Edgeworthia Update


Edgeworthia chrysanthaThis is still the best photo that I have of an edgeworthia in bloom despite dozens of photos taken since my 2012 blog post.  Edgeworthias without leaves are very hard to capture in a photograph.  Photo taken by Rhoda Maurer and used with the permission of the Scott Arboretum.  Scott Arboretum, March 2006

On December 10, 2012, I wrote an article for my blog entitled “A Shrub for all Seasons: Edgeworthia”, click here to read it.  This post is my fifth most viewed of all posts since I started my blog in November of 2010.  That’s saying a lot as my blog is just about to reach 2 million views!  There are also 137 comments and responses on the post from readers all over the US and abroad.  Readers are so interested in edgeworthias that I decided it was time to cover the topic again. 

And my wholesale supplier just notified me that they will actually have edgeworthias in stock this spring so I can satisfy the demand that is usually created by showing photos of this elegant and unusual shrub.  Send an email if you want to reserve one, sorry no mail order.

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edgeworthia-chrysantha-3-6-2016-9-44-03-pmThis edgeworthia in bloom won a blue ribbon in March of 2016 at the Philadelphia Flower Show, the world’s largest indoor flower show.  Like the first photo, it shows the lovely rounded habit that can be achieved through judicious pruning and a part sun location.

Four years after my first post, edgeworthias are still very rare, and available cultural information remains sparse.  In this post, I will let you know what I have learned in the last four years, but keep in mind that my observations are hardly scientific.  I am not going to repeat anything in my previous post so if you are new to this plant, I suggest you read that article first, including the comments, click here.


edgeworthia-chrysantha-3-21-2016-6-39-29-pmThe beautiful and wonderfully fragrant flowers of edgeworthia.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, March 2016

First and foremost, I can say with even more assurance than in 2012 that edgeworthias are hardy in southeastern Pennsylvania, US, and surrounding areas.  We are in USDA hardiness zone 7 with an average annual minimum temperature of 0 to 10 degrees F (-17.8 to -12.2 C).  In January of 2014, the weather for the suburbs of Philadelphia, where Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is located, repeatedly dipped into this range and below.  In spring of 2014, all the established edgeworthias that I have been following remained alive and are still thriving.  However, most of them did not bloom that spring as the buds were frozen.  Some had stem damage but have since recovered robustly.  To put this in perspective though, many shrubs with borderline hardiness for our area died that winter.


Edgeworthia chrysanthaThe buds, tropical looking leaves, and cinnamon red stems of edgeworthia in fall.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, November 2015


Edgeworthia chrysanthaThe buds in winter are my favorite phase of edgeworthia although it is lovely 365 days a year.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, January 2015

The only other new hardiness information I have comes from Andrew Bunting, the former Curator of Plants at the Scott Arboretum and now Assistant Director of the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Andrew points out that there are actually two species of edgeworthia, E. chrysantha and E. papyrifera.   Although they are sometimes treated as synonymous, Andrew thinks they are distinct species.  In his experience, E. papyrifera is much weaker in growth than E. chrysantha.  Commenters on my first post agree with Andrew’s assessment.  The orange-flowered edgeworthia ‘Akebono’ is apparently a cultivar of E. papyrifera, although some sources disagree.  My wholesale supplier doesn’t carry it because it hasn’t proved hardy for them.  


Edgeworthia at ScottThis photo shows a very large edgeworthia in bud in the Winter Garden at the Scott Arboretum.  The location faces south in an exposed but part shade area.  March 2013


Edgeworthia Scott Arboretum Fall 2014The same edgeworthia in September 2014.

What else have I learned?  Sources generally describe edgeworthia’s ultimate height and width as much smaller than is actually the case.  For example, my favorite source for plant information, Missouri Botanic Garden lists the height and width as 4′ by 6′.  Edgeworthias in our area grown in part shade grow to a minimum of 6′ by 6′, and the one at the Scott Arboretum in the photos above is probably 8′ by 8′.  If they are grown in a sunnier spot, they are shorter and more compact but still quite large.  If you read the reader comments on my first post, which are a great source for information about edgewothias in different locations and climates, many people have been surprised by the size of their edgeworthia and have had to prune it drastically or move it.  Luckily, it responds well to their pruning (I have never pruned mine).


