Euonymus japonicus 'Green Spire'

Second Year Planting
Common Name: euonymus 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Celastraceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: Flowers insignificant
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Black Walnut


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 6-9 where it is best grown in moist, rich, humusy, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates full sun, but appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Thrives in sun-dappled conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Euonymus japonicus, commonly called Japanese euonymus, is a dense oval evergreen shrub of the spindle tree family that typically grows to 10-15’ tall and to 5-8’ wide in cultivation, but may soar to as much as 25’ tall in the wild. It is native to Japan, Korea and China.

Opposite, tough, leathery, lustrous, ovate to obovate, dark green leaves (to 3” long) are blunt to rounded at the apex and tapered at the base. Leaf margins are serrated except near the base. Inconspicuous, four-petaled, greenish-white flowers in flattened cymes (5-12 flowers per cyme) bloom in late spring (June). Flowers are followed by showy pink fruits (capsules with red arils) which ripen in fall.

Genus name is an ancient Greek name referring to plants of this genus.

Specific epithet means of Japan, which is part of its native range.

'Green Spire' is a narrow, columnar selection of Japanese euonymus that will reach up to 8' tall with a 2' spread. The upright branches are densely covered in dark green, glossy leaves.


Euonymus scale and powdery mildew can be troublesome. Watch for mites, leaf miner, aphids, mealybugs and crown gall. Additional diseases which may appear include witches’ broom, stem dieback, and fungal leaf spots.


Takes well to shearing and can be shaped into a hedge. Useful for small spaces and for screening.