In The Garden Now…. Elaeagnus Shrubs

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Golden Elaeagnus
Text and photos by Victoria Gilleland

One of the easiest ways to liven up the winter garden is to add a variegated plant or two.

With that mission in mind Variegated Elaeagnus shrubs can add a light bright blast of color to your garden in the coldest darkest months.

These evergreen shrubs are fast growing, drought tolerant and easy to grow. They do well in full sun to shade. They can be pruned to form hedges or screens of various heights or used as focal points in the mixed shrub border.

Growth tends to be dense and twiggy with some spines. Plants are more open when grown in shade. Elaeagnus can be pruned into a wonderful evergreen variegated espalier. I treasure them for the strong contrast to green foliage and deciduous plants they provide year round.

Yellow Edge Elaeagnus Shrub
Elaeagnus shrubs grown in full sun will produce small but fragrant white flowers and red berries.   The same plant grown in shade is unlikely to produce flower or berry. Shrubs can reach 6-14 feet, but can easily be kept smaller and denser with pruning. They’re easy to grow in containers as well.

Chase the drab from your winter garden with the addition of a Variegated Elaeagnus shrub or two! You’ll find it’s a worthwhile garden addition year round.

(Botanical Name:  Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’ and Elaeagnus pungens ‘Variegata’ )

Victoria Gilleland is the owner of Cottage Garden Designs, a Garden Design company specializing in Redesign of Residential Gardens, Garden Consultation and Coaching. She has been designing gardens in the northwest for over 20 years.


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