edgeworthia-chrysantha-11-18-2016-2-29-43-pmMy unpruned edgeworthia is much larger than planned and is currently trying to eat my lion’s head Japanese maple.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, November 18, 2016


Edgeworthia chrysanthaEdgeworthia leaves turn yellow in the fall and sporadically through out the year.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, November 7, 2015


Edgeworthia chrysanthaThe leaves also droop when the weather turns cold.  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, November 23, 2015


edgeworthia-chrysantha-11-6-2016-3-58-01-pmEdgeworthias in sunnier locations go through the fall transformation earlier and have a longer ugly duckling stage before the exquisite buds emerge from the yellow, droopy leaves.  Scott Arboretum, November 6, 2016.

It is normal for the old leaves on edgeworthias to turn yellow and fall off through out the season.  This has been a cause for concern for many readers, but it is something that can be ignored.  In the fall all the leaves droop, turn yellow, and fall off unveiling the beautiful silver buds.  The leaves also droop when it is really hot out.  I think this is a natural protective measure in response to the temperature and not necessarily a sign that supplemental water is required.  Other plants in my garden do this, ligularias come to mind.  I have never watered my edgeworthia, even during the extended drought and high temperatures this past summer and fall.  It is quite healthy.


Edgeworthia Scott Arboretum Fall 2014A group of three edgeworthias behind the Scott Arboretum offices on the Swarthmore College campus.  September 2014


edgeworthia-chrysantha-1-18-2017-2-11-10-amThe same group in January 2017.  I feel like the edgeworthias on the Swarthmore campus are old friends as I visit them so often.  If you are in this area and want to see edgeworthia specimens in a  variety of cultural conditions, you should visit the Scott Arboretum.
Two final cultural pointers:  I have concluded that edgeworthias grow best in part sun to part shade in an east-facing location.  However, several southern gardeners have written in that they grow it in full sun, and it thrives.  No one has mentioned success in full shade.  Also, my original edgeworthia was planted quite close to two gigantic black walnuts.  Although it has never died completely, it has slowly declined to the point where it is almost nonexistent.  This is not scientific evidence of susceptibility to walnut toxicity, but I would recommend avoiding walnuts when siting edgeworthia.


Edgeworthia Chanticleer Fall 2014Chanticleer also has a nice specimen in the courtyard near the swimming pool.  October 2014
Edgeworthia Cresson Garden Fall 2014A large specimen in Charles Cresson’s garden.  October 2014

Let’s keep this conversation going.  If you are growing edgeworthia, please leave a comment describing your experience with it, especially if you are north of the Delaware Valley area.



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111 Responses to “Edgeworthia Update”

  1. These shrubs, my favorite, are not so rare in the Atlanta area any more (hooray) and can readily be found in many nurseries (at wildly varying prices). This winter’s swings from ice and cold to very warm and back did some damage to two of my plants which lost many of their buds, though others are fine. This was a first for me, but I can tell from the stems the plants will recover (subject to further weather surprises). Unchecked I have no idea how large these might grow. They are not fussy about when you prune.

    • Liane, That’s the kind of comment we are looking for on what has really become an edgeworthia forum. I am glad that this wonderful shrub has become more available in Georgia. For the comments on the original post, edgeworthia does really well in the south. I guess I have to reconcile myself to pruning mine, but at least I have all the feedback saying it’s a breeze. Thanks, Carolyn

  2. Paul Otto Says:

    I grow Edgeworthia chrysantha, gardenii, and cv. ‘Akebono’ in a zone 9 garden in sw Oregon. Because our winters are mild and there are pollinators available at bloom-time, the various Edgeworthias set seed and grow quite quickly to flowering from seed, usually the third spring. Interestingly, “Akebono’ seedlings, do not come true from seed and are yellow like gardenii.
    Also because our summers are cooler than in the Eastern US, plants here need as much warmth as possible to set flower buds. The plants are now just beginning to open their flowers.

    Brookings OR

    • Paul, I have never heard of E. gardenii. A Goggle search found only one reference on Nurseriesonline: “Edgeworthia gardenii. This is a larger growing evergreen species that will reach 6 – 9 ft, yellow flowers around the size of a golf ball, and good fragrance. Although it is from Nepal it is not as cold tolerant as E. chrysantha or E.papyrifa. Rarely seen in cultivation as it is diffifult to propagate.” Evidently not hardy here as even less hardy than E. papyrifera. Our edgeworthia flowers usually open in March. Carolyn

  3. lindawalters2014 Says:

    So interesting! I would love to reserve one if you still have any available.

