Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica

Family: Rutaceae (roo-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Skimmia (SKIM-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: japonica (juh-PON-ih-kuh) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

East Haddam, Connecticut

Bear, Delaware

Shreveport, Louisiana

Hyattsville, Maryland

Lutherville Timonium, Maryland

Centerville, Massachusetts

Eastham, Massachusetts

Trenton, New Jersey

New York City, New York

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

Warrensville, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Franklin, Ohio

Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Souderton, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Salt Lake City, Utah

Oakton, Virginia

Battle Ground, Washington

Bothell, Washington

Cherry Grove, Washington

Dollar Corner, Washington

East Port Orchard, Washington

Lake Stevens, Washington

Langley, Washington

Lewisville, Washington

Meadow Glade, Washington

Parkwood, Washington

Port Orchard, Washington

Venersborg, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 19, 2021, UtahTropics12 from Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 7b) wrote:

Skimmia japonica is a fantastically beautiful evergreen plant and I absolutely love it. It does excellent here in Salt Lake City, Utah (zone 7b) as long as its in basically full shade. Ive bought all of mine from a local nursery here in Salt Lake, and they always have them in stock. They seem to thrive with all the heat here and grow at a decent rate. They really appreciate ample water when temps get over 100 F though. The berries and the flower buds are so beautiful and prolific. They add so much color and texture to evergreen shade gardens. Ive been pleasantly surprised with how good they do here in the desert Southwest.


On Mar 24, 2016, Clint07 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

A handsome evergreen that has prospered in a sheltered, shady spot in my Zone 6 garden bed for 8 years. Now, in March of 2016, after a mild winter, both the males and females are covered with buds. They're opening at the same time; in previous years the males bloomed quite a bit before the females. This year's crop of red berries should be abundant. One mild dissatisfaction: a couple of them sprawl, leaving a kind of bald spot in the center. So I surround them with low, folding wire fending under the bottom branches to lift them off the ground. That mostly closes the middle bald spot.


On Nov 13, 2010, suewylan from North Fork, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I found two of these on a sale table at Lowe's. They can't take the heat of a western exposure in Zone 7. The leaves get sunburned brown. Will move them to the shade and try that. They weren't labeled male or female. Nice green color otherwise.


On May 19, 2009, spanky_MD from Baltimore, MD wrote:

I have two of these in a garden where deer come often. They have eaten hostas and young azaleas growing next to the skimmias but have not touched the skimmias.

The glossy dark green leaves are beautiful and they grow fairly quickly. The only problem is that they're a little hard to find in nurseries. Azaleas are way more popular here, which is a shame for skimmia fans.


On May 25, 2008, Bubbah from Memphis, TN wrote:

The leaves are EXTREMELY fragrant when crushed and make a great popourri addition. This plant looks like it may be related to the anise species.


On Dec 3, 2004, bbc from Chesterfield, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have very deep shade areas in summer due to many Shaggy Bark Hickory trees creating a full canopy. The Skimmia along with Liriope are some of the few plants that have thrived in this dark setting.


On Apr 2, 2003, wannadanc from Olympia, WA wrote:

I want to emphasize the intoxicating fragrance of both the male and female when they are in the bloom stage .... early spring here in the Pacific Northwest.


On Dec 30, 2001, Evert from Helsinki,
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Skimmia is a hardy evergeen bush which can be grow either inside or outside. It survives even the Southern Finland winters, so I think it can be grown in USDA zones 4-5 also. Don't plant it alone in the middle of garden, it likes to grow with a few other skimmias.


On Aug 30, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful glossy leaves are fragrant and evergreen. The white flowers are larger and more fragrant on the male plant. The berries that appear on pollinated female plants make it worthwhile to plant both male and female plants.