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How to grow euonymus shrubs

Updated February 21, 2017

Euonymus shrubs grow in a range of soil conditions, light and climates making this genus of plants well suited for a variety of landscape used. Euonymus plants produce the best foliage colour full sun but light shade and full shade are also well tolerated. Any soil type as long as it is not continuously waterlogged is suitable. Depending on the variety, euonymus shrubs grow 90 cm to 4.5 m (3 to 15 feet) tall and produce a variety of rich foliage colours in the spring, summer and autumn.

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  1. Dig a hole twice as wide and 7.5 cm (3 inches) deeper than the nursery pot. Spread a 7.5 cm (3 inch) layer of rich compost over the bottom of the hole. Work the compost into the soil in the planting hole.

  2. Turn the euonymus shrub, in its container, on its side next to the planting hole. Grasp the base of the stem with one hand and gently work the container away from the root ball with the other. Roll or place the root ball into the planting hole being careful not to disturb too much of the soil around the root system.

  3. Hold the euonymus shrub with the base of the trunk level with the natural soil line. Add soil under the root ball or remove soil until the shrub rests on its own in the planting hole.

  4. Back fill the soil by pushing it into the hole around the root system. Add a little at a time packing it down as you go. Soak the area with water within six hours of transplanting the euonymus shrub into the landscape.

  5. Spread a 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inch) layer of mulch over the planting area. Begin 10 cm (4 inches) away from the base of the trunk and extend the mulch layer to the area under the tips of the branches. Use bark, wood chips or compost that will break down over time increasing the nutrient levels of the soil.

  6. Prune euonymus shrubs in the spring removing dead branches and pruning to the desired shape and size. These shrubs will grow well without pruning but can also withstand heavy pruning when necessary.

  7. Keep the soil around the root system evenly damp for the first growing season. Water once or twice a week allowing the water to soak down at least 30 cm (12 inches) deep. Once established, this hardy landscape shrub will require water only during long periods of drought or in hot dry climates.

  8. Apply a fresh mulch layer each spring after the soil has thawed to hold moisture close to the ground and regulate the soil temperature.

  9. Tip

    Spring is the best time to plant euonymus shrubs but this hardy landscape plant can be planted and transplanted any time of year the ground is workable.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch

About the Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.

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