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A classy little foundation filler! Japanese Skimmia will dress up your shady beds and borders with lustrous leaves that hold their rich green color all year long. This female form offers a bonus as well—glossy red berries that ripen in fall and decorate the plant throughout the winter months. Japanese Skimmia lends a polished, formal look to the landscape and suits both traditional and contemporary homes. The branches are reminiscent of Holly, and they make cheery additions to holiday arrangements. Create a welcoming, festive mood indoors and out!
Japanese Skimmia is a distinguished Accent that isn’t terribly common in the United States. Native to Japan and China, it prefers mild climates and struggles in both extreme winter cold and summer heat. In this country, it is happiest in the Mid-Atlantic states and the Pacific Northwest. In regions where it thrives, it proves itself to be very useful in sun-challenged spaces. It’s handy for siting under winodows, as it is easily kept to a moderate height. Employ this pretty female form as a single specimen, or plant a row of Skimmias to create an exquisite low hedge.
Japanese Skimmia flowers are borne on separate plants. The clusters of tiny blossoms are maroon in bud, opening to creamy white. Female flowers, pollinated by male plants, turn intoshiny red fruits. Plant one male Skimmia for every six females to ensure good pollination and berry-set.
How to Grow
Similar in culture to Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Camellias, Japanese Skimmia enjoys acidic, moist, well-drained soil amended with organic matter. Shade is a must, as intense sunlight will bleach the foliage. Water regularly and mulch annually to keep the root zone cool and moist. You’ll want to site this Accent in a sheltered spot away from icy winter winds. Skimmia is a slow grower and little to no pruning will be needed. Watch out for mites; these tiny pests can cause stippling of the leaves. Plants grown under optimum conditions will be more resistant to mite attacks.
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