Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera will provide a stunning backdrop to any ornamental setting. Since this lovely perennial is not necessarily picky about having full sun or partial sun, it adds to its versatility. Plant Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera as a border for an already busy colorful lush garden and you will have a beautiful boundary. It may also be used as a single specimen, and will become the star of the show! With its bronze springtime color and fall leaves, it can add the dynamic color you’re looking for at the center of the courtyard. When uninhibited, it will grow to be a multi-trunked tree with a formidable presence. It may also be a backdrop for the patio, creeping along the wall, gracing the space with appealing color, texture, and shape all year.
Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera grows at a moderate rate, allowing ample time for it to take its desired shape in the garden. Left untended, it has the potential to reach heights of 10+ feet (in ideal growing conditions and with little competition) and 5-6 feet wide. Unless pruned and trimmed to a specific shape, its natural habit will be shrub-like initially and in later years more tree-like as its trunks thicken. If pruning is intended, prune in spring, following flowering to ensure minimal interruption of its growth cycle and optimize pruning efficacy. For more compact shapes, prune from the outside-in (towards the center), snipping branches at a slight angle just above a leaf bud to encourage lateral growth. For a more natural tree-shape, prune from bottom-up, leaving the higher branches unpruned. For tidiness, select desirable branches to keep and prune undesirable branches back to the trunk. For wall-training, prune limbs with disagreeable placement and gently train the remaining branches to chosen wall.
Growing Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera
A versatile plant with lovely bronze springtime color and evergreen during the summer months, Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera may be grow in a variety of settings, performing best in zones 7-10. Plant as a hedge surrounding a colorful flower garden, a centerpiece in the courtyard, a backdrop to your patio, or in a container on the porch. The options are endless!
Specific attention should be given to soil quality, noting that Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera prefers fertile, well-drained, slightly acidic soil (with a pH between 5 and 6). This shrub will thrive in full sun or partial sun. Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera is also a suitable specimen for container planting! Plant in the center of a pot and surround with colorful accent plants. In climates cooler than zone 7, container planted Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera should be brought indoors for the cold winter months and returned to its outdoor spot once temperatures have become more moderate in springtime (50-55 degrees Fahrenheit).
Upon planting, make sure to water the new shrub well and keep the moisture level moderate so as not to stress the plant during its initial two years of establishment. Watering may be reduced during the winter months to a third of the frequency. Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera will become more resistant to drought and learn to fend for itself after its second year – but it is essential that it receives even and regular amounts of water during the first two years. Fertilizing is also essential for optimal health of Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera. When planning for the shrub’s placement in the garden, note its potential size and age. Bronze Beauty™ may live up to 30 years in optimal conditions, so it is important to choose a location where it can grow and flourish. Untended, it will behave more like a shrub in its young years and a tree as it grows older.
Care and Maintenance
During the first two years of establishment, make sure to keep the soil moderately moist for the duration of the growing season. You may reduce your watering frequency by about a third during the winter months since the plant is not actively growing during this period. Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera responds well to pruning. Always prune in springtime. To prune for compact grow, select desired distance from center, then prune branches just above a leaf bud to encourage lateral growth. To prune for tree-like habit, trim branches from the bottom-up, flush with the trunk. To prune for a clean and tidy, open habit, simply select desirable branches and trim undesirables back to the trunk. Fertilize your Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera on a weekly basis with a liquid fertilizer during its establishment (especially the first year). After that, fertilize established trees at a rate of 2-3 times per year.
Pests and Diseases
Resistant to most pests and diseases, Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera’s greatest threat is spider mites. Attention should be given to the management of this pest if it becomes evident in your garden. Note also that if you are growing this shrub in an indoor-dwelling container, attention should be given to the climate. If the shrub is living in a warm/hot dry climate, spray the plant daily with a spray bottle of water to discourage spider mite infestation.
History and Origins of Bronze Beauty™ Cleyera
Not a native of North America, this beautiful plant may be found in the wild in Eastern Asian countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Myanmar, northern India, Nepal, and Thailand. In these countries the Cleyera may be spotted in the hills, basins, and forests. In Japan, the tree holds a specific scared meaning to the Shinto religion, the branches being used during rituals.