Skimmia Japonica comes from warm parts of Asia, but it’s beloved as a garden plant in the UK because it copes with almost any weather. It’s the rare plant that will live cheerfully in deep shade and will provide a bit of colour in winter. While it flowers in spring, it should be dotted with bright red (non-edible) fruit from summer to winter.
You can grow skimmias in pots or in the ground, but be aware they can grow very large in the ground. A pot will keep it compact. It will be happiest in shade, but will grow in a spot that gets some morning or late afternoon sunshine. The only thing it dislikes is really strong sun, which can cause its leaves to turn yellow.
Beyond that, it’s one of the easiest shrubs to grow. It will grow to a height of about a metre, over several years, but it’s easily pruned back to keep it compact. It’s an ideal option if you’ve got shady outdoor space or prefer your plants to take care of themselves.
Did you know?
Skimmia leaves have a very strong, pungent aroma if crushed. So best not to crush them.