Leucothoe fontanesiana Rainbow (Switch Ivy) 2l

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Switch Ivy

Leucothoe is a low-maintenance evergreen shrub which provides fuss-free colour throughout the year.

If you like easy-to-grow plants, look no further than Leucothoe. This fabulous evergreen shrub provides year-round interest with its colourful foliage, and pretty much looks after itself. It thrives in acid soil, but it's fairly compact so even if you don't have acid soil you can grow it in a container with ericaceous compost. This architectural shrub is most useful for bringing light and colour to a shady spot and is famed for its attractive mottled foliage in pretty shades of cream, green and pink. This lovely plant looks great all year round, although it particularly shines in winter when there's not a lot of other colour around. Leucothoe is neat, bushy and easy to manage. Planted in a border it will sit in its space and gradually bush out to a height of around 1.5m, but it's also fine to prune or trim each year to keep it to a smaller size. If you enjoy making your own cut-flower arrangements, this gorgeous variety is perfect for padding out a bouquet, providing added detail and colour among flowers.

Use this fabulous shrub to brighten up a shady spot in borders or as a low-maintenance container plant and enjoy a long-lasting and easy display.

Key Features

Plant Type: Shrub

Hardiness: H6 Hardy. Minimum temperature -20 to -15.

Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 1.5m x W 1.5m (Mature age: 10 Years)

Foliage Colour: Cream, Green, Pink

Flower Colour: Cream

Fragrant Flower: No

Aromatic Foliage: No

RHS Award of Garden Merit: No

RHS Perfect for Pollinators: No

Foliage Type: Evergreen

Soil Type: Acid, Sandy, Loam, Clay

Soil Drainage: Moist but Well Drained

Light Exposure: Part Shade, Full Shade

Planting Style: Informal Garden, Flower Beds & Borders, Containers, Low Maintenance Garden, Damp Shade, Woodland Garden

Season of Interest: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Flowering (from - to): March - April

Plant Care & Advice

This Leucothoe variety likes to grow in full or partial shade, so it's perfect for adding light and colour to a dull space. It prefers a sheltered location away from harsh winds or direct sun.

This variety prefers a moist spot with acid soil. If you don't have acid soil you can grow it in a large container filled with ericaceous compost.

Water the plant regularly until it's established. Once the roots have anchored into the ground it will require very little watering unless there is a long spell of hot weather during summer. If growing in a container, give it a can-full of water whenever the soil looks completely dry.

Feeding isn't essential, however you can feed occasionally with an all-purpose liquid feed during summer to promote new growth and healthy foliage. Those grown in containers may require more regular feeding.

Lightly clip to ship with shears in late spring after flowering. Once the shrub is fully grown, remove any dead branches if they appear. Once established, prune branches by one third to keep the shrub to the required size.