The Q&A Archives: Planting Aucuba In August

Question: How can I best help my Aucuba establish itself before winter comes? I have it in a partially shaded area in a terra cotta pot planted in the ground as a temporary location. Please help.

Answer: Aucuba japonica is considered winter hardy to 0 to minus 5 degrees, so it might survive for you in a very sheltered location -- such as well protected from the wind and up against a building. It requires shade in the winter to avoid the foliage burning, so the north side of a building can be a good location for that reason. It grows best in an evenly moist yet well drained soil that is acidic and humusy. As with all broad leafed evergreens, it is especially important to keep the soil moist up until the ground freezes to minimize the chance of the plant becoming dried out over the winter. If you do not think you have the right conditions to grow this plant outdoors, interestingly enough it has also been grown successfully as a houseplant. You would want to bring it indoors gradually in the fall before the temperatures outside become overly cold to avoid shocking it.

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