Euonymus — three tiers of beauty



So in a free interpretation the name of the euonymus sounds (Euonymus) translated from ancient Greek. On thed etymologists still struggle with the origin of the Slavic version of the name to this day 🙂

Euonymus is an ornamental shrub that grows naturally in temperate and subtropical climates in the undergrowth of broad-leaved and mixed forests. This means that the plant loves moist, non-acidic soil, partial shade, tolerates shading well.

As for the decorative properties, the euonymus is an extremely interesting plant for gardeners. It blooms beautifully, is perfectly formed, some varieties in autumn are almost the main decoration of the autumn garden, while others do not shed their leaves in winter.

This decorative deciduous shrub is so diverse that by comparing two or three photos you will not even guess that we are talking about the same species.

winged euonymus

Here, for example, is the winged euonymus. See what a spreading bush it forms.

Fortune's euonymus

And this is Fortune’s evergreen euonymus. A short, creeping shrub does not at all resemble the previous photo.

Fortune's euonymus

This climbing plant is also Fortune’s euonymus.

Be sure to plant a few specimens of such an amazingly beautiful shrub in your garden. Its winter hardiness and malleability will help you create beautiful solitary or mixed plantings, or form a bright hedge.

Euonymus flowering, though long, is extremely modest. But the fruits of the shrub are very bright and very unusual.

warty euonymus (Euonymus verrucosus)
  • area a habitat: Southern, Central, Southeastern Europe, European part of Russia.
  • Height: up to 1.5 m.
  • Flowering period: May June.
  • Color spectrum: green leaves, dark crimson in autumn flowers inconspicuous, fruit boxes with orangeour heirs and black fruits.
  • Growing conditions: the most frost-resistant of the listed species, grows on humus-rich calcareous soils, in nature in broad-leaved and mixed forests.
  • Peculiarities: deciduous shrub, for the peculiarity of the fruit was nicknamed «tadpole», used for hedges.
warty euonymus
Euonymus winged (Euonymus alatus)
  • area a habitat: Russian Far East, Japan, China.
  • Height: up to 1.8 m.
  • Flowering period: May June.
  • Color spectrum: leaves are green, purple in autumn.
  • Growing conditions: in nature in open areas, in mixed forests, among shrubs, on hillsides.
  • Peculiarities: deciduous shrub, leaves up to 7 cm long, especially beautiful in autumn, when it changes its color to luxurious purple.
european euonymus
Euonymus european (Euonymus europaeus)
  • area a habitat: Europe, Turkey, Caucasus.
  • Height: up to 6 m.
  • Flowering period: April June.
  • Color spectrum: green leaves turn red in autumn, green flowers are replaced first by green, then by pink fruits.
  • Growing conditions: winter-hardy, drought-resistant, medium shade-tolerant, in nature lives on the edges of light mixed forests (oak, pine, alder), loves slightly alkaline soils and humus;
  • Peculiarities: deciduous shrub or tree, leaves up to 11 cm long, used to create hedges.
Fortune's euonymus
Fortune’s Euonymus (Euonymus fortune)
  • area a habitat: originally from China.
  • Height: up to 40 cm
  • Flowering period: in the conditions of our latitudes almost does not bloom.
  • Color spectrum: green and variegated leaves depending on the variety.
  • Growing conditions: loves fertile, slightly alkaline soils, unshaded areas for variegated varieties.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen shrub, suitable for making border hedges.
Popular varieties of this species:
Due to their creeping properties, many varieties of Fortune’s spindle acquire the properties of climbing plants.

Coloratus — bright green leaves turn purple in autumn. Over time, it forms an evergreen cover. Often it is used for landscaping the near-trunk circle of trees.

Vegetus — young leaves and shoots of white color, blooms profusely. It forms a shrub up to a meter high and 1.4 m in diameter. Lateral branches are creeping, can climb along a support, take root well by themselves. The variety is relatively fast growing.

blonde — green leaves with a yellow-white heel in the center in the fall acquire a pink-red hue. Height 30-60 cm, bush diameter up to 2m. A beautiful accent for a lighted area or light partial shade.

Emerald’n Gold — in spring the leaves are yellow, in summer they are emerald or marble with a yellow border, in autumn they are bright pink. A valuable plant for decorating the borders of the lower tier of a coniferous mix.