    Sent from phone. Forgive brevity. Linda Walters 610-246-1258 ________________________________

  4. I’ve had an Edgeworthia crysantha ‘Nanjing Gold’ outside Stockton, NJ, for several years, growing in zone 6. It’s grown quite large and buds heavily every fall, but so far almost all the buds have been killed by winter cold.

    • James, I couldn’t find anything about ‘Nanjing Gold’s’ hardiness versus the species, which is what I have. How is your plant sited? Does it have protection from winter winds? It went down to -10 F here in the winter of 2015, but my plant still bloomed. It is in the corner of a wall surrounded by other large shrubs. The wall protects it from our winter wind that comes from the northwest. I would grow edgeworthia for the buds alone but it must be frustrating to have the flowers never open. Carolyn

      • My plant gets morning sun in winter, which may stress it in very cold temps, so perhaps I need to find a more protected spot. Or I might move it to my small Brooklyn garden–if I can find a place for the kind of visually dominant plant it would become there. That’s zone 7.

      • I meant to mention that I didn’t realize Stockton, NJ, is zone 6. What has been your lowest temperature for the different years that your edgeworthia hasn’t bloomed? I should mention to readers that this would be one of my favorite shrubs even if the buds never opened–that’s how beautiful it is in bud. I appreciate your advice, James, as I know you are a very experienced gardener.

  5. Caroline Stone Says:

    I had a beautiful big plant growing in a courtyard in North Cornwall, UK. It attracted much comment and I was delighted with it. But then for no apparent reason two years ago it died. I have planted another in a different location and have my figures crossed this will live longer. It cannot have been a question of cold since it is mild here, and it was protected in the courtyard. It has been suggested to me that they may be prone to being short-lived and dying suddenly as are daphnes to which they are related.
    I will keep trying because I have memories of some lovely plants from when I was living in Japan. Heavenly scent!

    • Caroline, Although they are related to daphnes, every source that I have consulted says that they are not subject to “sudden-daphne-dieback”. I gave up on daphnes about five years ago after twenty years of disappointment from watching healthy plants decline seemingly overnight. The edgeworthias around here seem to have iron constitutions, only objecting to lows below our zone normal by not flowering. Carolyn

  6. Hello Carolyn,
    A really useful and interesting piece, which gives me even more hope for my young Edgeworthia chrysantha which I bought after reading your first article. The first winter I kept it in a pot in the greenhouse, and then planted it out.
    It’s got a lot more flower buds this year – last year they got zapped by very cold late conditions, then this summer some caterpillar munched the leaves badly, but fingers crossed some of the blooms will hopefully open this spring. Having had quite a cold snap, the weather is looking benign, though probably wet for the next 10 days or so, here in West Wales, UK.. Currently about 120 snowdrops out and only a few finished.
    best wishes

  7. Susan Trabka Says:

    Hi Carolyn, I’ve been catching up on your blog since I stumbled across your website a couple of weeks ago. I’m in a city lot in Durham, NC (zone 7b) that is full of mature hardwoods so sun and water are limited. E.papyfera died for me many years ago but E. chrysantha does fine, after I cut it back hard when it was not doing much. It is quite well drained and I do water when it droops in our hot summers. It gets some morning sun, much more in winter. The one next door has more sun and more bloom. Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh has them for mail order & says that they survive below zero, but maybe northern folks would like a closer source. Hard to believe you are zone 7! Mine has just started to bloom this week after low of 9 2 weeks ago, though it hit 70 only a few days later. Along with Japanese Flowering Apricot the whole yard is fragrant.

