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Plants that fill a similar niche:
Echinopsis oxygona Echinopsis Oxygona
Hibiscus martianus Hibiscus martianus
x Heucherella Heucherella
Aucuba japonica 'Dwarf Green' has some common insect problems:
Mealybugs

Spotted Laurel Aucuba japonica 'Dwarf Green'

Description

Spotted laurel, in the Garryaceae (silk tassel) family, is a woody, broadleaf, evergreen shrub with variegated leaves. It is native to East Asia and Japan, but has become well adapted to the North Carolina environment. 

It can be found in moist woodland areas, thickets, valleys, and along streams. Partial shade to deep shade is the best growing environment. Young leaves exposed to the sun will blacken. Soil conditions should be loamy clay, sand, or high organic matter. The soil needs to have good drainage, moist to occasionally dry or wet conditions. The plant will tolerate poor soils and urban conditions like air pollution. The foliage is susceptible to windburn so plant in a protected area. Plant 3 to 6 feet apart. It is propagated by seed or stem cutting. 

Plants in this genus are dioecious meaning they have male and female flowers on separate plants. If planted near each other, the female plants will produce showy red fruits in the winter providing year-round interest. 

Spotted laurel can be grown in containers around the patio or in recreational play areas.  It does well in children's gardens, shade, and winter gardens. It can be used as a hedge or privacy screening. In temperate climates it is grown as a houseplant and requires cool room temperatures of 50 to 65 degrees F.  

‘Dwarf Green’ is a cultivar with deep green leaves that give a tropical appearance.  Smaller growing, it will mature to a compact height and width of up to 4'.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Wet soils or poor drainage can lead to root rot.  Planting in locations with freezing temperatures can lead to winter dieback.  Young foliage should be protected from direct afternoon sunlight in southern locations.  Insects problems include nematodes, mealybugs and scale.  

More information on Aucuba japonica.

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Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#shade shrub#shade garden#showy leaves#air pollution tolerant#disease resistant#evergreen shrub#poor soils tolerant#compact habit#clay soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#compact#container plant#showy#insect resistant#shade#shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#shade shrub#shade garden#showy leaves#air pollution tolerant#disease resistant#evergreen shrub#poor soils tolerant#compact habit#clay soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#compact#container plant#showy#insect resistant#shade#shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aucuba
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Garryaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used as an accent or specimen plant.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Asia and Japan.
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Mounding
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The small berries ripen in the fall and will last through the winter months into the spring.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    The tiny maroon flowers appear on female plants.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Solid green leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil