Japanese Aucuba (Aucuba Japonica) - Garden Basics - Flower - Perennial
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Plant Information Type: perennial shrub
Flower Color: blue
Height: up to 10 feet
Width: 6-9 feet
Soil Requirements: moist, well-drained
Uses: shade garden, winter interest, as foundation plants on north and east sides of homes
Japanese Aucuba is a shade tolerant, evergreen shrub that is often seen planted under large trees or as a foundation planting on the north and east sides of homes. It grows to fifteen feet in height with a rounded or upright-rounded shape. Leaves are shiny and green, and some cultivars have yellow or white markings. The blue or purple flowers bloom in late winter or very early spring. Female plants produce three-inch clusters of bright red berries in the fall if there is a male plant nearby. Berries usually remain all winter. They do well in containers on patios or indoors.
Shrubs are among the most versatile of garden plants. They can fill the landscape with color, shape, and texture all year long, with flowers in the spring, lovely foliage in the summer, and berries and bright leaves autumn. They even add shape and texture to the winter garden. Although this bulletin deals mainly with flowering shrubs, the wealth of information can be applied to most any shrub.
This shrub reaches its full height in about 10 years. A. japonica needs very little attention and rarely needs pruning. A spring feeding with cottonseed meal will promote growth and encourage berry production. Roots are shallow, so don't cultivate near the plant. Leaves will burn in the sun.
A. japonica transplants easily, and is very tolerant of pollution and seaside conditions. Established plants will withstand drought.
Some popular cultivars:
A. japonica 'Variegata' (gold dust tree) - yellow speckles on green leaves
A. japonica 'Crotonifolia' -- white-spotted leaves.
A. japonica 'Picturata' - deep green leaves with bright yellow centers
A. japonica 'Sulphur' -- yellow leaves with green centers