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Male Japanese Skimmia
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Lush green foliage twelve months a year! Japanese Skimmia brightens winter days and every day with lively greenery. Use it to give structure and color to your shady courtyard, entryway, patio, foundation beds, or any high-visibility spot where four-season good looks are important. Planted in rows, Skimmia makes a fine low hedge, serving as a handsome divider between different areas of your landscape. This is a low-maintenance Accent that won’t impose on your busy lifestyle. A compact grower, it naturally assumes a tidy shape and never gets out of control. Sharp!
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. This male form can be used to pollinate female Skimmias, or it can be planted on its own as a cool green element in the landscape.
Japanese Skimmia flowers are borne on separate plants. The clusters of tiny blossoms are maroon in bud, opening to creamy white. Only female plants get the bright red berries, but the male Skimmia is noteworthy for having flowers that are much more fragrant than the female’s. 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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