Answer: Aucuba japonica is a broadleafed evergreen requiring an evenly moist, acid, organic soil and a location in year round shade to avoid foliage discoloration during the winter. Unfortunately, it does best in warmer areas to USDA zone 10, and tolerates cold only to about zero degrees. It is considered hardy only to warmer parts of USDA zone 6. In my experience it would not do well for you in Schenectady, NY. You might check with local nurseries to see what they would suggest as a substitute that might appeal to you.
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