Hardiness: USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Partial to Full Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Inconspicuous/none
Bloom Time: Late Winter/Early Spring
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen Variegated
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic) 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From softwood cuttings From semi-hardwood cuttings
On Aug 25, 2012, gregr18 from Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I've had success in zone 6b (SE Massachusetts) with this plant. Zero degrees F killed a few leaves, but other than that, it remained healthy and green. As others have suggested, there is potential for this plant in zone 6 gardens.
On Oct 4, 2011, valiam from Safety Harbor, FL wrote:
I grew this plant in Richmond, Virginia for years. It lined my house on the wall on the north side of the house, which was shaded for most of the day. I never did anything to protect it from the cold or snow. In the winter I would cut off several large cuttings and place them in a vase of water. They would brighten up the house for weeks at a time and would root while in the vase. My plants did occasionally have black leaves, but I would periodically cut them back so there was usually new growth.
On Jul 12, 2011, loovejonesx from Durham, NC wrote:
I purchased mine ten years ago when I bought my house. It is in a dappled shady spot that would get no direct sunlight. It grew very slowly, but in the third year of having it, it exploded, & now is one of the main attractions of my backyard & seems VERY healthy!!
On Jul 11, 2011, witchy1 from Houston, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I am neutral about this plant because I have tried to grow 2 of them - only 1 seems to be surviving. Slowly but surely the leafs and the stems on the other one are turning black. As it is in shade, I believe it has a fungus or is diseased. I have sprayed it well a few times but it continues to die little by little. It is approx 2 years old and growing in a large pot.
On May 14, 2011, atinjohn from Pikeville, TN wrote:
Acuba Golddust is about as carefree as you can get. I am growing 7 plants in full shade from deciduous trees, with some receiving dappled morning sunlight in the summer. Drought tolerant, easy to transplant, even easier to propagate and attractive year round.
On Jun 15, 2010, p2tso from Los Angeles, CA wrote:
I inherited this plant 2 years ago when we moved to a new house. Didn't know what it was until yesterday. So in the last 2 years, I've done very little to it - it gets some water twice a week because the lawn sprinklers water the adjacent area of grass, but no additional. It's in a partially shaded spot under another large yucca-type plant and our soil is on the clay side. It has grown quite a bit this past winter, about a foot, with average rainfall for this area, and it looks quite pretty. Only negative is that last summer, the exterior leaves scorched black. It will probably do so again this summer. Seems to bounce back though.
On Nov 4, 2009, purplesun from Krapets Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:
I grow this in the shadiest possible corner of my yard in Sofia, 2300 feet AMSL, zone 6b. Have had no problems whatsoever with Gold Dust Plant. It has been crushed by loads of cleared snow, and has regrown vigorously. Its site never seems to dry out.
There is one thing you should keep in mind with this plant and that is - avoid DIRECT sunlight. I've seen plants in such sunny situations and they look horrible, all burned and ailing.
I've seen hedges of this in Prague, Czech republic, tall plants in Bratislava, Slovakia, and they were all wonderful.
On Apr 9, 2009, SwampYankee from East Hartford, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:
Aucuba is beyond its reported hardiness zone here in the Connecticut River Valley near Hartford, but I'm told they do well on the Connecticut Sound and Long Island. I rooted two cuttings taken in Richmond, VA in 2001 and planted one on the north side of my house and one to the north of a yew hedge; both locations are bright shade. The first winter I protected the young plants with an overturned peach basket full of oak leaves. Since then, they have slowly grown to about 4' without protection or pampering, and are lush and full. Aucuba does best in cool damp climates like the Pacific Northwest, so here they are merely a curiosity. I've heard they are massive in Ireland.
