Silverberry, a magnificent evergreen shrub

Silverberry, eleagnus commutata

Silverberry is a very beautiful ornamental evergreen shrub.

It’s native to the Americas and is a perfect alternative to invasive Russian Olive.

Key silverberry facts

NameElaeagnus x commutata
Family – Elaeagnaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) depending on the variety
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – ordinary

Foliage – evergreen or deciduous
Flowering – May to June

Care, planting and annual pruning help enhance the growth of your silverberry plant.

Planting silverberry

Planting silverberrySilverberry is best planted in fall, but it copes perfectly with being planted all year round if purchased potted.

  • If you plant during winter or during summer, avoid frost and freezing and heat waves, respectively.
  • Silverberry prefers locations with high exposure to sunlight.
  • It doesn’t really like waterlogged soil.
  • Ideally, a mix of soil mix and garden soil is prepared upon planting.

This shrub resists harsh conditions well, making it ideal for coastal gardens.

To make a hedge, space trunks around 3 feet (1 meter) apart.

Pruning silverberry

Prune with the goal to increase the number of branches. This will result in your shrubs or hedges being more opaque. In order to succeed, prune the shrubs lightly over the first few years, cutting back about ⅓ of the previous year’s growth.

Pruning time for silverberry is the beginning of spring or in fall.

Silverberry shrubs grow back after all sorts of pruning, even if these were drastic.

They can thus be given different shapes, such as a big ball or other, without hindering their development.

All there is to know about silverberry

Being extremely hardy and very beautiful with its silver-gold hues, silverberry is making a comeback among the favorite plants in our gardens.

Evergreen varieties reflect light towards flower beds and lighten up hedges all year round.

In spring, its discrete and soft blooming attracts bees with a delicate fragrance. The berries, when fully ripe, can be harvested to prepare silverberry jam.

An interesting species which belongs to the same Elaeagnus genus is E. angustifolia, also called Russian olive tree. However, if you’re not in its native zone, it’s better not to plant that particular species.

Another species with appealing yellow-mottled leaves is Eleagnus pungens maculata.

Read more on shrubs:

Other interesting hedge shrubs: strawberry tree, wild privet, weigela, cypress, camellia, photinia, flowering currant

Smart tip about silverberry

Elaeagnus usually doesn’t do well in very wet ground. Avoid waterlogged soil and stagnant water or your plant will dwindle away.

Silverberry hedge


Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: George
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: Brigitte Rieser
CC BY-SA 2.0: Matt Lavin