Japanese Aucuba: Spring Pruning

Someone was due for a haircut! I love my Japanese aucuba plant. It grows in front of my kitchen window. But it’s grown a bit too tall and unkempt that I needed to give it a little trim. It took about 10 minutes time to transform the Japanese aucuba from “wild child” to “neatly dressed.” Check out the before and after photos!

HOW TO: I wore ordinary gardening gloves and just clipped the stems of the plant with pruning shears (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruning_shears). I knew that I wanted the resulting plant to be a bit below the height of my window sill. I also wanted it to be in an upside-down trapezoid shape. Keeping these things in mind, I just started clipping.

Keep in mind that this plant is very hardy, so that if you make a mistake and clip off too much of one section, it will grow back nicely in a short period of time.

Keep in mind that this is an excellent time to consider propagating this plant. The clipped-off stems can be dropped into a small glass of water and in a few months, you will see roots form. The clippings would be ready for planting in a container or in the ground.

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

A very informative and useful website on toxic plants can be found here :



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