On Dec 14, 2008, RichPugetSound from Oak Harbor, WA wrote:
I have this plant. It's been pretty tough. I cut it back down to the ground when I didn't know what it was and it came back. This should give a clue that pruning won't kill it. It will put off new buds from the sticks left after pruning but I recommend testing on your own plant. Mine is in full sun but I have to make sure it gets water once a week when it gets into the 80's or higher. It doesn't like frost. I have a PVC frame around mine and cover it on frosty/freezing nites and that prevents the black tips. My plant is less than 4 ft high and has taken 6 years to grow that tall from being cut back to the ground.
On Nov 9, 2008, spanky_MD from Baltimore, MD wrote:
I had one of these in a sheltered spot next to the house where it got a little late afternoon sun. It thrived for years, even when I cut it back severely several times. I threw the cuttings in a pile in the shade of a pine tree and a year later found two little new plants sprouting from them. I also took a stem cutting and grew a plant indoors.
Deer DO eat this shrub in my yard, however. That's the only negative to it. I bought another one and the deer ate it to the ground over the winter. It came back nicely and this winter I will put up some kind of protection around it.
I recently moved into a house with 2 of these in the yard. They obviously like the conditions, close to the house, south side, mostly shade, zone 7. The larger one is about 7 ft tall and at least 5 ft around, both very full and healthy looking. Can anyone tell me about cutting them back? They have grown to partially block the entry sidewalk. When to cut back-spring? fall? and how much without hurting the plant? Thanks.
On Apr 29, 2008, vetaflame from San Diego, CA wrote:
I love the way this plant looks, but I have had no success getting it to grow in my San Diego garden. It burns up in the sun and fails to thrive in the shade. I've tried several plants in different areas in my garden, but they always die. Almost everything thrives in my garden, but this plant has been quite a disappointment to me.
Deer hate this plant/bush. But I love it, only I cannot get it to grow in a pot. I've kept it in shade and check it every week only to find the the stalks are getting soft. I'll try the method of just putting them in water for a few weeks.
On May 16, 2007, collies4u from Checotah, OK wrote:
My friend's mother from Maryland gave me a start of this plant last January (2007). I brought it back to Oklahoma on the plane with me wrapped in wet paper towels in a plastic bag. I put it in a container of just regular tap water. In about 30 days, roots started growing, then about 3 months after I put it in water, a small puple flower appeared close to the water line. I was so amazed by it I took a close-up of it, which I'll try to send. It reminded me of a very tiny water lily. I haven't seen any other pictures of these flowers like this.
On Apr 28, 2006, Savage223 from Elizabethtown, PA wrote:
I have two of these plants which were planted in 1987. They stand 3-1/2 feet tall at this time. I have never seen any "fruit" on these- probably due to the lack of gender or nearby opposing gendered plants.
I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is between the two other PA locations listed.
They have been a hardy plant set, considering they're located on the border of the driveway where salt and road contaminants can get washed into their beds easily.
I, too, have experienced the blackened tips of the plants- though I wasn't sure if this was winter damage or sunlight. (They are located right next to the house on the east side, and receive light only between the hours of 10am and noon during the winter.) The black tips snap off on their own during early summer, and I do not usually see them until the following spring again.
I don't know if they have a propensity for attracting ants, but the only place I've found them in my entire yard was around the base of these. Again: they are located next to the pavement, which is certainly a place ants like to build.
I'd recommend these, provided you have the right sun location and lack deer.
On Sep 3, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:
This plant supplies great foliage for the area of my shaded patio. It grows slowly and if a male and female plant are close to each other the female plant may produce bright red berries all winter long. pokerboy.
On Apr 25, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Edgewood, Wa. I have one growing in the woods behind my house. It is in the shade and I keep it trimmed to block any future development. It is a bush that stands 10-14 foot tall and is just as wide. Is a bright spot in the dark green of the woods. I have broken off limbs about 8-12 inches long and stuck them directly into the soil. The have rooted, no hormone, just keep them moist. Make a great looking hedge.
