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Plant type Natives, Shrubs
Plant Uses Hedging Plant

Best uses

Corokia x virgata plants are versatile and varied. Taken from the progeny of natural hybrids between Corokia buddleioides and C. cotoneaster; Corokia x virgata clones withstand clipping very well and make effective hedges, screens and shelters. Flowers appear in spring and are like small yellow stars. Its tight growth habit means it is suitable for both small and large hedges; it rewards with flowers even when clipped. There are many cultivars suitable as formal or informal hedges, including Corokia x virgata 'Bronze King', 'Emerald and Jade', 'Frosted Chocolate' and 'Geenty's Green'. It also tolerates windy situations, so is good for coastal plantings. However, it will not tolerate salt spray.

Physical characteristics

An evergreen compact native shrub that grows up to 3m tall and 3.5m wide.

Flowers and foliage

Different Corokia x virgata clones vary in height, leaf shape and fruit colour. New growth is a greyish-green colour, contrasting with green older foliage. A profusion of tiny yellow flowers appears in spring, followed by colourful berries. The leaves vary from green to bronze and the fruit may be yellow-orange or red in various clones.

Preferred site

Prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-draining soil. Can tolerate strong winds but not salt spray.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy, well-grown plants. The best time to plant is from late spring to early summer. Planting success can be 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.

For hedging, select small-grade plants as they generally establish quicker than larger ones. They can also be pruned to shape from an earlier stage. Planting a double staggered row of hedging plants to produce a denser screen. Another tip is to plant at an angle to induce more lateral growth, which will also have a similar effect.

Maintenance tips

A great low-maintenance plant that can be used as a hedge. Apply mulch annually to suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Organic material, such as sawdust and bark, contribute to soil structure. However, make sure to 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. Regular pruning after flowering helps to keep it compact.

Pests and diseases

No pest and disease issues.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens