Euonymus – Colour Contrast in a Low Hedge

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Euonymus Japonicus Emerald n Gold is a plant that’s easily mistaken for Duranta Sheena’s Gold. You won’t see too many of either, but when you do, they’ll stand out. Euonymus is easy to spot as it has variegated leaves – green on the inside changing to either bright yellow or a creamy colour on the outside. The other common variety used for hedging is Euonymus Japonicus Tom Thumb. As the name suggests, it’s a lower growing variety without the variegated leaf.

If you’re after a long boundary hedge or something to block out the neighbours, you’ll need to keep looking. Euonymus Emerald n Gold is the slightly taller of the two but you’d be hard pressed to get a hedge past 70cm. Tom Thumb a little less. What they do brilliantly is garden bed borders, linings of a paths or circling a tree, or as a colour contrast for another taller hedge plant. They’re good in most climates and don’t require excess water once established.

Here’s the kicker: don’t plant Euonymus too far apart. Spacing should be tight at time of planting if you’re wanting a low semi-formal hedge. Too often we see these things planted as a border but the space between each plant is all wrong. Tighten it up and you’ll get a better result.

Biggest Positive: Colour contrast in the garden with variegated leaves

Biggest Negative: Prune off any new growth that’s all green. The green leaves can take over from the variegated ones

NameEuonymus JaponicusEmerald n Gold
Tom Thumb
LeafNewGreen and Gold
OldGreen and Gold
Dark Green
FlowerColourSometimes but inconspicuous
Time of YearSummer
SizeHeight70cm or so
Width70cm or so

Instead of a traditional hedge plant to hide a fence, what about a climber? They take up less space and are usually fast growing. On the downside there’s little formality and going above the height of the fence is more difficult.

Euonymus Gallery