Escallonia is an attractive shrub which is easy to grow in the right conditions. Escallonia is a pretty shrub, evergreen with lovely glossy leaves and a profusion of flowers in late spring and early summer which are usually pink, red or white, and in some varieties, scented. Escallonia looks good as a specimen shrub, but also makes a great hedge and is often used for hedging in coastal gardens where it is very suitable for growing. Escallonia are tolerant of windy areas and of salt spray, but not of cold winds.
The only point to note when growing Escallonia is that it is slightly tender which means it is not suitable for cold or exposed gardens. It is often described as H4 hardy,(what does frost hardy mean?) which is hardy in most of the UK as -5-10 degrees. In reality, most Escallonia are not fully hardy which means it is best to check the variety carefully and all are best grown in a sheltered spot and can suffer in a bad winter with die back on the leaves and scorching. Escallonia is an ideal shrub for sea side gardens; the image on the right is of an Escallonia hedge growing in Guernsey. Escallonia are best planted in full sun into good well drained soil away from cold winds. Escallonia are trouble free, requiring no maintenance.
Escallonia are low maintenance and do not require pruning, but should you feel the need it is best not to prune in the spring, which will be before flowering and result in no flowers that year. It can be tempting to take the secateurs to the garden in the spring, but if Escallonia, or any spring flowering shrubs are pruned, the wood carrying the flowers will be cut off. Either do not prune it or prune it with just a light shearing after flowering in late summer.
Escallonia grow to around 3m with 2.5m spread. This means if you are growing Escallonia as a hedge, and it is a very popular hedging plant, shrubs need to be planted about 45 cms apart. If the Escallonia has outgrown its alloted space it is possible to prune it harder to re shape and reduce in size. If an Escallonia has got out of hand, it will respond to hard pruing although it may not flower the year after pruning it will recover.