I Love Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’  ~ aka Variegated False Holly

Dec 10, 2021 | Gardens

Name: Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’  aka variegated false holly

Type of Plant:  A variegated shrub that looks like holly. Hard iin Zones 6-9 y

Why I Love This Plant: This plant is a slow-growing shrub, and I like that it doesn’t grow quickly. I love the foliage, which can have several shades of green to white. In fact, the cultivar name ‘Goshiki’ is Japanese for “five colors.”  The slow growth is good for smaller landscapes, and the texture and colors of the leaves are perfect contrast to other shrubs and perennials in a garden.

A Word to the Wise:  Know a few things about this plant: first of all, if you’re in a Zone 6, place this in a protected location. Avoid cold winter winds. Secondly, this plant is most variegated and colorful in sun or part-sun locations. I have mine growing in dappled sunlight and it does well, but the variegation isn’t as colorful as it would be with more light. Finally, this isn’t a drought-tolerant plant. If it hasn’t rained well in a week, plan on watering this plant and the area around it deeply with a sprinkler.

This false holly (“Call me Osmanthus”) is most colorful in full to part sun.

I used small Osmanthus in my urns for the winter. I’ll plant them in my landscape in March.

This false holly is more colorful in sun or part-sun. I grow it in dappled sun under oak trees, and it’s lovely but not as variegated.


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