Silver Queen — young leaves are cream, adults are green with a wide cream stripe. The creeping shrub is often grown as a climbing evergreen plant. Under good conditions, it can climb the support to a height of up to 6 m.

large-winged euonymus
Large-winged euonymus (Euonymus macropterus)
  • area a habitat: Russian Far East, Japan, China.
  • Height: up to 9 m.
  • Flowering period: May June.
  • Color spectrum: the leaves are green, red in autumn, the fruits are raspberry boxes.
  • Growing conditions: in nature, an inhabitant of broad-leaved and coniferous forests, mountainous regions, grows at an altitude of up to 1000 m above sea level, prefers slightly alkaline or neutral soils.
  • Peculiarities: deciduous tree, leaves up to 15 cm long.
dwarf euonymus
Euonymus dwarf (Euonymus nana)
  • area a habitat: segment length Europe — Western China, including the mountainous regions of Moldova, Ukraine, the Caucasus, Mongolia.
  • Height: ground cover shrub 30 cm high.
  • Flowering period: June.
  • Color spectrum: narrow green leaves 4-5 cm longgreenish-brown flowers turn into pink pear-shaped fruits in autumn.
  • Growing conditions: planted in groups under a sparse canopy of trees in humus, drained, non-acidic soils.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen shrub, hibernates due to snow cover and a large number of rooted cuttings, it is desirable to cover in snowless winters.


  • almost all spindle trees are poisonous, fruits are used for medical purposes;
  • Euonymus loves moisture, but does not tolerate prolonged soaking;
  • acidic soils are not suitable for this plant, soil should be deoxidized slaked lime;
  • for abundant flowering, euonymus is planted in pairs or groups to ensure cross-pollination of flowers;
  • Euonymus is a relatively winter-hardy shrub, withstands frost down to -200C, young plants are covered in the first few winters, and adults are insulated in the region of the root neck with a layer of mulch and spruce branches.

Solitary landings from euonymuswill no doubt decorate monotonous garden lawn.

euonymus, styloid phlox, narcissus

Varieties of Fortune’s euonymus are a welcome guest in rockeries.

pillows made of Fortune's creeping euonymus and juniper surrounded by hostas

Neatly cut pillows of Fortune’s euonymus can be shaped into a hill or a stone. This technique will greatly enrich the landscape, creating a dramatic contrast.

The euonymus will dilute the monotony of any landscape composition. It is especially good in mixed planting with both deciduous and coniferous trees.

curb hedge of euonymus

Euonymus hedge is good in all seasons.

variegated cultivar of Fortune's euonymus

variegated cultivar of Fortune's euonymus

winged euonymus in early autumn


In mixed plantings, the euonymus stands out favorably in both shape and color. It all depends on the variety.

Fortune's euonymus in green mix

Fortune's euonymus

winged euonymus

Fortune's variegated euonymus on a retaining wall

Bordered varieties will brighten shady areas of the garden, especially since this shrub tolerates shade well. Here it will «work» perfectly in the company of variegated hosts, if the shade from the trees is not too dense.

Varieties with a monochrome color will certainly delight you in the autumn. Believe me, such a bright purple palette is not found in every tree-like perennial.

propagate euonymus by all known methods: root shoots, layering, cuttings, less often seeds.

layering (lateral branches) are pinned to the ground in the spring and the place of attachment is dug in. The rooted branch is separated from the bush for the next year, allowing the young roots to overwinter with the mother bush.

cuttings prepared in July. Branches no younger than 5 years old are suitable for this. The tops are cut into segments about 7 cm long, each of them must have at least one internode. The lower sections are made oblique, treated with a rooting agent, immersed in a wet mixture with sand and peat. The container is covered with a film and placed in a lighted place.

It will take a month and a half to form the root system.

In the second half of August, young seedlings are planted in open ground for growing. There they winter under cover for the first two years.

Already strengthened two-year-old seedlings are planted in a permanent place in the garden.

The division of the bush: root processes are best separated in the fall, during the period of leaf fall. Do this with a sharpened shovel. It is better to take root shoots no higher than the knee. The separated bush is immediately transplanted into a separate hole.

seeds sown in the fall immediately after harvest and insulate the area with a layer of mulch. For spring planting, preliminary seed stratification is required (about a month in the refrigerator in a container with moist soil).

transplant Euonymus is best done in the spring before the start of sap flow. It is important to monitor the degree of soil moisture until the beginning of the autumn rainy season. Autumn transplantation is possible no later than 1.5 months before frost, so that the shrub takes root.

At the transplant site, they dig a hole twice the size of the root system. The bottom is filled with drainage. The excavated earth is mixed with humus and peat, if the soil is acidic, then a glass of slaked lime is added.

First, the mixture is poured in a layer over the drainage, then the root system of the bush is lowered into the pit and covered with prepared soil. At this moment, the bush is slightly shaken so that there are no air chambers left, where water can accumulate in autumn and turn into ice in winter.

The top layer of the near-stem circle is mulched to retain soil moisture.

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