On Mar 17, 2004, youreit from Knights Landing, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
After I bought this plant, and my mom told me she'd grown this successfully years ago in the San Jose, CA, area, which has semi-coastal influence, I almost threw it out. I live in the border area of Sunset zones 8 & 14 in N. California, which gets very hot in the summer. I planted it in full shade last year, and it's growing like crazy now, the new light green leaves contrasting beautifully with the older growth. It's only about 1 ft. tall now, so I look forward to more growth in the future.
UPDATE - 03/03/2010
Yikes, 6 years later, and my poor plant has been destroyed by the neighbors! They cut back an oleander and a walnut tree to the west, making my shady area into an afternoon-sun area. Black leaves, no new growth - it's sad. Rest in pieces, Aucuba.
you can't kill it. I've had to have several trees removed in my back yard, and each time these bushes are right in the way of the truck access. they cut them down to nubbs, and one year later there 3 feet tall again.
On Aug 28, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
Can only tolerate sunny spots in cooler regions...direct sun can cause sunburn and defoliation. Flowers are very small. Pest problems include nematodes. Must have well drained soil or the roots will rot.
This plant is dioecious, meaning that male and female flowers are produced on separate individuals. The female plants will produce attractive clusters of bright scarlet fruit in the late fall and winter if there's a male plant close by.
On Mar 7, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
Probably the best-known aucuba, has dark green glossy leaves spotted with yellow. Requires shade from hot sun; accepts deep shade. Nice container plants for shady terraces, or plant underneath trees where they will tolerate low light and successfully compete with tree roots.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Leigh-on-sea, Wetumpka, Alabama Solgohachia, Arkansas Bakersfield, California Bootjack, California Ceres, California Chowchilla, California Fresno, California (2 reports) Knights Landing, California Los Angeles, California Martinez, California Norwalk, California Pollock Pines, California Roseville, California San Mateo, California Stockton, California Thousand Oaks, California East Hartford, Connecticut Arden, Delaware Dover, Delaware Fernandina Beach, Florida Jacksonville, Florida Navarre, Florida West Palm Beach, Florida Atlanta, Georgia Cedartown, Georgia Dallas, Georgia Druid Hills, Georgia Isle Of Hope, Georgia North Decatur, Georgia Villa Rica, Georgia Lawrence, Kansas Louisville, Kentucky Baton Rouge, Louisiana Dunkirk, Maryland Lutherville-timonium, Maryland Millersville, Maryland Naval Academy, Maryland Pikesville, Maryland Rockville, Maryland Bridgewater, Massachusetts Harwich Port, Massachusetts Batesville, Mississippi Jackson, Mississippi Learned, Mississippi Madison, Mississippi Marietta, Mississippi Waynesboro, Mississippi Las Vegas, Nevada Collingswood, New Jersey Hamilton, New Jersey Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey Ramblewood, New Jersey , New York Garden City Park, New York Lattingtown, New York Roslyn, New York Cary, North Carolina Centerville, North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina Durham, North Carolina Efland, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Fairfield Harbour, North Carolina Mint Hill, North Carolina Mooresville, North Carolina Mountain View, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports) Cincinnati, Ohio Checotah, Oklahoma Stillwater, Oklahoma Ashland, Oregon Salem, Oregon Abington, Pennsylvania Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Mount Joy, Pennsylvania Wrightsville, Pennsylvania East Sumter, South Carolina India Hook, South Carolina Irmo, South Carolina Ladson, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina Summerville, South Carolina Forest Hills, Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee (3 reports) Pikeville, Tennessee Woodlawn, Tennessee Athens, Texas Austin, Texas Dallas, Texas (2 reports) Desoto, Texas Eagle Mountain, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Houston, Texas Irving, Texas Katy, Texas San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) Westover Hills, Texas Yantis, Texas Alexandria, Virginia (2 reports) Hood, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Norfolk, Virginia West Springfield, Virginia Anacortes, Washington Bellingham, Washington Edgewood, Washington Seattle, Washington (2 reports)