Our January Plant of the Month: Sarcococca hookeriana humilis

At phs Greenleaf, we love plants. This is why we have been providing beautiful real and artificial plant displays to businesses across the UK for over 25 years. In fact, we now pride ourselves on keeping the premises of more than 8,000 companies looking bright and colourful all year round with our stunning flower displays.

plant of month Sarcococca hookeriana humilis


To celebrate our love for all things horticultural, each month e’ll be highlighting a Plant of the Month to incorporate into your planting, as well as providing tips on how to best plant and care for it.


With this month continuing to bring chilly temperatures and darker, shorter days, we suggest warding off the dreaded ‘January Blues’ with the sweet and warming vanilla fragrance of January’s Plant of the month; the Sarcococca hookeriana humilis…


Sarcococca hookeriana humilis (Sweet Box or Christmas Box)


 The name ‘Sarcococca hookeriana humilis’ might be a handful to pronounce, but it refers to the British botanist and explorer, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, who served as director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew for around 20 years in the 19th Century. Fortunately, however, this reliable evergreen shrub is also commonly known as the ‘Christmas Box’ or ‘Sweet Box’, which we can assume is due to its delicate vanilla scent, and the time of the year that it flowers.


plant of month Sarcococca hookeriana humilis

Distinctive for its fragrant small white flowers, lush leathery foliage, and red, purple, and black berries, Sarcococca hookeriana humilis typically grows to a height of 1m (with a  spread of 1m). This makes it a great option for adding interest to plant borders! Flowering between the months of December and February, this hardy plant is also incredibly simple to grow because it withstands temperatures down to -15°C, and it can be planted in any type of well-drained soil. In fact, it can even be planted in drier soils if needed.


After flowering, Sweet Box only requires a light trim, if necessary. With this sweet-smelling shrub being so easy to grow and maintain, there’s little wonder why it’s such a popular addition to winter borders and plant beds!


To find out more about our real and artificial planting services for businesses, contact phs Greenleaf, or check out the links below: