Friday, October 17, 2014

Aucuba japonica

This is a rooted piece of Aucuba that I've had for years, in dry shade under a Live Oak. It took a notion this year to grow to about 18" tall. The eventual size is up to 6 feet.

Depending on whose opinion you read, Aucuba is hardy in zones 7-9 or 6-10. Aucuba is a great choice for a shady garden. The leaves burn easily in sun, leaving ugly black blotches.

This is a female plant. If I had a male plant or two, we might see big red seeds soon. 

If I had a shady area where I needed a hedge, Aucuba would be the obvious choice. It makes a good specimen plant where it is. After more than a dozen years it started to grow when a bird-planted Sassafras came up to shade it even more. 


  1. Now I'm wondering if I should move mine into even deeper shade than it's in. The spot gets a little bit of morning sun in the summer, shade the rest of the day, and still the leaves burn. It has not grown at all since I planted it 3 or 4 years ago.

  2. If the leaves burn, is it telling you it wants more shade? Maybe like mine, it wants a big sister (my volunteer Sassafras) to shade it.

    Miss Billie gave me rooted pieces and the rest eventually died. This one took years and years to start to grow. It seemed to like that there was lots of rain this summer.

    I don't remember that the ones I had near Atlanta took so long to grow. When I dug them and gave them to my nephew they were of good size.

  3. That is a beautiful plant.

    I have wanted a sassafras in the yard for a long time. Then a bird planted one came up in a perfect spot and just when it got to the size to have the various shaped leaves, it began to die. I think I got too close with the trimmer.

    Does your change to a beautiful fall color or are you too warm?

  4. My camellias that bloom in the fall are called japicona I believe will look to see what the relation is.

  5. Japonica just means the plant came from Japan.

    Camellia japonica and Aucuba japonica have not relation except for being from the same country.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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