Wintercreeper Euonymus 'Coloratus'

Euonymus fortunei

Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus (yoo-ON-ih-mus) (Info)
Species: fortunei (for-TOO-nee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Coloratus
Synonym:Euonymus fortunei var. radicans
Synonym:Euonymus radicans
Synonym:Euonymus japonicus var. acutus
Synonym:Euonymus japonicus var. chinensis
Synonym:Euonymus japonicus var. radicans





Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


under 6 in. (15 cm)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage


Provides winter interest

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

4.5 or below (very acidic)

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Heber Springs, Arkansas

Hinsdale, Illinois

Peoria, Illinois

Columbia City, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Muncie, Indiana

Topeka, Kansas

Dawson Springs, Kentucky

Independence, Louisiana

Saginaw, Michigan

South Lyon, Michigan

Westville, New Jersey

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Florence, South Carolina

Brandon, South Dakota

Morrison, Tennessee

Dallas, Texas (2 reports)

Ennis, Texas

Waukesha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 8, 2016, dixiedarlin13 from Green Acres, WA wrote:

This plant can either be a blessing or not depending on your situation. I research plants before I buy them, and intensively consider them sometimes for a year before I get them, especially when it comes to roses, vines, or trees. Why? Because they're all going to require care and they all have the potential to get out of hand or huge.
I am a vine fan. I love vines. I'm shooting to have every vine out there on the property other than kiwi That's over my head. But this one, there's a landscaping show from Britain with Alan Titschmarch and in one of the episodes they show this gorgeous plant Purple Wintercreeper growing up the side of a plain 2 story house. He said it was a hideous blank brick wall and it took years for it get that tall. It was gorgeous, and it had another vine growin... read more


On May 25, 2014, tx_flower_child from Dallas, TX wrote:

DO NOT PLANT. This was probably the biggest mistake (of many) that I've made re gardening. I wanted to cover a bare area and didn't want to use ivy. Wish I'd been warned about the invasiveness of purple winter creeper and other problems it causes. When it is horizontal on the ground, I think it's normal state, it becomes a mass of 'trip wires'. When I have cut it, it does grow vertically (to my surprise) and so far has grown between 2 to 3 ft. high. If I don't keep cutting it back, I don't know its upper limit. Growing vertically it sorta looks like a nice bush, or lots of them, in my yard. But still has new growth at the bottom trying to take over every available space. When I do trim or hack it, if I don't pick up every little itty bitty piece of stem, then I'll have another plant that w... read more


On Mar 16, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Foliage is deep green during the growing season and turns dark purple in winter. Like all cultivars of this species, it frequently sports to other forms. These forms need to be cut out when they appear, as they can outcompete the original cultivar.

I gave up planting this species before I realized its invasive potential, because I've seen so many plantings infested and disfigured or even killed by euonymus scale and crown gall.

Once established, this species can be very difficult to get rid of.

It is naturalized in most of the eastern and central states. The US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Nature Conservancy, and other organizations concerned with the preservation of natural areas in North America all have expressed concern abo... read more


On Mar 3, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a pretty plant. My great criticism of it is that it grows rampantly and one must be careful when placing it anywhere. It has been sold a lot in the Chicago, Illinois area as one of the principle evergreen groundcovers along with English-Ivy, Japanese Pachysandra, and Common Periwinkle. It turns into a climbing vine by aerial roots if it hits a tree, shrub, wall, fence, or anything to give it altitude. It can develop a good amount of Crown Gall disease near the ground and it gets picked on by Euonymus Scale insect. I saw a large mass of it as groundcover and climbing vine on the stone walls of the east side headquarters at Morton Arboretum in the 1990's killed off by Euonymus Scale. I used to work as a groundsman around a hospital and there was a large mass of it as groundcover at the... read more


On Dec 31, 2011, Linno1555 from Cumming, GA wrote:

If used properly Purple Wintercreeper is one of the best groundcovers that I've used in designs. It's especially useful in large masses where controlling erosion on slopes is important. It roots at nodes along the branching, thereby adding root mass to hold soils. If used in a smaller scale, in a 'busy garden' situation, be prepared for some high maintenance. In either case, the value of the fall/winter crimson colored foliage is a treasure to the eye. In my mind, it's medium texture, excellent color range, and ability to thrive in all conditions makes Euonymus Coloratus invaluable to the industry. In either case, enjoy!


On May 10, 2011, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Here on the southern edge of zone 5a this plant does not remain evergreen on exposed vertical surfaces or trees. This however seems to tame the plants veracity to escape cultivation. I have used it very succesfully as a groundcover around many types of plants. Though it can grow fast, it is still manageable here.

For neatness I weedwack the stragglers that grow above the rest of the mass and cut stems growing into other plants. I would recommend that if you plant this near a building that you trim the branches to be 1' away from the edge of a structure for easier management and perhaps use a gravel strip with barrier fabric. This makes it harder to root near a place you don't want it getting too established.

This plant is likely easy to escape cultiv... read more


On Jun 21, 2008, violentfemmexx1 from Cincinnati, OH wrote:

i love this ground cover and i hope it spreads all over my yard


On Sep 30, 2007, scarletto from Dawson Springs, KY wrote:

This plant is EASY to propagate. When I trim it up, I take the trimmings and stick them in the ground and forget about them.


On Jul 2, 2007, rjones8194 from Independence, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a very pretty ground cover but beware if not kept in bounds it will take over. The previous owners of my property planted it everywhere and it had wrapped up my sago palms, paper birchs, azaelas, and I am constanly pulling it off the front walk way. We've been here three years now and I am still fighting to get it under control so plant it with caution.


On Apr 13, 2005, Magwar from Royston, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Wonderful groundcover; I have it along the drain line of my property and it is thriving wonderfully!


On May 28, 2004, Paulwhwest from Irving (Dallas area), TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a great groundcover; it spreads very quickly by rooting along it branches. Looks good all year around, but especially the winter.