How to Grow Euonymus fortunei Plants in your Garden
Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Spindle / Winter Creeper
The Euonymus fortunei plant is native to China, Japan, Korea, and SE Asia. It is deemed as a locally invasive plant in many parts of the world, especially the southern USA and Canada where it can aggressively attack forest openings and margins.
Please only grow it in areas where it will not affect the natural habitat and be sure to keep it under control in areas where it the climate enables it to grow aggressively.
There are numerous cultivars that are used as ornamentals in the garden. These have been chosen for their attractive variegated leaves, and for their slower and dwarf or shrub-like growth, which makes them much more suitable for growing in the garden in areas where it may grow aggressively.
Some of the commonly grown cultivars include Moon Shadow, Emerald Surprise, Canadale Gold, Silver Queen, Harlequin, and Emerald Gaiety. Most of the garden Euonymus fortunei garden plants are derived from the variety 'radicans'.
Variegated Euonymus fortunei photograph by peganum.
If allowed to grow as a vine some varieties can reach over 66 feet (20 m) in length, but most garden varieties grow as shrubs and typically reach 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 cm) in length.
It has a similar growing nature as Ivy despite not being related.
Quick Growing and Care Guide
Scientific Name:Euonymus fortunei
Common Name (s): Winter Creeper, Spindle, Fortune's spindle, wintercreeper
Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): 4 to 9 / H5
Life Cycle / Plant Type: Garden species tend to be low growing evergreen shrubs; climbing vine; Herbaceous Perennial
Plant Height: Typically 6 to 9 inches (15 to 25 cm); shrubs to 3 feet (1 m); vines up to 20 m
Plant Spread: Shrubs: 6 inches to 4 feet (15 cm to 1.5 m)
Blooms: Mid spring
Flower Details: Inconspicuous. pale green-yellow.
Leaf Foliages: Opposite. Serrated margins. Leaves are typically dark green, though the range of cultivars often have variegated leaves of yellow / gold and green
Fruit: Round. pink to red
Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight and partial shade
Soil Soil Moisture: Well drained. Moist.
Sowing, planting, and Propagation: Spreads vegetatively. Grow in controlled areas/containers. Ideally grow garden specific cultivars that are designed to grow slowly and as dwarfs. Vines set seed easily and may easily grow out of control.
Best Garden Use: Ground cover, for evergreen color, edging, slope cover to prevent erosion
Closely Related Species: Staff vines and Bittersweets.