Friday, December 14, 2012

The December Garden - Japanese Aucuba

A bright splash of gold on green leaves adds warmth and cheer to even the coldest December day.

I'm feeling pretty happy about this evergreen Aucuba that I planted just a couple of months ago in the shadiest corner of my front foundation border.

North Carolina State University has a nice profile on Aucuba japonica (hardy to zone 7) and a description of more than half a dozen cultivars.

This little guy is only 2-3 feet tall right now, but I hope in time it will develop a commanding presence if it reaches its projected adult size of 4-6 feet tall and wide.

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  1. After years of growing aucuba in Atlanta, I decided to try it in Connecticut's Zone 6 a couple of years ago. Success! Two, count 'em, two, grow happily. I'm still awaiting flowers followed by that showy red fruit. Much success with yours.

    1. Thank you as always for your comment, Lee.

      I have to admit that I'm not even familiar with aucuba's flowers or fruit. I planted it just for the foliage. But if it has showy red fruit, so much the better!

      Do birds and other critters eat the fruit?

      I was just reading about aucuba at University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service ( that the plants are difficult to grow from seed, but that cuttings root easily. Have you tried to propagate any this way?

    2. PS - A bit more research from UA Extension indicates the plants are dioecious. Again, I had no idea. So apparently only the female plants produce fruit. Maybe yours are male?


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