    • Susan, Thanks for writing in about your plant. It went below zero here during the winter of 2015. However, I don’t think I would grow edgeworthia where it is routinely below zero in the winter unless I had an amazing warm and protected microclimate in my garden. Our area was switched from zone 6B to 7A when the most recent hardiness zone map came out. After that happened, we had a series of zone 6 winters. This winter has so far reflects our zone—I don’t even think the ground has frozen. Carolyn

  8. Louise Thompson Says:

    The Edgeworthia I bought from you in 2012 (I think) is doing well in an area of dappled shade most of the day. The first winter it had 13 heads of flower buds, but although the winter of 2014 “bit” all the flowers that year, it now has new branches and dozens of flower heads. Thank you, Carolyn! Louise

    • Louise, Thanks so much on your feedback about the edgeworthia you got from me almost five years ago. Nice to know it made it through the two hard winters after you planted it. Let me say to all readers in case there’s some confusion, all shrubs newly planted in the spring must be watered through the summer and fall and should also receive extra protection their first winter. If they are weakened by a summer of drought, their chances of surviving a hard winter are much reduced. This does not apply to already established shrubs. Carolyn

  9. Caroline Bell Says:

    I too have had trouble growing Edgeworthia chrysantha’ Grandiflora’ after they get a decent size, say 5 feet by 7 feet across age approximately 6 years. Mine is in part-shade in wet Devon, UK. I found it suddenly started to flop after coming into flower last April but it is not quite dead even 10 months later! I tried watering it & continued all summer, but now I wonder if that has contributed to its demise after reading all the posts about how it loves your hot summers.
    We tend to have wet summers here— but my maximum winter temperature is probably -12 c but this is rare & mostly it is mild and would not freeze during the day, so I do not think cold is the issue. I have no problem with Daphnes & Daphne bohlua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ is sited quite close to my Edgeworthia & quite close to my other Edgeworthia a ‘Red Dragon’ which I have mulched quite well to get it through its second winter here. It seems happy. I hope they all have the requisite good drainage.
    Any ideas what could be causing this demise of Edgeworthia ‘grandiflora’? My plant was not as leafy as your ones, Carolyn, so I wonder why that is & maybe that tells us something.

    But otherwise it has been fabulous; & we love them round here too although they are still relatively unknown here as you say is the case in USA.
    I have got another plant in case this one does not revive as like you, it is such a fabulous plant I would not want to be without it.

    • Caroline, I believe that the only other comment I have gotten with problems of this nature was from the other Caroline from England. Too much water just isn’t a problem in the mid-Atlantic US. Although a gardener could possibly over water their plant, nature isn’t going to over water it. The Pacific Northwest of the US is more like England weather-wise (and nothing like here) with low summer temperatures, not much sun, and lots of rain. However, I think that I have comments from that area saying edgeworthias grow well. I “follow” about ten edgeworthias, all older than 6 years, in our area located in all different conditions, and they all thrive and are very leafy like the photos in the post. Carolyn

      • Caroline Bell Says:

        Thanks for your comments, Carolyn.
        I have just removed the dead parts of the Edgeworthia which came falling out almost right back to its roots( so really rotten) except for the latest newly shooted branch which still could die too. No point me sending you a photo as it just looks like nothing– but that part may be alive.
        I think the manner of its latest death throes suggest overcrowded roots ? I have some ordinary Mentha( kitchen Mint) next to it which cannot have helped. The soil there is quite shallow and perhaps lacking in nutrition? I have sandy loam soil which can be poor in places and the Edgeworthia is right by my back door so in half-shade. Perhaps it was just too tough a terrain for it & I should feed the next one carefully.
        I do not want to disturb the bit that is left but I will check for honey fungus on the removed stem at the base before I burn it, as I know you are supposed to see white fungus under the first layer of bark at ground level.

        It seems from Caroline Stone’s experience & mine & others, including professional gardeners I have spoken to, that for some reason Edgeworthias do not grow as easily here in the UK as they do in USA!

      • My sampling is much smaller but it sounds that way.

      • Caroline Bell Says:

        Futher: I can now confirm no signs of honey fungus.

  10. Cathy Lally Says:

    Please put me on your list for an edgeworthia shrub this spring. Sincerely, Cathy Lally (cmlally@roadrunner.com)

    Sent from my iPhone


  11. Sally Frazza Says:

    There is a specimen edgeworthia in downtown Philadelphia. It’s in a street garden at Saint Mark’s Church, 1625 Locust Street, 19103. I’ve been watching it’s seasonal changes for several years. I think it is an Edgeworthia papyrifera. I look forward to passing it almost every day on my walk to work.

