It’s All About Foliage!

Japanese aucubaEnglish ivy, in a hanging containerTwo beautiful plants that I have growing in the shade highlight the lovely color combination of green and yellow. It is a striking contrast of colors. The first is English ivy, also known as Hedera helix, variegated type. It’s growing in a hanging container, and it’s been easy to maintain, just watering once a week.

The second is the Japanese aucuba, also known as Aucuba japonica, Japanese laurel, spotted laurel, and gold dust tree. It is an evergreen shrub that is native to Japan, and produces berries that can be either purple (male plants – the one I have), or red (female plants). I inherited this plant when I bought my house. Its glossy leaves do appear to be splashed with gold dust!  My sprinklers run three times a week and spray a light mist on this plant. The only other care it receives is an annual clipping because it can get tall.

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: English ivy, lovely as it is, has been reported to be highly poisonous to animals and humans, both in its leaves and in any berries it may produce. Please take steps to wash your hands thoroughly after handling this plant and keep it away from reach from children and animals.

Likewise, Japanese aucuba has been reported to be poisonous, though the level of toxicity has been reported to be minor.

More information on toxic plants can be found here:


One Response

  1. I adore Ivy…keep it in my kitchen window…I wonder if the variety I have is poisonous! I will check it out! Thanks!

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