Skimmia for Buds and Berries

Variegated Skimmia Magic Marlot

Skimmia is a slow growing, aromatic, evergreen shrub with a compact habit. Skimmia Japonica grows in a dome shape with leathery leaves and the flowers can be followed by red or black berries. Skimmia laureola has dark green leaves which smell when crushed. The flowers on this variety are clustered on the end of the shoots.

How and Where Can I Grow Skimmias?

  • They are tolerant of shade and seaside conditions though some cultivars do not like an alkaline soil.
  • The flowerbuds look like pink flowers (above) and slowly develop during late autumn before finally opening to reveal the small white flowers in late winter.
  • Most Skimmias are single sex plants therefore, if you want berries (below), you will have to grow both male and female plants.
  • Skimmias are slow growing and should not need pruning
  • Plants are hardy and would fit in too a low maintenance area
  • Skimmias can be grown in containers

Skimmia Fruit

There are now several named cultivars of Skimmia. This extract is from Wikipedia with some further additions
Variegated Skimmia Magic Marlot
Skimmia japonica ‘Emerald King’
Skimmia japonica ‘Fragrans’ scented male clone
Skimmia japonica ‘Godrie’s Dwarf’
Skimmia japonica ‘Keessen’
Skimmia japonica ‘Kew White’
Skimmia japonica ‘Nymans’ free fruiting
Skimmia japonica Foremanii vigorous female
Skimmia japonica reopens low growing
Skimmia japonica Rogersii dwarf female with twisted leaves
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ male
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubinetta’
Skimmia japonica ‘Ruby Dome’
Skimmia japonica ‘Wanto’
Skimmia japonica ‘White Gerpa’
Skimmia japonica ‘Veitchii’
Skimmia japonica reevesiana ‘Ruby King’

Skimmia in bud


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9 Responses to Skimmia for Buds and Berries

  1. Pauline Lauderdale November 4, 2010 at 16.03 #

    Can you tell me why the leaves on my Skimmia are turning yellow now and dropping. Is this supposed to happen in autumn?

  2. admin November 5, 2010 at 16.03 #

    It shouldn’t happen as Skimmia are evergreen.
    If it was recently planted from a pot grown plant the roots may not have escaped the old tight ball.
    If it is in a pot it may be lack of water.
    Skimmia like an acidic soil and turn yellow leaved in an alkaline environment. Try an ericaceous compost next time if this one fails to recover.

  3. Tina February 25, 2011 at 16.03 #

    Am looking to do my garden this year. Its in a bad way and just currently having the fence re done. Never had a garden before so need some guidance.

    In front of the back fence is a narrow border. I have fallen in love with the Ruby Dome Japonica plant and wondered if it would look really stupid to have this plant repeating all the way a long the back border. Well maybe 3 of them then break up with something else and then 3 Ruby domes again, break with something else and then again??

    What else would go with this plant? Any ideas would be much appreciated

  4. admin February 26, 2011 at 16.03 #

    Plants look good in odd numbers 3’s & 5’s. Repeating a theme can also look good as long as it isn’t over done. I have just seen an interesting Skimmia Key Green that as you may guess has green flowers

  5. Tina February 28, 2011 at 16.03 #

    Thanks for that, is there any other plants you can suggest that will go well with the Ruby dome?

  6. kit skeoch March 30, 2011 at 16.03 #

    just bought skimmia jap. Godries Dwarf but no size on label – I know these are slow growing but how big does dwarf mean re this plant?

  7. Mike Beardsley May 5, 2011 at 16.03 #

    I have three female Skimmia Japonicas and was advised to purchase a male Skimmia to ensure the females produce berries.
    I have done so and the male surprisingly has green berries. I had assumed the male would not have berries.
    Have I bought another female or are the green berries on the male to be expected.

  8. Sylvia December 20, 2016 at 16.03 #

    Thanks for this. I have a few young plants but none with berries! Im assuming from what you say that I need to have a male plant. Then will all plants grow berries? My garden is quite large (an acre) so do they need a male close to the female plant?

    Can you please pass this on to Tina, if you want to join likeminded people download the garden tags app. I did last year and it has been so much fun and support for a novice like me!

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