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Coprosma - Growing Guide
Coprosma are evergreen shrubs from Tasmania and New Zealand which are grown primarily for their attractive foliage colours and combinations. They have not proved as popular as they once were in recent years although the introduction of some colourful new forms (‘Fire Burst’ and ‘County Park Plum’) may change when growers realise how attractive these actually are.
Coprosma are sadly not grown for their attractive flowers as these are tiny and very inconspicuous. As these plants are dioecious you need to grow a group together to generate the attractive, succulent, coloured berries which will then be produced outside in warmer areas.
These plants make attractive varied shrubs in a border. C. x kirkii ‘Variegata’ has attractive white margined grey-green leaves. C. ‘Beatson’s Gold’ has bright green leaves splashed gold and will eventually grow with us to around 5ft and is fully hardy. Contrastingly, C. ‘Inferno’ has lime green leaves edged orange red. In full sun in summer the leaves turn purple and then red in winter.
The varieties we offer have been well tested here. There are other species which thrive on Tresco but which we have not found to be as hardy at Burncoose despite our best efforts with some and loads of cuttings from Tresco Abbey Gardens.
Outside the West Country coastal areas these are probably conservatory/greenhouse plants or something you should be prepared to see sacrificed to a cold winter. Indoors they need some shading, a loam based potting compost with grit, and frequent potting on as they grow quickly. If your greenhouse has an open bed they can make good feature plants. Outdoors they need reasonably fertile well drained soil in sun or partial shade.
Coprosma are easy to root from semi ripe new growth cuttings taken in spring and rooted with bottom heat.