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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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Growing Skimmia

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Oct 25, 2016
How to grow Skimmia

The arrival of autumn means we start to lose all the vibrant colours and hues that our summer bedding and herbaceous flowers brought to garden. But colour doesn’t totally disappear from the garden during autumn it often just comes in a different form.

Skimmia have beautiful flowersOne of the most popular ways to bring colour into a garden during autumn is with berries. Be it on shrubs or on trees, berries can add a great injection of colour into a garden around this time of year. Skimmia shrubs prove extremely popular with customers in CountryLife around this time of year for this very reason.

Skimmia is a compact enough evergreen shrub, which in my eyes has interest all year round.  Early in the year you have the fragrant white flowers, which seem to last for months and months. Then later on in the year on the female plants, once the flowers are fertilised by a male plant, you get great displays of rich ruby red berries which last right through the winter. I find that the leaves of the shrub also offer good interest and texture in garden and often tell customers not to overlook the role that they can play in a border.

Skimmia Rubella is an old favourite with most gardeners in Ireland. It is a good compact variety with rich dark leaves and flowers which first form as clusters of deep red flower buds but then open up to beautifully fragranced white flowers in early spring.

Those looking for something on the variegated front should check out Skimmia Magic Merlot. Magic Merlot has light green leaves which are edged in a bright rich yellow colour. The leaves make a great backdrop to the plants flower buds which are a subtle shade of pink when they mature. The flower buds start to appear in early autumn and then open up to spikes if white flowers in spring.

Obsession is a popular Skimmia choiceSkimmia Obsession is an extremely popular variety with gardeners in recent years because it is actually a hermaphrodite which means it can self fertilise and you are guaranteed berries every year because of this. So unlike other skimmias where you need a male and a female plant to get berries this one does all the work itself. So it is a great one to consider if you are stuck for space and don’t have enough room for two plants.

Skimmia will grow well in most gardens but they do prefer a slightly acidic soil. As they are compact in size they are good for growing in pots or containers around patios too. Once you remember to make sure they don’t dry out. Skimmia really don’t like to dry out so during warm, dry weather it is important to keep their roots moist.

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We were shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 




They are generally an extremely low maintenance plant to have in the garden. They are not affected badly by many insects. If you are growing them in pots though keep a watchful eye out for vine weevils. Vine Weevils are notorious insects for damaging pot plants. The adult (beetle like insects) eats the leaves and stems of plants, while the young grubs damage the roots of the plant.

To get the best from my plant In my own garden I like to feed my skimmia using a good quality liquid seaweed fertiliser. I find seaweed fertiliser best, as it offers skimmia everything they need and gives you lush green health foliage.