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 interest in winter. While it flowers in spring, it should be dotted with bright red (non-edible) fruit from summer to winter.
The easiest way to keep a skimmia happy is to grow it in a pot. If you want to plant it in the ground, it prefers neutral or acidic soil. 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. Eventually it will grow to a height of about a metre, 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.