All gardens have problem spots – those areas where it seems that nothing will grow. Often, this tends to be in the shade – either under a large tree or the eves of a house. This week we are featuring an evergreen that will solve the problem of bare, shaded areas and will add eye catching color and interest to your garden – Aucuba japonica ‘Gold Dust.’
Unlike most garden plants that only tolerate shade, Aucubas prefer shade and will thrive in the shadiest of spots, even under trees where no grass grows.
Native to Japan, Aucubas are a small group of evergreen shrubs that belong to the same family as dogwoods, but look nothing like them. ‘Gold Dust’ is one of the most popular of the Aucubas, named for its speckled leaves that look as if someone had sprinkled gold dust on them. These handsome leaves are the reason why most folks add this shrub to their garden. ‘Gold Dust’ will flower in late March and produce red berries in October, but neither is very noticeable next to the striking foliage.
Planting and Care
‘Gold Dust’ will mature as a rounded shrub six feet to eight feet tall by six feet wide. It can be kept severely pruned to a compact three foot by three foot shrub. ‘Gold Dust’ grows almost one foot per year. It is ideal as a dense screen; also in difficult spots in foundation plantings. Very pollution tolerant; excellent for urban sites.