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Zones 8-10
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Zones 8-10

Japanese Cleyera

Cleyera japonica

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Japanese Cleyera

Cleyera japonica

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Special Features
Zone Map
Bird Friendly
Deer Resistant
Easy Care

Botanical Name

Cleyera japonica

Outdoor Growing zone


Mature Height


Mature Width


Sun needs

Full Sun, Partial Sun

The Japanese Cleyera is an attractive evergreen shrub rarely seen in American gardens. It forms a bush or small, multi-stem tree 10 to 15 feet tall and about 10 feet wide. It grows at a moderate pace, and the smooth, glossy, dark-green leaves are very handsome, often turning dark red over the winter. In summer clusters of white fragrant flowers form at the base of the leaves, and these mature to clusters of berries that are red at first, turning black by late fall. This plant is sacred in the Shinto religion, and especially valuable as an authentic addition to an Asian-themed garden. It is also great as part of a woodland garden, perhaps growing with azaleas and camellias.

  • Attractive evergreen shrub that’s rarely available
  • Smooth, glossy leaves of dark green turn red in winter
  • Abundant white fragrant flowers from May to July
  • Red berries turn black in late fall
  • Essential element in Asian-style gardens

The Japanese Cleyera will grow in full sun, but it does best with some shade, even growing well in light full shade. It grows in warm zones and enjoys damp, humid summer weather. It thrives in richer, well-drained soils that are slightly acidic, and won’t tolerate much drought or very wet soil. It rarely has any pest or disease problems and it usually won’t be eaten by deer. Water regularly when young, but otherwise no trimming or special care is needed.

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