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Cleyera is an evergreen shrub with large bronze to green foliage often used as a dense hedge or privacy planting in landscaping. The glossy, dark green leaves and occasional clusters of blooms add beauty and color to any garden or outdoor space.

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Cleyera Japonica, more commonly known as the Japanese Cleyera; is a shrub native to Japan and China – and in recent times, a staple in most southern gardens. Cleyera shrubs grow in cool, well-drained soil, in full sun to some moderate shade. Full-grown shrubs can withstand drought, but they need to be shielded from strong winds. Generally, this kind of plant is used for landscaping gardens. It produces fragrant white flowers and red berries which later split to reveal black seeds, lasting throughout fall and winter.

How big do Cleyeras grow?

These shrubs typically grow up to 15 feet in height and their spread reaches up to 10 feet. They have a thick and rounded shape, making them perfect as hedges or screens. The Cleyera Japonica has leathery leaves with a deep, evergreen color on top and muted green on the bottom. From May to June, the shrubs grow white, bell-shaped flowers, usually followed by black seeds.

Landscape Uses

Traditionally, the Cleyera japonica shrubs are used for rituals of the Japanese Shinto religion as a sacred plant and it is often found in Japanese shrines. It’s frequently used as timber for furniture and construction as well. Nowadays, the shrubs are mainly used for landscaping – and they’re pretty practical too! Since it handles pruning well, it’s planted in groups as a privacy hedge or along entrances or walls. Because of the shrubs' growth, they can be used to conceal certain unattractive features of your house – like pipes or pumps. Sometimes they can be even used as specimen plants if left alone to grow in their natural conditions.

Taking care of Cleyeras

When it comes to taking care of the Cleyera shrubs, it's a pretty easy task! Primarily, the shrub needs to be placed in full sun, as it is heat tolerant – though it may even survive in the shade as well. Ideally, you can place it in a setting where there’s partial shade. The Cleyera Japonica prefers rich, acidic, and well-drained soil. The placement of the shrubs is also something you should keep in mind. If you want to use them as hedges or screens, you should plant the Cleyeras 4 to 6 feet apart. By following this distance, the plants are going to provide privacy, as well as some shade. Because of their wide variety, the shrubs can also be used as accent and container plants. As it is a landscape plant, the shrub soars in an outdoor setting where it grows at a moderate speed. You can also grow it indoors in a pot, but be aware that the plant will grow up to 2 feet at most. Just make sure to avoid placing it in a windy setting! Once planted, you’ll need to water it moderately (in its first year or during hot weather). In addition, the evergreen shrub doesn’t require constant pruning. When in need of a light trim, you just need to cut the stems all the way to the center of the plant, allowing two new side branches to grow along the cut. It’s also pest and disease-resistant, so taking care of it will feel like a breeze.

Why should you get the Cleyera for your landscape?

To summarize, where the Cleyera shrubs lack in showiness, it definitely makes up for in practicality and versatility of use. As we’ve listed above, there are several varieties of shrubs, depending on what kind of look you want for your garden – and we feature them all in our shop! Finally, the Cleyera relishes itself in a soft yet delicate display of evergreens, bronzes, and maroons. It’s extremely easy to maintain and keep and you can experiment with the placement as well. If you’re looking for ways to elevate your garden – this shrub should definitely not be overlooked! If you are interested in including this plant in your landscape, don’t hesitate to discover the varieties of Cleyera shrubs we carry!

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