  12. Lovely! They are becomming more common here in Raleigh, NC

  13. Nik from Bulgaria Says:

    I am from Bulgaria – the land in the mid of the cradle of the European/ Western civilization over 7000 years ago, not far from the Black, midway between Istanbul (ex Constantinople and Byzantium capital of the Eastern Roman Empire) and Sofia (Bulgaria s capital know meaning Divine Wisdom), in what would be US hardiness zone 7b with usual winter liws of minus 13C or 9F and hot dry summers, black clay soil ph 7. I got an Edgeworthia Chrysantha from England last spring and planted it facing South under a grape vine for sone shade in potting mix with coco coir, water absorbing polymers and rootgrow fungi, and very little of the local soil. Fearing root rotting in winter when it us very wet I made a drainage in the hole. I had to water the plant every day as its leaves were shrivelling and some drying fully without daily water.One big branch died and had to be cut down which deformed the shape. Which is why I had yo replant it in the Autumn to a new location with more shade from a fir tree in summer and with half of the local black clay soil. We are having the coldest in my 38 years winter with the most freezing temperatures ever yet no lower than -13c/9f I think. Hard to tell if flower buds still alive as their velvety texture is quite dry in general. Wanted to share a photo of the shrivelling leaves in summer with a link but not sure if giving links is ok…

    • Nik, There was extensive discussion in the comments of the old post about your edgworthia and the upshot was that there was too much drainage in the original location. Edgeworthias here just require normal drainage—they are not like daphnes. In fact, they are incredibly easy to grow and don’t require supplemental watr once established. The buds were killed here in 2013-2014 because the temperatures went below our zone—many shrubs died and many others didn’t bloom. This only happened that one winter, and it is an indication of edgeworthia’s suitability to our climate not a problem with growing it. I hope your plant thrives. The fact that it has buds in its new location after the traumas you describe is a testament to its resilient nature. Carolyn

  14. hankbates Says:

    I have just posted a few photos on Pinterest taken several years ago at where I previously lived, zone 02630, Cape Cod, MA;

  15. hankbates Says:

    Maybe later this winter I will have a photo or two from where I now live. I have a Winter gold and akebono planted side by side, but they are both quite young, and still struggling (as did the above plant for the first couple of years.

    • Hank, I would love to see that ‘Akebono’ and hear how it does. Carolyn

      • hankbates Says:

        The Winter Gold is seeing its second winter, and did not flower last year. The buds are now beginning to show some color, and I am hopeful for flowers this year.
        The Akebono is now seeing its third winter, and did have a couple of small flowers its first spring, none last year.
        Both are planted in a shady location.
        My previous Winter Gold usually was in full flower in early March, and competed with our Arnold Promise Hammamelis for spring interest.
        I will keep you advised.

      • I am thinking you mean that the edgeworthias didn’t form buds last year because they were too young and that was why they didn’t flower?

    • Nik from Bulgaria Says:

      Struggled with cold hardiness? Cape Cod is sort of quite North, is it not! What is the lowest temperature your Chrysanthas have survived and how long was this cold!? Thank you.

      • hankbates Says:

        The large E. chrysantha pictured on my Pinterest withstood one night at -10F (-23C) in one winter, four years after planting. One third of the plant died back, and it did not flower at all that year.
        A few years later it had doubled in size, and it did not die back another time.
        Most years on Cape Cod the temperature does not go below 0F, but the plant did survive several days with early morning temperatures this low.
        This plant was originally planted near a Clerodendron trichotomum clump. After the Clerodendron was removed, the chrysantha became much larger (full sun).

      • Thanks for letting us know. Can you provide a link to the photos? Carolyn

  16. I am in Asheville, NC.Zone 7 officially but more like 6b some years. My Edgeworthia chrysantha was purchased at a local garden center about 7 or 8 years ago, when they first started showing up locally. It opened many buds today, January 31.Super fragrant. We had 7 degrees only two weeks ago, followed by high 50’s and 60’s for two weeks, followed by several days in low 30’s for highs, and the usual night temperatures in the mid and low 20’s. I do prune mine since it’s next to a walkway but it is an easy thing to do. Last year (December 2015) the flowers were open so early that I thought “well, that’s it” but even though we had freezing weather in January/February, it flowered even more profusely in March, the usual time for me. As you can see, one of our problems in this area is alternating warm and freezing but Edgeworthia has not let me down. It’s my favorite shrub, trouble free. Sun in winter but partial shade in summer.

