The smallest of the small – `Silverstone`

Fortune’s spindles (Euonymus fortunei) are quite popular in Lithuania, and there are plenty of these semievergreen, ground-hugging colorful shrubs in our gardens. However, one of the new introductions really makes us to lean in and have a better look – is it really a spindle, or maybe it is a moss?

`Silverstone` is a very small, dense, compact plant, growing no more than 10-15 cm tall and 20-30 cm wide. Leaves are tiny, oval, dark green, splashed with white variegation, while the new ones appear entirely white or white with some green sprinkling. Although leaves and branches give an impression of being fragile, they really are quite robust, while the shrub itself is rather sturdy.

`Silverstone` is not fussy regarding its planting site, but it would prefer semi shade and moist fertile soil, where its growth would be faster, and the leaves would be brighter shade of green. It cannot handle waterlogged soil. It is recommended to water them during drought, especially if grown in sandy soil.

[banner]This miniature spindle looks perfect in Japanese style gardens, rockeries (add some rich, moist compost before planting), at the edge of a water feature or a stream, under standard plants, at the front of mixed plantings. They are ideal for growing in containers (especially the tall ones) alone or alongside other moisture-loving bedding plants. When growing in containers in sunshine, make sure soil does not turn bone-dry, or else keep them in semi shade, to be on the safe side.

They usually overwinter under snow cover. Should winter turn out to be snowless, mulch around the shrub generously, and remember to provide some protections for the plant from scorching sun, come spring.

During dry autumn weather water plants generously a couple of times, and prepare them for winter just like all other evergreen plants. Single branches that remain visible above the snow cover may die down, just like other Fortune‘s spindles, however, this does not reflect much on overall health and appearance of the plant. Simply remove dead growth in spring.

© Giedra Bartas, 2016

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