© RHS / Joanna Kossak

Introducing...

Aucuba

Botanical name: Aucuba

Common name: Spotted or Japanese laurel

These evergreen shrubs are valued for their ability to thrive in difficult conditions, such as deep shade, where many other shrubs would suffer. Use them as foliage plants in borders with other shade-loving plants, as hedging  or in large containers.

Looks

Rounded, bushy plants are covered in large, thick, glossy leaves. A number of cultivars have leaves splashed with irregular yellow spots and blotches or are variegated.

Likes

Aucuba will grow in most soils in partial to full shade, although they can also do well in sun.

Dislikes

Dislikes soils that are prone to staying wet. After cold and wet winters, the wetness around the roots can lead to blackening of the leaves and shoot tips. 

Did you know?

Insignificant spring flowers are followed by shiny red berries on female plants as long as a male plant is growing close by. When buying, the labels should indicate if it is a male or female form. The more compact cultivar 'Rozannie' is said to be partly self-fertile and produces some berries on its own.  

Growing guide

Aucuba we recommend

Buy aucubas from RHSplants.co.uk

Every purchase supports our work as a charity

Useful advice

Aucuba blackening

Aucuba blackening

Buying: trees and shrubs

Buying: trees and shrubs

Shade gardening

Shade gardening

Trees and shrubs: planting

Trees and shrubs: planting

Other plants you may like

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.