    I have now planted one in my woods to see if it will flower in mostly shade. I saw one at the UNC Botanic Garden in Charlotte growing with rhododendrons in nearly full shade, pruned up to a small tree form and I estimate 8 ft. high by 12 ft. wide. So far mine has flower buds on it but they are considerably smaller than my original plant described above. If it does well, it would be an ideal companion to Rhododendrons because of its beautiful rust color bark.

    • I m so excited that you are planting your edgeworthia as a test in full shade. Please let us know how it does. It sounds like Asheville and here are the same zone. It seems incredible as you are 10 hours south of here but maybe it’s because Asheville is in the mountains. You live in a lovely area. I was hoping my son would go to college there but he choose UNC Wilmington! Carolyn

    • Nik from Bulgaria Says:

      Has your plant gone through temperatures lower than 7F? My climate in South East Bulgaria in winter seems the same as you describe yours but I am wondering if Edgeworthia Chrysantha is to survive colder winters with a friend in Ukraine which is more North (US zone 6a to 5b) where one is planted. They have went down to 0F, the plant had some protection, we will see how it is in Spring.

  17. PS to my comments on temperature: I was informed yesterday that the warm December 2015 in the 50’s and 60’s Fahrenheit, was followed by 4 degrees below ZERO which is what killed so many buds on established Edgeworthia but also outright killed the shrubs that had been newly planted the previous fall.

    • Well that explains it. How a newly planted shrub fares during a winter with lows way below the lows for the zone in which it is planted is not really relevant to the hardiness of the shrub. Established edgeworthias are perfectly hardy in zone 7. Thanks for getting back to us.

  18. I recently noticed an edgeworthia planted in the southeast shrub border in Madison Square Park in NYC. I’m not sure when it was planted, but it was not there a year ago. It faces inward to the park and is screened from the street by Rhododendrons and hydrangeas. So far, this has been a perfect winter for experimenting with zone pushing, and I am watching the Madison Square edgeworthia with keen interest, as I’ve long been tempted to get one for my southwest Westchester County garden.

    Carolyn – what are you charging for the 3-gallon edgeworthias (I can’t even picture how big that must be), and do you ever get them in gallon or 2-gallon sizes? Is there an advantage to planting them as larger shrub vs smaller? I thought smaller shrubs were supposed to be more vigorous over the long haul. I have a lindera benzoin that I got as a one stem whip (and was then mown over) that has outpaced 3 linderas planted a year later as gallon shrubs.

    Also, you once posted about Osmanthus ‘Gulf Tide’. How is that doing given the vagaries of climate change? Have you ever experimented with other winter (early spring) bloomers like Ribes sanguineum or winter sweet (Chionanthus I think).

    • Klaus, Let us know how the edgeworthia in Central Park fares. I think you should try it in a zone 7 microclimate if you are not in zone 7. The three gallon does quite well but the seven gallon edgeworthia I planted in my own garden did even better. I sold a fifteen gallon plant five feet wide to a customer and it has also thrived. This is a very hardy shrub. I don’t grow Gulftide because I prefer the cultivar Sasaba, which loves it in my garden. Gultide is supposed to be even hardier. Chipmanthus does very well in our zone but I don’t have one yet. Don’t know about Ribes. You could also try Mahonia japonica, Lonicera fragrantissima, Bodant viburnum, and witch hazels. Carolyn

    • Nik from Bulgaria Says:

      What hardiness zone is Madison Sq Park? Lowest temp. experienced there?

      • Madison Sq Park is in the center of Manhattan across from the Flatiron Building. It is surrounded by buildings, so I expect it’s a solid zone 7 and gets heat reflected off the surrounding buildings. The plantings there have a few items that did not used to be hardy this far north but have survived and in some cases prospered in the park for a few years — Fiona sunrise jasmine officinalis and crape myrtles for example.

      • Thanks for clarifying that, Klaus.

      • Nik from Bulgaria Says:

        Thank you. I am in a 7b in a very narrow strip of 7 between 8 and 6 in South-East Bulgaria, which is why I was asking.

  19. debsgarden Says:

    You are right that the beauty of this shrub without leaves is difficult to capture. I am impressed with my own specimen and how lovely it is when covered with buds, but somehow I can’t get that to translate onto a photo. You have shown some great images! This shrub is beautiful in all seasons.

