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I have a love-hate relationship with my Euonymus. When I first purchased them (Fall 2006), there were five long branches coming from each pot (the general shape of a tatting fern). Hubster and I bought 15 of them. It seemed almost elegant, the delicate branches with the white and green variegated leaves. It’s leaves showed a hint of pink in the fall and winter, giving year round color and texture to my landscape. Then, it started to fill out, the branches growing in crazy directions, some running along the ground, some reaching for the house, and more bushing out and filling in the base. I pruned it to keep it more compact and a month later it was just as large, it grows so fast in the summer sun. This evergreen shrub has been close to being ripped out of my garden on several occasions.

Euonymos

Euonymus

I like the clean look to the white and green variegated foliage. Some people have the yellow and gold (I think those look like they’re drizzled with dog pee) variegated foliage or solid green (boring) leaves.

There are many pruning styles for Euonymus. Some people grow them as wild free-form shrubs, running up their houses and trees. Some prune them thin and tall. I prefer mine small and compact. In May, I usually trim them into small spheres. They look a little harsh at first, then they look a little more natural, yet still contained.

Compact Sphere

Compact Sphere

Sometimes I get a branch that changed color and has all white leaves. I simply trim back that branch past all the white leaves and it doesn’t give me a problem again.

White Branch

White Branch

Propagation can be natural or forced. You can easily root a trimming in a vase with water. It will quickly be ready to be transferred to the soil. The branches that touch the ground will sprout roots and take anchor to spread the base of the shrub. I try to keep the branches up out of my mulch, to prevent this from happening, but that’s just my style (I must have control issues with my garden).

The long branches do look nice in floral arrangements, fresh-cut flowers or dried.

At the end of my pruning, when they’re small and compact, I appreciate the texture and color display Euonymus give to the balance of my garden.

Are there any plants that you have a love-hate relationship with?

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