Many gardeners love to discover a new plant for the shade garden. If you aren’t familiar with paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha), it’s a fun and unusual flowering shrub. It flowers early in spring, filling the nights with magical fragrance. In summer, the blue-green slender leaves turn Edgeworthia paperbush into a mounding bush. If the idea of planting paperbush is appealing, read on for tips on how to grow a paperbush.
Paperbush is truly an unusual shrub. If you start growing paperbush, you are in for a lovely ride. The shrub is deciduous, losing its leaves in winter. Even as paperbush leaves are yellowing in fall though, the plant develops large clusters of tubular buds. According to Edgeworthia information, the outside of the bud clusters are coated in white silky hairs. The buds hang on the bare branches all winter, then, in late winter or early spring, open into canary-colored flowers. The Edgeworthia paperbush flowers remain on the bush for three weeks. They exude a powerful perfume in the evening. Soon the long, slender leaves grow in, turning the shrub into a mound of attractive foliage that can grow to 6 feet (2 m.) in each direction. The leaves turn buttery yellow in autumn after the first frost. Interestingly, the shrub gets its name from the bark, which is used in Asia to make high-quality paper.
How to Grow a Paperbush
You’ll be happy to learn that paperbush plant care isn’t difficult. The plants thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 9 but may require some winter protection in zone 7. Paperbush appreciates a growing site with organically rich soil and excellent drainage. They also grow best in a very shady location. Paperbush also does okay in full sun as long as it gets generous irrigation. This is not a drought-tolerant plant. Regular irrigation is an important part of paperbush plant care. If you are growing paperbush and do not give the shrub enough to drink, its beautiful, blue-green leaves go limp almost immediately. According to Edgeworthia paperbush information, you can return the plant to healthy status by offering it a good drink.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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