  20. johnbrimelow Says:

    The edgeworthia in my front garden just keeps growing bigger. It’s a beautiful shrub and very photogenic. I’m writing because I’m on the cusp of pruning it, something that part of me is loath to do. Pragmatically, the bush has overgrown the space the garden design planned it to fill. I’d love any advice on pruning…the bush is at least eight feet wide and six feet tall. The first few shots on the home’s website give you an idea of the size of the shrub. http://www.36-26th.com/718-2/

  21. Curious to see if anyone has experience growing Edgeworthia in a container? I’m in Zone 7A and limited to a container garden. Thanks in advance!

    • I hope some readers can answer Liz’s question as I know nothing about growing edgeworthia in containers. Carolyn

    • Nik from Bulgaria Says:

      What is the usual minimal temp you experience and how long for? I sent an Edgeworthia Chrysantha to a friend in Western Ukraine in what would be a US zone 6a, they went down to minus 20 Celsius (5F) and the plant and flower buds seem to be in tact. The plant had been given some winter prorection with agro tissue covering the plant in several layers in the coldest periods. Warming up the roots vermiculite had been added to the potting mix, too. Mine was replanted in early December just before the coldest in my 38 years winter with mostly freezin temperatures and snow storms for 3 months in a row in what would be a US 7b zone, temperatures often goin down to minus 13 Celsius (9F) this winter. The pkant is in flower now with a very nice hyacinth like scent when you put your nose next to the flower.

      • Nik, Glad to hear that your edgeworthia is doing well. Does your friend keep the edgeworthia in a container? With a container the issue is can the roots take freezing as they are not submerged below ground level. Liz will have to supply the temperature details for NYC. Thanks for helping, Carolyn

      • Nik from Bulgaria Says:

        It is planted directly into the ground, no pot. There is straw and fallen leaves around the bottom of the trunk, VERMICULITE with unsurpassed insulating qualities in the ground and the agro tissue to cover the whole plant in coldest times. In fact I made a mistake in the previous post – not 5F, but minus 5F low in Western Ukraine. Carolyn, we have to see how it is to go through the scorching summer in the new location.

      • Nik, thanks for the tips. This winter has not been bad, we’ve gone down to the teens (F) but it’s not unusual to have winters where some days hit the single digits.

  22. dear carolyn
    i planted a gorgeous edgeworthia this past spring i live in zone 7 durham nc. she is in moist area with good drainage in mostly shade but gets a few hours of late afternoon dappled sun. she is planted 3.5′ from a couple of soft caress mahonia that were planted at the same time. we have had a hot dry summer here, i do water her often very deep through this heat. her leaves are completely wilted with flower buds at tips. there are some branches that are dead.
    is this girl a goner or do i have any hope at all? i am heart broken because i have always wanted this plant.
    please let me know if you have any advice.
    thanks so much,

    • Carole, I am hoping that other people will join in with answering you. I have never watered my edgeworthia even when we had no rain and very hot weather from July 15 to October 1, 2016, so my best guess would be over watering/not enough drainage. Edgeworthias wilt naturally when it is dry, but I still don’t water mine. You indicate that yours is in a moist area and that you watered it a lot whenever it was hot. That’s my best guess. Good luck, Carolyn

  23. I planted an edgeworthia in April. It was about 18″ when I planted it and it’s grown to about 3′ high and wide. Some of the leaves are dropping in anticipation of the winter and it has 2 flower buds. It is situated where it receives partial sun during the day. I am based in Fairfield county in Connecticut. My Zone is 6b. I am debating whether I should wrap it in burlap like I do my hydrangeas. We’ll see how it performs next Spring.

    • Ken, We are zone 7a, although ever since we were moved up from 6b, we have had 6b winters. My edgeworthia does fine with cold winters, but it is in a sheltered location protected from winter winds. I never wrap any of my shrubs. I don’t want to tell you not to wrap yours as then something is sure to happen. However, no matter what you decide to do, please let us know the result. Carolyn

  24. Darla Anderson Says:

    I have been growing this plant for a few years in 2 different zones. In Northern VA ( zone 7B) it is in part sun and has grown beautifully, but slightly lanky. I need to prune it occasionally because it is in a tight space near my driveway. It flowers beautifully but does get more yellowing and dropping of leaves in late summer than my plant in NC. Where is really thrives is in Coastal NC ( zone 8). It gets morning sun, faces east and has grown tremendously in just 3-4 years. It tolerates sandy soil, heat and drought and is a beautiful plant. The yellow blooms in winter never cease to amaze me and their scent is heavenly. I get so many comments from people, especially gardeners when this plant blooms in the dead of winter. It is by far my favorite shrub!!!!!!!

