Box blight and caterpillars can ravage box hedging (AKA Buxus), to the point where the plant can become unsalvageable, wasting all that time you may have spent growing and shaping the plants.
Box blight is a fungal disease that causes bare patches to appear across the plant where the foliage has died back, while box caterpillars feed on the greenery in their hundreds, decimating the plant before cocooning and leaving the scene of the crime as a moth (it’s the perfect disguise!).
If you’re a fan of box but you hate the anxiety of a fungal strike or pest infestation, there’s another plant you need to get to know – and it’s just as buxom!
How to grow Lonicera ‘Garden Clouds’
Flowering time: N/A
Location: Patio pots, coastal gardens, cottage gardens
Water: Water regularly when establishing and throughout hot weather
Care: Start shaping in the second spring after planting
Size: 90cm in height x 60cm width
What’s different about this plant?
Lonicera ‘Garden Clouds’ is a low-maintenance shrub that’s perfect for hedging, topiary and landscaping, thanks to its naturally round habit. However, it’s not just the shape that has gardeners excited; ‘Garden Clouds’ features glossy, fine foliage in a variety of colours:
- Copper Glow – green with copper new shoots
- Purple Storm – green with dark purple new shoots
- Green Breeze – fresh, zesty green foliage throughout
As mentioned, Lonicera is not susceptible to blight or caterpillars. In fact, they’re decidedly disease-free, with some resistance to deer and rabbits also! Therefore, if you’re looking for a dense, shapely shrub that you don’t have to worry about apart from the occasional prune, this is it!
How was this plant created?
Created by Guido Rouwette, Lonicera ‘Garden Clouds’ is a cross between Lonicera nitida ‘Red Tips’ and Lonicera nitida ‘Elegans’. The three selections from this cross were developed for their enticing colours, bushy growth and ease of pruning and maintenance. From selection, to testing, to market, the development process took approximately eight years – as they say, all things worth having take time!
Where can you plant Lonicera ‘Garden Clouds’?
An evergreen shrub, this plant is hardy down to -18C, and suits most garden types, from urban to coastal. Plant Lonicera ‘Garden Clouds’ in partial shade or full sun in a well-drained soil, and it will thrive with full foliage throughout the year.
Where can you buy Lonicera ‘Garden Clouds’?
Lonicera ‘Garden Clouds’ is available from Cowell’s Garden Centre in the UK.
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Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.