Skimmia, magnificent all year round

Skimmia are beautiful shrubs that are as attractive in winter as they are in the spring.

A summary of Skimmia facts

NameSkimmia japonica
Family – Rutaceae (Rue family)
Type – shrub

Height – 40 inches (1 m)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – heath soil

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – April to June

Caring for them, from planting to pruning, here are the practices that will help you grow beautiful Skimmia.

Planting Skimmia

Skimmia is best planted in fall, but it is still perfectly possible to plant it in spring.

Know that Skimmia particularly appreciate acidic soil and will love heath soil.

  • If creating a hedge, place your Skimmia no more then 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm) apart.
  • Favor spots that are shaded over during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Follow our advice on planting shrubs.

This shrub is perfectly suited to being grown in pots for your terraces and balconies. It is also fine for heath soil shrub beds or as a stand-alone.

  • To grow Skimmia in pots, mix ⅓ soil mix with ⅔ heath soil, and check that the pot is well-drained with a hole at the bottom.

Be careful! To produce red berries in the winter, you must have both a female and a male plant.

Multiplying Skimmia

Making Skimmia japonica cuttings is the easiest and fastest technique to propagate the plant.

  • Prepare Skimmia cuttings at the end of of the summer, on soft-wood growth (not hard yet).
  • Follow our advice on preparing cuttings from your shrubs.

Pruning, caring for and watering Skimmia

Skimmia plants don’t require any particular care or maintenance.

  • It isn’t really necessary to prune, but it can at times be useful.
  • Nonetheless, if you wish to balance the shape or reduce the size of your plant, wait for blooming to be over.
  • Remove weak or broken branches regularly.

Water regularly during extended dry spells, especially potted Skimmia.

Learn more about Skimmia japonica

Skimmia flowers range from pale pink to red.This slow-growing round-shaped shrub bears beautiful spring blooms that are particularly fragrant and reminisce of orange flowers.

But it is mostly known for its berries that are produced in fall and stay on the shrub all winter long.

Indeed, the blooming is followed by cute red fruits that keep Skimmia brightly colored from spring to winter.

Additionally, the fragrant evergreen leafage will let you appreciate it even more on your terrace or balcony.

  • Skimmia leaves produce a delicate scent when they are rubbed.

Skimmia can be planted together with all the other heath plants such as hydrangea, camellia, azalea, heather or rhododendron.

Smart tip about Skimmia

Avoid planting them in flood-prone areas because they like well-drained soil.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Skimmia flowers shared by bernswaelz under © CC0 1.0
Skimmia japonica shared by MabelAmber under © CC0 1.0

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