Sunday, July 18, 2010

Aucuba . . . the plant with the look of the tropics

It is one of those plants that thrived in my father's garden, a successful result of his passion for propagating plants collected in his travels. The shrub in the photo from my garden is a result of several years growth from the cuttings I took from his yard. The aucuba plant is one of my favorites.

Our aucubas were severely damaged from the unusual cold winter . . . the first year this happened as our mild winters in Tampa usually don't damage the plant. Being the resilient plant that they are, new growth quickly appeared this spring and are on their way back to the beauty the brightly colored leaves bring to the landscape.

Scientific Name
Aucuba japonica

Common Name
Aucuba . . . Gold Dust Plant

Native to eastern Asia, this evergreen shrub has dense, glossy foliage that appears splashed with yellow paint. The shrub can grow up to 10 feet tall.

The ideal soil is moist, high in organic matter and well-drained, although it will tolerate almost any soil condition. Plant in partial to full shade (summer and winter), as its leaves will "burn" in summer and turn sickly green in winter.

It competes successfully with the demanding roots of other shrubs and trees, and
transplants easily. The aucuba plant also performs well in containers.

Avoid overhead watering to reduce incidence of disease. Prune occasionally to restrain growth or eliminate dead or dying branches caused by disease.

Insects are not a significant problem!
Propagate from softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings.
In my opinion, they are the perfect Zone 9 plant (although they thrive in Zones 7 through 10).



alocasia Amazonica annuals apartment gardening aphids aucuba azalea back yard projects bamboo hydroponics basil beneficial insects birds. bird watching black eyed susan blooms blue plumbago boulders bromeliad photos bromeliads bugs Busch Gardens butterfly gardening calender calissia fragrans candles Christmas Cactus cilantro coffee coleus colorful container planting companion planting composting concrete concrete container concrete countertop concrete leaves concrete project container container gardening container gardens container plants containers contrast coriander craft projects crafts cranberry hibiscus crinum crinum lilies croton cubanelle peppers cuttings cycads DIY DIY insecticidal soap DIY projects eggshells elephant ear epiphyte fall gardening fallen tree faux rocks fire pit fireplace florida beauties Florida gardening flower tower flowering perennials flowers France garden garden decor garden design garden fountain garden maintenance garden path garden suppies gardening gardening basics gardening mistakes gardening tips gardens garlic gazebo gingers grass grasshoppers greenhouses ground covers growing from seed growing tomatoes herb gardening herbs HGTV holiday plant houseplants hydroponics hypertufa hypertufa containers illumination impatiens indoor gardening insecticidal soap insects inspiration June gardening Kalanchoe landscape landscape design landscaping lawns leaf casting leaf casting water feature leaf mold lemon tree lettuce lighting lily limes log planter mandevilla Monet monthly gardening notes mosaic mother of millions native plants organic organic gardening organic pest control outdoor fireplace outdoor kitchen outdoor lighting outdoor projects outdoor shower outdoor spaces painting Paradise past path paths patio gardening Paul James pavers peppers perennials pest control pests photo tips photos photos garden plant plant containers plant damage plant profile plant swaps planter plants plumbago pond propagation pruning pruning tomato plants raised beds recycle recycling redesign rocks rooting basil rooting tomato plants sago palm saving money scrub seed saving seed starters seed storage box seed swaps shade shade gardening shade plants slugs soil soil mix spring staghorn fern starting from seed stepping stones stump removal succulents summer summer gardening terracotta tin cans tips tires tomato tomato plants trash to treasure trash-to-treasure trees trellis tropical tropical plants tropicals turf vegetable gardening video water feature watering weed control weed identification weeds winter winter sowing wood path wood projects yard art zones 9-11