Holiday – Variegated Aucuba

Aucuba japonica 'Variegata'

Holiday – Variegated Aucuba

Aucuba japonica 'Variegata'


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


Wow! Someone went crazy with the gold paint and sprayed it all over this plant. The big green leaves of Aucuba are splashed and spotted with bright gold, making it look like a party’s going on. The best choice you can make for those really difficult dark corners, where nothing else grows, with this much color, why would you need something else? Making a bush that can be 10 feet tall and wide in time, it can even surprise us with clusters of red berries from time to time. If you have cold, dark rooms in your house, or a cold porch, it’s the perfect houseplant too.

  • Top choice for dark corners of the garden
  • Gold-splashed evergreen leaves are always attractive
  • Tolerates poor soil and difficult conditions
  • Good houseplant for cold, dark rooms
  • Very, very easy to grow

Hardy from zone 7, Aucuba grows in any soil, even poor dry soil in urban gardens and under big trees. It takes drought and heat too, and best of all it grows anywhere from full sun to full, dark shade. It’s so tough that pests and diseases don’t bother it either, and it’s the nearest thing there is to a ‘plant and forget it’ bush we have ever found.

Plant Hardiness Zones 7-9
Mature Width 4-10
Mature Height 4-10
Sun Needs Partial Sun, Shade
Zones 7-9

Why Aucuba is a Great Holiday Plant

Plants and holidays go together – they are always a great gift that keeps on giving, whether for family, friends, or for yourself (you need a holiday gift too!) Aucuba was once called ‘Gold Plant’, for the bright gold splashes on its leaves, and what is better than gold for the best holiday of all? All of us know, among our friends and family, someone who struggles to keep plants alive, someone whose garden is dark, shady and difficult, or both. Perhaps it’s a townhouse, or perhaps they just have a balcony. Aucuba is perfect for that person, because it is probably the toughest garden plant around, and it grows and even thrives where so many plants fail – in that deep shade beneath trees, in poor, dry soil. Its big, gold-splashed evergreen leaves brighten the darkest corner, and its rounded form hides ugly walls and old fences.

It can be grown in pots and planters too, and it won’t die the minute someone forgets to water it. It even makes a great houseplant for cool, dark rooms, and it’s terrific for a cold, glassed-in porch – talk about versatile! Whoever gets this plant will know you love them, because it isn’t one of those challenging plants. No, it really is a gift – to receive and to grow.

What is Aucuba Like?

Aucuba (Aucuba japonica ‘Variegata’) is a rounded evergreen bush with large leaves. It will grow at a steady pace, adding up to a foot a year, to become 4 to 6 feet tall. As it matures it fills out, and slowly reaches around 10 feet tall and wide – the perfect size for filling blank and ugly corners. Its big feature is the leaves – attractive all year round and up to 8 inches long. These leathery and glossy leaves are not boring green, instead they are splashed and daubed with irregular patches of golden yellow. Many are small, but some are up to an inch or more across. Older plants may also produce the surprise of bright red berries in early fall. But, really, it is those colorful leaves that are the big deal, and they really lighten up any garden.

How Do You Grow Aucuba?

This great bush is hardy in all the warmer zones, from 7 to 9, and even in sheltered spots in zone 6. It can be grown anywhere indoors or in a glassed-in porch. It grows in all light conditions, and it is THE top pick for that super-dark spot where nothing will grow. Beneath evergreen trees, in dry, poor soil, it will grow like this is the best possible spot a plant could be in. Pests and diseases never seem to bother it, and it can be trimmed in late winter or early spring if it is getting too large.

Buying Aucuba from the Tree Center

Every gardener you know has difficult dark spots to plant in, and nothing beats Aucuba for filling those spots. We have some great plants ready to go, and we will ship them anywhere you want. Solve your holiday gift problems and please all your gardening friends, but our stock is limited, so order right now – and relax, we’ll take care of the rest.

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Holiday – Variegated Aucuba

Aucuba japonica 'Variegata'