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Variegated Gaultheria*

Gaultheria mucronata 'Variegata'

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Variegated Gaultheria (Gaultheria mucronata 'Variegata') at Alsip Home and Nursery

Variegated Gaultheria foliage

Variegated Gaultheria foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6

Other Names:  Pernettya mucronata, Variegated Pernettya

Description:

A good shrub for highly acidic, sandy and poor soils; small urn-shaped flowers in spring, bright pink, white, or claret red berries in fall, and pink tones in fall; extremely fragrant leaves;

Ornamental Features

Variegated Gaultheria features dainty nodding white bell-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from mid spring to mid summer. It has dark green foliage edged in white. The fragrant oval leaves turn burgundy in fall. It produces pink berries from early to late fall.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated Gaultheria is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Variegated Gaultheria is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Variegated Gaultheria will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. This is a female variety of the species which requires a male selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Variegated Gaultheria makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, this plant may be too tender to survive the winter if left outdoors in a container. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

 

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features