Japanese Aucuba: [Cultivation, Care, Substrate, Irrigation, Pests and Diseases]

The aucuba japonica or spotted laurel is a small shrub thatreaches a maximum of 5 meters in height and has decorative foliage.

It has the property of producing flowers that can be found in red or purple depending on the chosen species, plus its fruits are contrasting red and inedible.

Its dark green, mottled leaves give it an elegant and sophisticated look that we can have directly in the garden or in a pot all year round.

Do you dare to enjoy the benefits of this plant ?

Learn everything you need to know to grow aucuba japonica in your garden.

Important points when sowing Japanese Aucuba
  • When? In late spring and early summer.
  • Where? In semi shade.
  • How do we prepare the land? With soil, humus and peat.
  • How should we water? By dripping and spraying.
  • How often do you have to water? In summer constantly, in winter suspend if necessary.
  • What pests and diseases does it have? Watch out for aphids and waterlogging root rot.

Characteristics of the Japanese aucuba

The Japanese aucuba (Aucuba japonica) is an evergreen shrub that grows 2 to 3 meters tall with colorful, green and gold-yellow leaves up to 20 cm long.

The flowers are not particularly ornamental, but the attractive bright red berries replace them in the fall if a male plant grows nearby. Flowers and fruits are often hidden behind foliage.

The Aucuba are also used as indoor plants.

Aucuba japonica was introduced to England in 1783 by Philip Miller’s student John Graeffer, originally as a plant for a heated greenhouse. It was widely cultivated as the » golden plant « by gardeners in the 19th century.

When to sow aucuba japonica?

The sowing of the aucuba japonica will take place during the spring-summer transition through cuttings .

In areas where temperatures are warm and constant throughout the year, it can be sown at any time.

Where to plant aucuba japonica?

  • Although it shows a preference for hot climates, this does not mean that it is able to withstand direct sun.
  • For this reason, it is best to keep it in semi-shade .
  • Part of the most beneficial properties of planting the aucuba japonica is that it can thrive without complications in highly polluted environments .
  • This means that it is an ideal species for the most crowded cities.
  • It can even withstand the salt-laden environment that prevails in coastal areas.

How to prepare the land?

The Japanese aucuba is not very demanding about this aspect, but if we want it to be as healthy as possible, it is best to offer it a soil rich in nutrients.

Ideally, prepare the soil with a soil mixture that contains a good amount of humus and some peat.

It is capable of adapting to all types of soil. If it comes to choosing, the slightly acidic ones will be your favorite environment.

How do we water the Japanese aucuba?

  • The watering of the aucuba will be carried out by direct dripping on the root and sometimes sprinkling on the leaves to give them relative humidity.
  • It is important to know that it is a species capable of surviving for a good period of time without risks, especially in the cold season.

How often do we water the Japanese aucuba?

Irrigation will vary depending on the time of year, becoming more frequent in summer and being reduced (almost entirely) in winter.

It is very important to know that the Japanese aucuba is absolutely intolerant to puddles.

If it is potted, it is important to control the level of water applied in irrigation and ensure that the soil is well drained.

In the case that it is in the garden, it should be offered adequate protection during rainy days.

How to sow aucuba japonica step by step?

The sowing of the aucuba japonica will be done during the warmer periods of the year to ensure that it thrives and is given by cuttings.

The steps to follow are:

  1. Select cuttings of semi-woody texture, preferably two or three to ensure the success of the process. The approximate size should be 15 centimeters and they should be cut flush with a knot with a sharp object to prevent the fabrics from tearing.
  2. Prepare a suitable pot with a mixture of peat and sand and carefully bury them there, up to about 10 cm. Before burying it is necessary to remove the leaves that are located in the part that will remain underground.
  3. Moisten the soil around the cuttings, without puddling. This process will be repeated as the soil dries up.
  4. Cover the cuttings with a plastic bag to keep the humidity of the environment and remove it for a few minutes each day to ventilate.
  5. Place in a cool space where it is at room temperature and that it remains constant.

When the aucuba is planted in pots, it is advisable to transplant every 3 years.

What care does aucuba japonica need?

  • To achieve flowering effects and allow the plant to appear healthier, it is best to fertilize with mineral fertilizers .
  • These can be obtained in a soluble version that allows them to be incorporated into the frequency of irrigation, depending on the planning that is had on the subject.
  • Specialists recommend that it be during the summer period at the rate of a monthly fertilization.
  • In the other seasons, this process will not be necessary to do it and, rather, it could become counterproductive.
  • Pruning is not essential because its growth is rather even.
  • If you want to apply anyway, it is advisable to concentrate only on the areas where you notice dry leaves or branches.
  • It is also possible to work with a segmented pruning to organize its growth structure.

What pests and diseases affect the aucuba japonica?

Being so resistant to issues like pollution or drought, it is no wonder that its propensity to suffer from pests or diseases is quite low.

However, in areas where aphids are common during the summer , it is best to ensure that they are free.

For this, there are many natural remedies that will not cause any negative effect on its structure and will keep it protected.

For example, nettle or garlic extracts represent an excellent ally.

Regarding diseases, it is possible that it presents rots if it is subjected to excessive waterlogging.

One way to avoid this is to ensure that planting is done away from areas that can cause stagnation, such as garden gates.

More interesting facts about the aucuba japonica reflect that it is able to withstand not so strong frosts, maintaining its foliage.

In addition, it is necessary to know that it is a dioecious plant. This means that it needs a male and a female species to flourish and produce fruit.

For all this it is that it becomes an infallible alternative when it comes to planting ornamental plants .

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