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Euonymus: the versatile and reliable evergreen shrub for garden borders

Euonymus, also known as the Spindle tree, is one of the garden’s most versatile and reliable evergreen shrubs. Easy to grow and suitable for all garden sites, be that in full sun, part shade or deep shade, the euonymus is the perfect plant for year-round foliage and interest. Euonymus will grow in most soil types, but does have a tendency to get large if left unpruned. Cut back by a third in the first spring after planting to encourage a bushy habit.

Euonymus alatus compactus

Euonymus alatus compactusEuonymus alatus is not a showy or glamorous plant. In fact, throughout much of the spring and summer it remains a plain green shrub, admittedly with light foliage and horizontal branches that can give structure to any garden border. However, once the seasons start to turn the Euonymus alatus comes into its own; the leaves start to turn cerise/red and eventually turn a stunning vivid red for several weeks. If you’re looking for fiery autumn colour, then this plant is a must-have.

Type: shrub

Height: 1m

Foliage: green turning rosy-red in autumn

Flower colour: green followed by red-purple fruits

Flowering: spring

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘N’ Gold’

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘N’ Gold’‘Emerald ‘N’ Gold’ is a spreading, dwarf evergreen shrub with broad yellow-edged leaves, tinged pink during the winter months. Sometimes it produces a few small, inconspicuous greenish flowers in late spring. ‘Emerald ‘N’ Gold’ is a clump-forming, spreading plant and has been awarded an RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit). Plant in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.

Type: shrub

Height: 60cm

Foliage: evergreen – green with yellow margins

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Euonymus emerald ‘Gaiety’

Euonymus emerald ‘Gaiety’Euonymus emerald ‘Gaiety’ is a compact, bushy RHS AGM award-winning evergreen shrub, climbing when planted against a wall, bearing rounded, dark green leaves with irregular, creamy-white margins, flushed pink in winter. ‘Gaiety’ rarely flowers. It will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 1.5m after 10-20 years. will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 1.5m after 10-20 years.

Type: shrub

Height: 1m

Foliage: evergreen – green with irregular white margins

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Euonymus japonicas ‘Bravo’

Euonymus japonicas ‘Bravo’Euonymus japonicas ‘Bravo’ is a dense, bushy, evergreen shrub bearing oval, toothed, leathery, glossy, dark to grey-green leaves with broad, irregular, yellow margins that fade to cream with age. Small, insignificant, green flowers bloom in summer and are occasionally followed by fruit in autumn. It will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 2m after 5-10 years. Plant in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.

Type: shrub

Height: 1.5m

Foliage: evergreen – green with creamy-white margins

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Euonymus japonicas ‘Marieke’

Euonymus japonicas ‘Marieke’Euonymus japonicas ‘Marieke’ or ‘Ovatus Aureus’ is a bushy, mid-sized, evergreen RHS AGM award-winning shrub with oval, broad yellow margined yellow-green leaves which are bright golden-yellow when young. It bears small greenish flowers in summer sometimes followed by pink fruits in autumn. It will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1m after 5-10 years. Plant in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.

Type: shrub

Height: 1.5m

Foliage: evergreen – green with yellow margins

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

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