For much of the country, fall is a great time to plant shrubs. While many shrubs bloom in spring and summer, there are some plants that bloom in winter as well. Imagine having fragrant, colorful blossoms on your shrub in January or February!
For warm-climate gardeners, one of the best choices is the paperbush plant (Edgeworthia chrysantha). This plant has better flower bud hardiness than other Edgeworthia and is generally easier to grow than its other relatives in the daphne family. Although the individual yellow flowers are tiny, they form 2-inch-diameter clusters that cover the plant in mid winter for about a month and smell like a spicy gardenia. They can be cut and brought indoors to perfume the house.
The shrub grows best in part sun, on well-drained, fertile, moist soil ? similar to conditions for growing camellias. The attractive bluish green summer foliage eventually turns a brilliant yellow in fall. The shrub grows to 7 feet tall and wide at maturity and makes an excellent back of the border plant or specimen in the lawn. It is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 9.
For more information about paperbush plant, go to Wayside Gardens.
Article published on October 17, 2005.