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Euonymus is delightfully diverse in its forms, but Moonshadow Euonymus is truly special. This variegated selection stands out in the landscape like no other. Its dark green leaves are each marked in the middle with a broad brushstroke of glowing yellow that matures to a hue that’s pale as moonlight. The foliage holds on all winter, bringing the bold contrast into those bleak days. Hints of pink and purple appear with the cold weather and add to the winter display. Moonshadow is a compact grower—plant it at the front of the border for all to see!
This species of Euonymus is native to China, where it creeps and climbs like both a shrubby plant and as a vine. Its foliage is normally green in the wild, but this Accent is prone to sending out random sports (mutations), which can result in intriguing new forms for gardeners to grow. Moonshadow Euonymus is the product of a nursery here in the U.S. It appeared at the Perry, Ohio, nursery of Thomas Dugan as a sport of Sunspot, a form with just a sliver of yellow in the center of the leaves. It was introduced in 1986.
Some variegated plants have a habit of “reverting”—they’ll send out a branch here and there that’s plain green. Moonshadow Euonymus is very good about not reverting, but if it does happen, simply prune that branch out.
How to Grow
Part of Moonshadow Euonymus’s popularity is due to the fact that it is so easy to grow. This adaptable Accent will grow in sun or shade and in just about any type of soil that isn’t soggy. Wet feet spell trouble. Ideally, it would prefer light shade and soil that is barely moist at all times. The one thing that can sometimes pose a problem is an insect called scale. To prevent the spread of this pest, it’s best not to use Moonshadow as a massing plant but as a single specimen.
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