Leucothoe carinella (Switch Ivy) 2l

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Switch Ivy

Leucothoe 'Carinella' is a low-maintenance compact shrub with attractive evergreen foliage which changes colour through the seasons.

Grown for its fabulous, glossy evergreen foliage, shade-loving nature and year-round colour, this neat little architectural shrub is perfect for any modern garden. Compact and bushy in shape and size, it suits small gardens and container growing just as well as filling spaces in larger beds or borders. Throughout the year, the foliage changes colour for added seasonal interest, with the young leaves emerging with a pretty red flush before turning deep green throughout summer, then finally developing rich purple tones in autumn. During spring, you can look forward to a lovely display of white flowers. It's certainly a plant for all seasons, and will sit quite happily in the garden, taking very little in terms of care. This shrub thrives in shady gardens with acid soil. If you don't have acid soil, it'll be equally happy in a large pot with ericaceous compost.

Grow this colourful shrub in shady beds, borders or containers with acid or ericaceous soil and enjoy an effortless display throughout the year.

Key Features

Plant Type: Shrub

Hardiness: H4 Hardy. Minimum temperature -10 to -5

Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 60cm x W 60cm (Mature age: 5 Years)

Foliage Colour: Red, Green, Purple

Flower Colour: White

Fragrant Flower: No

Aromatic Foliage: No

RHS Award of Garden Merit: No

RHS Perfect for Pollinators: No

Foliage Type: Evergreen

Soil Type: Acid, Clay, Loam, Sandy

Soil Drainage: Moist but Well Drained

Light Exposure: Part Shade, Full Shade

Planting Style: Cottage Garden, Informal Garden, Urban Garden, Courtyard Garden, Low Maintenance Garden, Damp Shade, Woodland Garden

Season of Interest: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Flowering (from - to): April - May

Plant Care & Advice

This Leucothoe variety likes to grow in full or partial shade, so it's perfect for adding light and colour to a dull space. It prefers a sheltered location away from harsh winds or direct sun. 

This variety prefers a moist spot with acid soil. If you don't have acid soil you can grow it in a large container filled with ericaceous compost.

Water the plant regularly until it's established. Once the roots have anchored into the ground it will require very little watering unless there is a long spell of hot weather during summer. If growing in a container, give it a can-full of water whenever the soil looks completely dry.

Feeding isn't essential, however you can feed occasionally with an all-purpose liquid feed during summer to promote new growth and healthy foliage. Those grown in containers may require more regular feeding.

Lightly clip to ship with shears in late spring after flowering. Once the shrub is fully grown, remove any dead branches if they appear. Once established, prune branches by one third to keep the shrub to the required size.