Everyone loves plants that offer year-round interest in the garden and there aren’t many that do a better job than Skimmia. Noted for their autumn and winter berries or colourful flower buds, these robust shrubs also boast glossy green foliage throughout the year and pretty scented flowers in the summer months. Easy to care for and naturally compact, Skimmia are ideal for both borders and containers. Skimmia prefer a position in shade, and can even tolerate positions in deep shade. Definitely avoid planting in full sun, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow. They prefer neutral to acidic soils so use plenty of ericaceous compost at planting time. If growing in containers, it’s best to use John Innes ericaceous compost.
The most well-known variety is Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’(AGM), a male variety bearing panicles of small red flower buds held on red stems throughout the winter which open to creamy-white flowers. Most Skimmia varieties are either male or female, so you need to grow two different varieties to ensure the females produce their berries. There are some self-fertile varieties, so only one plant is needed for fruit to develop, although even these will produce more fruit if a male is grown close by.
Some of our favourite Skimmia are:
- ‘Fructo Alba’ – a female variety needing a male variety close by to bear panicles of small white flowers in spring. These are followed by glossy white berries which last throughout winter.
- ‘Perosa’ – a male variety with attractive variegated foliage and masses of small deep red flower buds held throughout winter.
- ‘Temptation’ – this self-fertile variety boasts clusters of glossy berries that ripen to vivid red and last through autumn and winter.
We have a fantastic range of Skimmia available and our helpful team are always on hand to help you choose the perfect variety for your garden.