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Plant Uses

Best uses

Use in coastal gardens, high traffic areas and amenity plantings. This plant is known to withstand foot traffic and the occasional vehicle, so is extra tough for those areas where plants struggle to grow. An excellent landscape plant for covering large areas; ideal for banks and walls. Many coprosmas are used in coastal gardens around Auckland as they tolerate strong wind and drought.

Physical characteristics

An evergreen shrub with a spreading habit. Grows up to 60cm tall and 2m wide. A very compact form of Coprosma acerosa, which grows flat to the ground. It forms a tight mass of small, olive green leaves. A very attractive and tough form.

Flowers and foliage

Overall colour and appearance is lime green. Forms a tight mat of small green leaves. Its branchlets are yellowish. It is a female clone but appears to fruit only rarely.

Preferred site

Prefers full sun to light shade. Tolerates coastal conditions and windy sites. Frost tolerant.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy, well-grown plants. The best time to plant is from late spring to early summer. Planting success is often improved on clay soils by adding extra topsoil and forming raised beds. Incorporate coarse sand, bark, compost or other organic material to improve soil structure. Dig a hole in the ground twice the size of the root ball. Before planting, ensure that the root ball is saturated and remove planter pot with minimal root disturbance. As soil is placed in the prepared hole, tread firmly to bring soil in close contact with the root ball. Water thoroughly, making sure that moisture penetrates to the depth of the root ball. Plant approximately 50cm apart. In a well-planned border, plants should just touch each other to create a full effect without overcrowding.

Maintenance tips

Apply mulch annually to help suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Organic material, such as sawdust and bark, contribute to soil structure. Keep mulch away from plant stems. The first summer and autumn after planting are critical for young plants, so water thoroughly during dry periods. A light application (50g/m2) of general-purpose fertiliser in spring is beneficial. Sprinkle evenly and work into the top 2 to 3cm of the soil, taking care not to damage surface roots. Coprosma only requires minimal pruning to keep the desired shape.

Pests and diseases

Scale insects, rust and thrips may occasionally be a problem.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Native Plant Ideas

Interesting facts and tips

This form was discovered on cliffs near Hawera by former nurseryman Graeme Platt. This is the neatest of all the spreading coprosmas, producing a smooth undulating expanse of soft mid-green foliage. It is a female clone but appears to fruit only rarely.