Leucothoe scarletta Zeblid (Switch Ivy) 2l

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Switch Ivy

Leucothoe is an evergreen shrub for acid soils, providing year-round colour which changes with the seasons.

This colourful low-maintenance shrub is hardy and evergreen, providing fuss-free colour throughout the year. Initially, the young foliage emerges bright green with red edges, before turning fully red in summer. Come autumn, the leaves then change again to a deep burgundy which lasts right through the winter, bringing colour and warmth to the garden just when it's needed most. This shade-tolerant shrub has a spreading habit, so it's great for filling a space in a shrubbery or covering ground in a dull corner. Leucothoe thrives in acid soil, but even if you don't have acid soil in your garden it will sit happily in a large pot filled with ericaceous compost where it will provide a lovely low-maintenance display throughout the year. During spring, a flurry of small white flowers provide an additional burst of colour.

Add colour, structure and texture to a dull, shady spot with this gorgeous, glossy shrub.

Key Features

Plant Type: Shrub

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

Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 1m x W 3m (Mature age: 10 Years)

Foliage Colour: Green, Red

Flower Colour: White

Fragrant Flower: No

Aromatic Foliage: No

RHS Award of Garden Merit: Yes

RHS Perfect for Pollinators: No

Foliage Type: Evergreen

Soil Type: Clay, Sandy, Loam, Acid

Soil Drainage: Moist but Well Drained

Light Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade

Planting Style: Flower Beds & Borders, Containers, Banks & Slopes, Low Maintenance Garden, Hedging & Screening

Season of Interest: Summer, Autumn, Spring, Winter

Flowering (from - to): March - April

Plant Care & Advice

Leucothoe likes full sun to show off its colours to best effect, but can tolerate light shade and grows well in a sheltered location. It looks good on a bank or slope, or used to make a low hedge. 

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 shape 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.