Aucuba japonica ‘Mr. Goldstrike’

variegated Japanese aucuba

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

If your garden has a dry and shady area, variegated Japanese aucuba is the shrub to fill the spot. The lustrous dark, evergreen foliage is playfully speckled-and-splashed golden yellow, and will brighten any dark garden. The full and dense foliage branches freely to the ground making it one of the few plants that resist becoming leggy in the shade. This fruitless male clone is excellent for pollinating the ladies.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 10

Sun/Light Exposure: dappled to deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established, but appreciates occasional water during very long dry spells

Seasonal Interest: year-round bold, gold splashed foliage

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Polystichum munitum, Acer circinatum ‘Monroe’, Fatsia japonica, Sarcococca ruscifolia, Vaccinium ovatum

Great Color Contrasts: dark green, blue

Great Color Partners: yellow

Culture Notes
Japanese aucuba prefers well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy soils or clay. Plant in dappled to deep shade as too much sun will cause the leaves to yellow and the variegation to burn. Aucuba is quite drought tolerant once established, although occasional summer watering will keep it looking its best during prolonged dry weather.