruned to be quite flat so that it doesn't invade the footpath at the front too much? Thankyou very much, Rachel


Hello there Yes you can plant and prune this plant to create a hedge, - I would plant at 30cm intervals. How fast it will grow is hard to say as many external factors can affect the growth of a plant, such as how much water it has, or the nutrients etc. but it is quite slow growing normally. Hope this helps.

I am thinking about planting a hedge of sarcococca confusa around a bay window. I would be grateful for advice about spacing.


Hello, To create a nice, dense hedge, these should be planted at 30cm intervals. I hope this helps,


Help with plants for N/East facing garden Hi, I have a little problem choosing some plants....... I really like the look and size of the 'Shady Pink' pre-designed corner planting plan, but our problem is that we have a north east facing garden, so we get no sun at all in the winter, and direct sun for only half a day on either side of the garden during the summer. Would this planting plan be suitable for that level of shade? We are actually are buying plants for the entire garden, so we'd need about 6 new shrubs, and maybe a small tree (we were thinking about the Prunus Amanogawa). Could you please help us with a few shrubs that would do well in these conditions? For perennials, we have been recommended; - Geranium Johnson's Blue, Kniphofia, Crocosmia, and Helleborus foetidus. Are these suitable? Many many thanks! Regards, Josee

Josee Mallet

Hello Josee, It is always difficult to give a definitive answer to the shade issue, but looking at the Shady Pink border, the most shade tolerant plants include Anemone hupehensis Hadspen Abundance, Thalictrum aquilegiifolium and Dryopteris erythrosora. If you click on the following link it will take you to all our shade-loving shrubs and for the shade -loving perennials Of the plants you have listed, the Prunus, Helleborus foetidus, Kniphofia and Crocosmia will be OK as long as there is more sun than shade. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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

Can I use Berberis thunbergii f. 'Atropurpurea Nana' as an alternative to Box balls? Good afternoon I have a client who wants to replace some Buxus balls in pots either side of an entrance door which have died. I am considering suggesting Berberis thunbergii f. 'Atropurpurea Nana' as an alternative (in v. large pots) and would be interested in your views and any other suggestions. The site is partially shady and the plants will not get watered often. Ideally I would be looking for specimen size plants, ideally shaped like balls. Do you have any in specimen sizes and at what price? Thank you Regards Stuart

Part Timer

Hello Stuart, I'm afraid all plants will need to be kept well watered, especially when they are newly planted, or are confined to a pot. The Berberis (like the box) is certainly one of the tougher plants, but it is deciduous, so won't look great in winter. Alternatively, you could opt for any of the following, but we only sell the smaller sizes listed on the site. Sarcococca confusa Skimmia Viburnum davidii I hope this gives you a few ideas. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Balcony plants please I have just moved into an apartment with little room, could you please recommend evergreens, if possible with fragrance and colour. Balcony size is nearly 3 by 5 metres, south facing. Most grateful Yvonne

Yvonne Gowers

Hello Yvonne, There are many things that might be suitable - here are some of the best Sarcococca confusa Choisya ternata Lavandula Daphne I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

When to plant Sarcococca confusa Hello, I am thinking of buying the above shrub, can you please tell me when is it the best time to plant it? I live in Cumbria which is currently still very cold with intermittent frosts. Thanks

Jackie Kerr

Hello There, These plants are fully hardy so can be planted out at any time of the year as long as the ground isn't frozen. The ideal time for planting however is spring or autumn. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

Hello, I have just taken delivery today of my last order,-a Sarococca and 2 x Erigeron karvinskianus. Can I check with you where they have been stored to date? Have they been kept outside or in an unheated green house etc... I am trying to ascertain whether I can keep them outside until planting now? It is only February and there is still ice and snow forecast here in the next week or so. Thanks

Jackie Kerr

Hello There, These plants have been grown outside and as they are fully hardy they should be planted out as soon as the ground is not frozen. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk


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