Japanese skimmia is an excellent choice for adding year-round interest to shade gardens and container planters. Slowly growing to a rounded shrub wider than it is tall, fragrant spring flowers will turn into red berries come fall as long as a male skimmia is planted nearby. Skimmia looks its best when watered regularly and prefers filtered shade.
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Perfect for shady gardens, Skimmia japonica (Japanese Skimmia) is a lovely, dense, mounded, evergreen shrub prized for its fragrant flowers, aromatic leaves, and showy fruits. In mid-spring, large clusters of fragrant, star-shaped, creamy white flowers, occasionally tinged pink, appear at the branch tips. The pretty blooms of female plants give way to ornamental, glossy, bright red berries that ripen in fall and persist through winter. They contrast beautifully with the evergreen foliage of leathery, lance-shaped, rich green leaves, which are clustered in whorls at the branch ends. When crushed, the aromatic leaves exude a pleasant scent. While male flowers are usually more fragrant and larger than female flowers, only female flowers produce attractive red berries. To enjoy a stunning fall and winter fruit display, make sure to plant a male plant near a female plant!
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
Skimmia japonica 'Rubella' is a lovely, compact male skimmia. Dark red flower buds offer contrast against dark green, glossy leaves throughout autumn and winter. In spring, lovely flowers open. Skimmia rubella is a fantastic, reliable and robust evergreen which offers interest year round. It looks fantastic in a border or in autumn and winter pot displays.
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If planted in poor and very dry soil, or if growing in full sun, the shrubs will struggle, leaves will start yellowing and plants will become spindly. This is often mistaken for iron deficiency, but skimmias are not ericaceous (acid soil loving) plants like camellias and rhododendrons. Watering, feeding and mulch will help. Alternatively reconsider their position.
Only female skimmias have berries and they need a male form growing nearby for pollination in order to produce them. There are very few that will produce berries on their own such as Skimmia japonica subsp. reevesiana.
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Japanese Skimmia is an evergreen shrub with mildly fragrant, white, showy flowers, which bloom in April. It is dioecious; male and female flowers appear on separate plants. Both male and female plants are needed to produce fruit. Berries ripen in October and persist through winter. Japanese Skimmia tolerates heavy shade and needs moist, organically-rich soil. Use Japanese Skimmia in shade gardens, along foundations, as an understory shrub, or massed in shrub borders or hedges.
Japanese Skimmia welcomes spring with reddish pink buds, which soon burst into masses of tiny, creamy white summertime blooms. If a male plant is nearby for pollination, female plants light up the landscape with bright red berries in fall and winter.
Skimmias do best in partial shade although they will tolerate full shade. Apart from in cooler areas of the country or where the soil remains moist all summer, avoid growing skimmias in full sun which can make the leaves pale and the whole plant look sickly.
A good fertile soil rich in organic matter is important for healthy growth, and the soil type for skimmias should be neither too wet nor too dry. A popular misconception is that skimmias require ericaceous (lime free) soil, but this is not the case. For growing in pots, choose good-sized containers and plant skimmias singly. Another option is to buy small 'starter' plants to put in window boxes or use as part of a mixed planting in a pot, and then transplant the skimmia to a larger pot or into the ground after a year or so. For growing in pots, use a good quality, peat-free multi-purpose potting compost with added loam. Plant with the soil level at the same depth as in the pot. Firm well and water in.
A member of the Rutaceae family, skimmia hedge plants are closely related to the rue family, often characteristically producing flowers that split into four or five parts, richly scented and very welcome in Winter and Spring.
Ideal for planting in a sandy or loam based soil, most varieties of skimmia prefer minimal exposure to direct sunlight. They can also tolerate chalky soils that are incorporated with decomposing organic matter.
Skimmia hedges are fairly low-maintenance plants as long as they are planted in the right conditions. Due to their hardiness, they can survive in most locations around the UK, including through heavy winters. Generally preferring spots that are less impacted by sunlight, in partial or full shade, skimmia will thrive in a moist, but well-drained soil. We recommend planting your hedge in low-maintenance banks or slopes, or alternatively situating them against your patio.
When pruning your evergreen skimmia, you will have to commit to caring for your shrub during mid to late spring. We suggest focusing primarily on the removal of dead growth and any unhealthy or diseased shoots. For further information, take a look at our guide for hedge maintenance and the ideal time to cut a hedge.
While skimmia plants are generally disease-free, they are occasionally susceptible to damage from pests, including from Glasshouse red spider mites and horse chestnut scale. Dealing with both types of pest can be done relatively easily through the use of a variety of methods, such as biological, cultural and pesticide controls. WIth horse chestnut scale, the damage caused by the pest may seem unsightly but skimmia nymans is capable of dealing with large scale infestations without any significant impact on the plant itself.
Our skimmia hedges are available for purchase in pots which can be planted at 3-5 plants per metre to allow for sufficient growth. Alternatively, higher densities can be grown in a zig-zag form or in a double staggered row.
Skimmia Japonica Rubella the most popular of the skimmia family. It is an evergreen shrub with attractive green foliage. In the autumn and winter it is adorned with attractive red flower buds that open into wonderful scented flowers in the spring.
As its name indicates, it is originally from Japan and other parts of Asia, but also has a huge presence in landscapes in Metro Vancouver. It is known for its leathery, oblong, somewhat fragrant green leaves, striking flower buds, masses of small fragrant flowers, and on female plants an added bonus
Skimmia plants are either male or female. Male skimmia produce colourful buds and blossoms, while females do that and more. Female skimmia also deliver colourful, bright red berries in late fall and winter. One male can pollinate several females so draw up your planting plan accordingly.
Skimmia plants are generally forest dwellers. They prefer locations in part shade, with little direct sun. In areas of extreme shade, they will become long and leggy. In the Pacific Northwest, we find that skimmia's will tolerate the full sun if kept slightly moist. If the skimmia leaves begin to turn yellow, it could be an indication it is getting too much sun.
Skimmia plants are generally low maintenance, but can be susceptible to aphids and spider mites. Use an insecticidal soap and occasionally use a sharp spray of water to blast away unwanted insects. If you skimmia leaves are going yellow, it could be one of four things. Too much sun, a nutrient deficiency, alkaline soil or a pest infestation. Move the skimmia into more shade, feed with an acidic fertilizer and check to see if any bugs or pests are present. If you are not getting any red berries, ensure that your plant is a female variety and that there is at least one male skimmia nearby.
Feed skimmia's with a general purpose, balanced fertilizer in early spring as new growth begins. If in doubt, use a Rhododendron food like Art's Garden Pro Rhodo and Azalea Food. This special formulations serves to acidify the soil while it feeds. 781b155fdc