Variegated Japanese Aucuba Shows Its Winter Beauty

Winter fruit of Variegated Japanese Aucuba

Winter fruit of variegated Japanese aucuba

Winter look of variegated Japanese Aucuba

Winter look of variegated Japanese aucuba

Potted variegated Japanese aucuba rooted last winter

Potted variegated Japanese aucuba rooted last winter

Here is an easy to grow shade plant. Variegated Japanese aucuba in the right location is basically carefree. Being a member of the dogwood family, this aucuba loves light to full shade, good soil that is well drained, and light fertilization. The two most common problems of this plant are leaf burn, which is generally due to too much sun, and a root problem that cause canes of the plant to wilt, turn black, and die. I really do not have either problem. Preventing the root problem includes planting them slightly high and getting plants that were not infected with the disease.
This time of the year when flowers are few, I like to cut healthy vigorous stems of aucuba and put them in a vase of water or arrange them in florist foam for the house. Usually, if I leave them long enough and keep the container full of water (but no leaves touching the water), they will root. Once the roots are growing well, I plant them in pots, and put them in the shade outdoors after the chance of frost has past. The one in the photo was planted in a one gallon container least year. If they are rooted in the florist foam, cut and plant the rooted stems with the florist foam. They are great accent plants for the garden and great gifts to friends,too.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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