Hawaiian Snowbush, Snow Bush, Snow-on-the-Mountain, Sweetpea Bush

Breynia disticha

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Breynia (BRAY-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: disticha (DIS-tik-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Breynia nivosa
Synonym:Phyllanthus nivosus


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Green


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Winter


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Imperial Beach, California

Petaluma, California

Santa Barbara, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida (2 reports)

Bradenton, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Englewood, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Mc Coy, Florida

Hollywood, Florida (2 reports)

Maitland, Florida

Malabar, Florida

Miami, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

North Port, Florida

Oakland, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pinellas Park, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Rotonda West, Florida

Sanford, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Stuart, Florida

Valrico, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Honomu, Hawaii

Canyon Lake, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Mission, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 11, 2016, CommittedinDurham from Durham, NC wrote:

I have had a potted Breynia for more than ten years in zone 7b. At one time it was more than four foot tall. However, we were surprised by an early cold spell a few years ago and thought we lost it. I left it alone (indoors) and the next spring new leaves appeared. Although it is only two foot tall at best, I am moving it indoors as we are expecting night temps in 40's tonight. One of my favorites...beautiful leaves.


On Apr 12, 2016, NellieGrey from Oroville East, CA wrote:

I used to have this beautiful shrub in Brazil. It is very easy to grow there and it did very well even in full sun and 95*F weather. Many "baby" plants would come up around the Mother plant but it didn't become too invasive. I loved it and am still wondering why all the plant nurseries in California say it can't be grown here as the climate where we lived was quite similar.


On May 30, 2014, barnybowles from Charlotte, NC wrote:

First let me begin by saying this is a beautiful plant in the right conditions. I live in zone 8 and have tried to grown this plant outside in the summer. It always starts turning an almost brown color instead of the white and pink. I have it in part shade and keep it watered well but it seems to dislike the conditions here,


On Apr 2, 2014, LabLover1 from Hampstead, NC wrote:

Does anyone know if deer will eat this plant? We have a lot of them roaming our neighborhood in NC. I just planted one, and I am hoping that they will leave it along. Anyone have experience with deer?


On Jun 17, 2012, AussieGuzmania from Sydney,
Australia wrote:

I bought an Hawaiian Snow Bush about six months ago during the Australian summer. Was told it was called a Confetti Bush, and only learnt the correct name on the Dave's Garden website just now. I live in Sydney, Australia near the coastal suburb of Manly. At first I planted it in full sun facing north which seemed to make it wilt, so then I transferred it to face east to get the morning sun. We've had a lot of unseasonal rain lately and it looks droopy again. After what I've read here about its instrusiveness, I'm transferring it into a large pot and move back to facing north, but behind a hedge. It's such a pretty plant, I want it to look happy.


On Aug 24, 2011, weRgroot from New Port Richey, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've had one plant for 3 years in New Port Richey, FL and it does not tolerate the occasional cold snaps that we have. It'll drop all of the leaves, but it comes back. I've even severely pruned it (while in the pot) and it comes back every time. I started with it in a pot and then moved it to my garden; I've not found it to be particularly invasive, but have only had it in the garden this season. It's one of the few plants that I've not had to experiment with before attaining some success.


On Sep 22, 2010, TropicalPatty from Canyon Lake, TX wrote:

I purchased two of these gorgeous shrubs a few months ago. They're still in the pots. During the short time I have owned them, all of the leaves have dropped off. The area I put them in is a shady area. Temperatures have been relatively mild for Texas so I do not believe it is the heat. I recently moved them to a brighter area but see no change in their conditions. Does anyone have any information about how to save them and bring the foilage back?


On Aug 15, 2009, kbaumle from Northwest, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I would really love more information on how to grow this as a houseplant, which is the only way up north. They are sold as houseplants here and they're lovely - great foliage and form. But they seem to be really touchy regarding water. Any great hints on how to grow them as houseplants and have them do well?


On May 22, 2009, CHudnall from Sebring, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

We planted a few bushes about 5 years ago, not realizing just how invasive these were. Cutting them just made them bushier (albeit prettier too, but that is not the problem), freezes just put them to sleep.

Our four bushes to start with soon turned into too many to count, and no where near where the originals are. Colors are gorgeous, but cannot stand the invasiveness.


On May 19, 2009, nekochanninja from Oldsmar, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

The "worms" are the Snowbush Catapillar/Spanworm or Melanchroia chephise, which will then become the Snowbush Moth. From what i've read, the snowbush should bounce back quickly after the munching is done.


On Apr 13, 2009, jvdl1 from Englewood, FL wrote:

It is invasive, but I keep it under control, my problem today is hundreds of little gray & yellow worms that have eaten every leaf, I thought I had a frost problem until I saw the worms today. Anyone else have this problem?


On Oct 25, 2008, MiamiPrince from Boca Raton, FL wrote:

Very likable bush appears quite delicate, however is anything but. It is a fast grower and will do so anywhere I put it. Seems to enjoy wet/dry sun/shade, whatever. I will agree that unless you stay on top of it then It will totally take over your garden. I have landscaping fabric around it. And now have suckers over 10 feet away. (Where the fabric ends)
But I would still plant it if I had it to do over again.


On Sep 3, 2007, Tijer from Miami, FL wrote:

This plant is invasive in South Florida. Propagation is by seeds and roots. Seeds and roots will sprout year round. Has the ability to spread quickly in damp soils, mainly from roots. If roots are disturbed by garden equipment or are near the surface a plant will sprout. 16 Years age a neighbor of mine had a hedge near the fence, I had 12' of lawn with nothing but this plant. It grew faster then I could remove it. Finally gave up and just cut it as grass since grass could not compete. I will say that it made a pretty pink lawn. I moved to get away from it.


