Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Euonymus Shrubs

The leaves of Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Surprise’ (on the left in the picture) turn slightly pink in winter. The winter pink color was the one of the reasons I bought them.

I planted three bushes in spring 2000. Leaves with a green center and creamy white edges create a showy shrub but it’s not without problems.

Scale destroyed one of the shrubs and threatened the others. The tiny white, armored invaders can suck the life out of them in one season. University of Minnesota “IPM of Midwest Landscapes” has some excellently gross pictures and information.

I control the scale using a spray of 1 gallon water, 2 tablespoons baking soda and an little dish soap. I’ll spray several times in spring. I usually get the bush dripping wet. Then, I repeat the spraying during the summer.

I also prune back hard in spring. The growing season will produce about two feet of growth so I try to get them really short. Virginia Cooperative Extension pruning schedule includes times to prune shrubs in our area.

Euonymus fortunei ‘Moonshadow’ (to the right in picture) with its creamy white center and green edge doesn’t have the same problems in my garden. It is low growing, doesn’t need much pruning and has never been bothered by scale. It never turns pink in winter but it’s a lot more care free. It’s amazing what a difference a variety makes.

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