Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety'
Common Name: wintercreeper euonymus
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Celastraceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Greenish white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Black Walnut
Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) has been identified by a task force of the Missouri Botanical Garden as one of the top twenty plants known to be spreading into native plant areas and crowding out native species in our region. Wintercreeper spreads both vegetatively and by animal and water dispersed seeds. Because of its known invasive tendencies and difficult to control dispersal mechanisms naturalists recommend against planting this plant.


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in sun to shade. Variegated leaf may do best in part shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils and soil conditions, except for wet ones. Stems may root where they touch the ground. May be propagated by rooted stem cuttings. Good tolerance for urban conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Euonymus fortunei, commonly called wintercreeper euonymus, is a dense, woody-stemmed, broadleaf evergreen to semi-evergreen plant that comes in a variety of forms. It may appear as a trailing ground cover, a mounding shrub or a climbing vine.

‘Emerald Gaiety’ is a variegated, shrubby form with a spreading habit that typically grows to 3-5’ tall over time. It is erect and densely branched, featuring rounded glossy deep emerald green leaves (to 1 3/4” diameter) with irregular but attractive creamy white margins. Leaf margins acquire pink tones as winter approaches. Inconspicuous, greenish-white flowers may appear in June. Flowers are sparse, and sometimes do not appear. If given support, ‘Emerald Gaiety’ can be trained to climb.


Euonymus scale can be a significant problem and should be treated if it appears. Anthracnose, crown gall, leaf spot, mildew and aphids can also be problems.

Garden Uses

Foundations. Low hedge. Specimen, group or mass. With support, it will climb.