A common shrub,of which there are both evergreen and deciduous varieties. Many evergreen varieties, the fortunei cultivars, are grown for their brightly coloured foliage. Illustrated above left is E. fortunei 'Harlequin' which is a low growing compact variety with a slight pink tinge to the leaves. On the right is the frequently grown E. fortunei 'Emerald n Gold', a really bright shrub which will light up a shady corner, being tolerant of partial shade. The advantage of growing Euonymus is that they are tough shrubs which will tolerate less than ideal conditions, making them suitable for growing in a difficult area of the garden.
Euonymus grow best in a reasonably well-drained soil, in sun or partial shade. The variegated varieties do better with more sun. Euonymus require no real pruning or maintenance and are maintenance free.
Below are images of two of the most commonly grown evergreen varieties, Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald ‘n‘ Gold (right) and Silver Queen (center) illustrated as mature shrubs. If you are planting a mixed shrub border, Euonymus is a good addition, as they are so easy to grow and their variegation stands out even on gloomy days.
The fortunei varieties are tough and will grow in an exposed site, windy areas, partial shade which makes them a useful garden shrub, particualry for difficult areas. They will also tolerate alkaline soil.
As with all variegated plants, reversion can occur. This is when the new growth is without variation. Should this occur, prune out the reversionary growth back to the main shrub to maintain variegation in the foliage.
Many Euonymus are evergreen. It is worth mentioning that there is a commonly grown, deciduous variety illustrated top centre, Euonymus 'Red Cascade' which has strong autumn colour and berries. For more information, check out shrubs with Autumn and Winter colour, some deciduous euonymus look fantastic in autumn.
Euonymus is versatile, with excellent variegated foliage and often overlooked as a commonplace shrub, but to do so would under estimate their garden value as a maintenance free garden shrub with lovely variegated foliage.
Check out Fast Growing Evergreen Shrubs for more planting ideas.