On Sep 8, 2005, dlcasassa from Tustin, CA wrote:

I saw this plant in a retail store and think it's just gorgeous. I finally found out what it was, got one, and brought it home to put indoors, as I originally saw it. Within a few days it began dropping what I believe are seeds (small and dirtlike bits) , all over the floor beneath it. Though I would love to keep it inside my bright window area, it's quite a messy plant to be indoors.


On Jan 21, 2005, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I purchased Breynia disticha at a local nursery several years ago against the recommendation of a nursery staff member. She said it was a tropical and wouldn't survive very long in our Zone 8a climate. It was too beautiful to resist, so I bought it, put it into a larger container and set it outside in full summer sun. We bring B. disticha indoors when it starts to get chilly, where it receives direct sunlight through low-E glass. It loses some of its leaves when brought indoors but is still a lovely color. This plant likes lots and lots of water year round!


On Jan 20, 2005, jon_plant from Ocala, FL wrote:

I've had sucess with the Snowbush in central Florida.


On Jul 16, 2004, Strever from Hiouchi, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Mine got to be 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide after 10 years in the shade in southern California (U.S.) It grew more like a small tree, rather then a bush, very woody. Now it is in a large pot, trimmed to 4 feet and doing fine in dappled shade.

Dick Strever


On Jul 7, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Great little shrubs.


On Jun 13, 2004, dshore95 from Rohnert Park, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

A month ago I purchased a six inch potted plant featuring pink, green and pale cream colored leaves. Lovely to look at and seems reasonably sturdy. We have a lot of wind here and I moved it to a less sunny place, the cream colored leaves seem to be lessening. The instructions were to transfer to a larger pot if it wilts, but I transferred anyhow. Temp: warm days & nights. Day 68-95F, night60-70F.

So far, so good. In Petaluma, CA.

Update on June 18, 2004

It looks like the new top leave are drying out. More later as progress ensues.


On May 20, 2004, savagearistia from Bradenton, FL wrote:

We have several bushes growing under a young oak tree in the front yard. These plants are pretty hardy, even after defoliation. Our plants were attacked by small black butterflies and the lavae ate all of the leaves. We didn't think that the plants would make it, but in a few weeks, they began showing new growth and they have recovered fully! Overall a sturdy little plant.


On May 3, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I see it around quite a bit used for hedges and as decorative foliage in many business parking lots and malls here on the Big Island of Hawaii. Very pretty when the flushings of pink appear on the new tips.

We have a small bush in our yard, makes a nice backdrop for some of our other colorful blooming plants.


On May 2, 2004, plantmanbill from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

A pretty plant but very invasive in south Florida; it spreads by runners. My neighbor had one on her side of the fence and I now have a hedge of it along the fence and as far as 15 feet away from the original plant and Ii have never planted one....


On Aug 12, 2003, atb from Frostproof, FL wrote:

I have a beautiful Snow Bush in a pot and it is at least 4 feet tall. It is on the east side of the property with sun till late afternoon. Shoots come up from the roots and when it gets a little cooler and they are a little larger I will cut them off and transplant them.

I am having some problem with the leaves turning yellow; I think it may be from a lot of rain but then the leaves stop turning yellow for awhile and so I think I have solved the problem only to find them turning yellow again. I tried doses of iron but have not figured out if it has helped. I will continue to talk to it to see if it tells me what it wrong. (You know they say communication with the "doctor" is your best bet. haha)


On Aug 3, 2003, teri8 from New Port Richey, FL wrote:

I have three of these, bought at WalMart. I live in zone 9, New Port Richey, FL, and they get east exposure. Basically this is full sun almost all day until after 5 or so. This plant is doing extremely well in full sun. It has the speckling of pink burgundy and white at the top. It is very healthy.Has also grown very quickly within the last 2 months or so.

Have yet to see how they tolerate cold temperatures, but I will cover them if it gets too cold this winter. I want them to get taller as to block out a nosy neighbor's view, but am unsure whether to top them or trim the sides.


On Jul 18, 2003, ibca from Imperial Beach, CA wrote:

Grows well on east side of house in this very dry but temperate location. Doesn't mind wet feet but has trouble with cold (45 degrees) winter conditions when it tends to lose many leaves.
Grows easily from suckers in damp soil.


On Jun 24, 2003, DBM from Cocoa Beach, FL wrote:

Plant grows beautifully here in Cocoa Beach.


On Jun 13, 2003, ednasboy wrote:

I love this plant. Grows on the east side of my house in Miami with full sun in the a.m. Have tried growing from cuttings - even using root enhancing powders, but alas. If anyone has a tip for me, I would like to hear it. Lots of rain does not bother it. Makes a lovely hedge.


On Nov 10, 2002, martiknox wrote:

I planted a very small Snow Bush last November in New Port Richey, Florida. We had a freeze and I covered it with a pillow case. It is now huge and stands about five feet tall with equal width. It is beautiful. It must frequently drop "seeds" as all under it are new little plants. It is in moderate shade/sun and gets regular watering with the lawn. It is thriving. This winter season will really tell me how it tolerates the frosts when we get one.


On Aug 26, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very showy shrub...Great for mass plantings, Dwarf Variegated for ground cover and the Rosea in decorative containers. Zone 9 protect under 20 degrees, may drop foliage but will return after winter.


On Jun 21, 2002, AMP wrote:

A nice bush. I have several here growing in Clearwater, Florida (US)