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euonymus japonicus

Euonymus Japonicus Microphyllus

Japanese Euonymus, Dwarf Japanese Spindle, ‘Gold Dust’, ‘Aureus’

Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ is a rounded, very compact shrub with small, glossy dark green leaves.This delightful plant with its dwarf-like size of approximately 30 x 30 cm, is ideal for smaller gardens. A few specimens of this neat shrub, each planted in a fairly large clay pot and placed in a row up a set of stairs, are a sight to remember. Gardeners also love to plant this shrub in pots or urns placed around formal water features.

Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ is valued for its foliage. Some have large, oval-shaped, glossy dark green leaves, while others have tiny, closely-packed foliage. Some are pure green and others, usually the more stately and popular varieties, have variegated leaves in green and yellow.

Unobtrusive, pale white flowers appear in spring and are sometimes followed by orange berries, but this is not why we plant them.

Adding that Formal Touch

Formal gardens have been fashionable worldwide since the times of early civilisation and they remain popular today, especially with the resurgence of Tuscan and Victorian landscape styles. One of the key components of these formal designs is low, clipped hedges that edge the geometric patterns or shapes of the garden. These are often referred to as box hedges. Careful selection of the right plants for the scale and size of the garden, as well as the climatic conditions, is paramount for successful formal hedging.

One such plant is Euonymus Japonicus ‘Microphyllus’. The tiny, lance-shaped leaves of the evergreen shrub are dark green in colour with a toothed margin. A golden foliaged form is also available. Its flowers are insignificant and are seldom seen. To create a hedge, the plants should be spaced at 25cm intervals. Its recommended height is 20 to 30 cm, and the suggested base width 20 to 25 cm. It is slow growing but does well in cold, temperate areas.

Most Suitable Climate for Euonymus Japonicus

This evergreen shrub passes the test every time. It isexceptionally hardy and will grow in icy cold gardens. It also tolerates the heat. Fortunately, it is still being cultivated by growers and is relatively easy to come by in garden centres.

Although extreme frost often burns the leaves, the plants survive and quickly produce new growth. It also grows in coastal climates and endures the salty sea air without complaint.

What Euonymus Japonicus Needs

Location: full sun to shade. In very hot regions, the leaves of the variegated variety can scorch in the sun, so it is best planted in morning sun/afternoon shade. Euonymus is suitable for pots as well.

Soil: any soil type with good drainage is acceptable.

Water: medium water consumption. Water regularly during very hot weather.

Fertilising: feed every four to six weeks, from spring to the end of summer, using a nitrogen-enriched fertilizer. Use a water-soluble leaf nutrient for pot plants.

Pruning: this is really a very neat plant and you only need to prune it if it has become too large for the area in which it is planted. The larger E. Japonicus types can tolerate a sharp cut back and will quickly produce new growth. In spring, plants that have been damaged by winter frost can be pruned to remove any dead leaves and branches, but you should only do this once all threat of frost has passed.

In a nutshell

  • Suitable for colder climates;
  • Tolerates salty sea air along the coast;
  • Medium water consumption;
  • Low maintenance