    • Darla, I grow mine in an east-facing location in zone 7a and have had a similar experience to your description of your NC plant—it absolutely thrives. Thanks for adding to our knowledge of this amazing shrub. Carolyn

      • Darla Anderson Says:

        You are welcome. We had our first hard freeze 1 week ago in NO VA and the leaves are drooping and ready to drop. My shrub in NC still is full of leaves. I like to place little fairy lights ( outdoor) on the branches on mine in VA. It is on a timer and comes on every evening. It looks very festive for Christmas.

  25. Hi Carolyn – my edgweworrthia, just planted earlier this year after my purchase from you, is looking pretty sad after last week’s freeze (lows in the 20’s one night). All of the leaves (which never turend color and fell off) were still green and are now wilted and drooping but still on the plant. Is this normal? Should I be concerned that it hadn’t already gone dormant before the cold snap?

    • Klaus, Everyone’s edgeworthia, whether newly planted or not, looks like yours, including my well established plant and the two new edgeworthias I planted this spring. The cold temperature was record-breaking, 21 degrees here, so I can’t say for sure that our shrubs are fine because this has never happened before. However, I am 99% sure that the leaves were the only thing affected. One of the great seasons for edgeworthia is the fall, and we will miss that this year along with the fall color on dozens of other woody plants like Japanese maples, cherries, disanthus, etc. Carolyn

  26. Cori Holmes Says:

    I had a beautiful edgeworthia in my Atlanta garden, so when we moved to Knoxville, TN I couldn’t wait to plant one last March. It grew happily all summer and produced flower buds right on time in January. Unfortunately they never opened and the ends of the branches look like they are shriveling. Has Anyone ever had this happen? Is it dead or should I prune and wait to see what happens?

    • Cori, The symptoms that you describe sound like what happens to edgeworthia buds in extraordinarily cold winters. The extreme cold causes the buds to dry out and desiccate. They don’t open and eventually shatter. This has only happened twice in the last 15 years in southeastern PA, and one of them was this winter. However, maybe incorrectly, I think of TN as having warmer winters. The shrub itself is usually not damaged, and you start to see tiny leaf tips beginning to emerge from the tips of the branches. Hope that helps, Carolyn

      • Cori Holmes Says:

        Thank you, Carolyn! You have given me hope 🙂 I would hate to lose the plant.

  27. Hi I just ordered a 3 gal edgeworthia. I live in Northern Utah on the edge of Z 7a and normally go down in to single digits once or twice a winter but what I’m wondering about is because the very hot sun and dry summers how much sun I should give it…a partial shade site with AM sun? Also our soil is extremely alkaline, do you know what soil balance they need? I grow Magnolias and they do well if I give them a dose of fertilizer for acid loving plants in the spring. How ever Azaleas do not do well here. thanks Pam

  28. I am so pleased to find this page! I have an edgeworthia, about 5′ tall now, that I bought from a nursery in the Atlanta area. Uprooted it and moved it to Tuscaloosa when we came here about 10 years ago, and it has flourished in partial shade near the house. I am now planning another move, and would like to propagate the plant to take with to our new home. Mine is too big to dig and divide, and I have hear they are the devil to propagate by rooting cuttings. Any advice?

    • Pat, Some of the comments on this post or the original edgeworthia post may discuss propagation. I think i remember someone mentioning layering it but I am not sure. You may want to go back and read them all. I have never propagated it, but other readers may have tips. Carolyn

    • Here’s a method of propagating from DIY Home and Gardening, Essex, UK.

      From gardener in Raleigh, NC

  29. Amber Geiger Says:

    Hi All, any thoughts on a wilting edgeworthia in the Pacific NW? It has been unusually hot this May so I started my automatic drip early and may have overwatered it. The leaves are wilting and dying and the ground is super wet. Any suggestions on how to bring it back from overwatering?

    • My edgeworthia never receives any extra water, and it is very hot and dry in PA in the summer (usually). I think your diagnosis is correct. I am not sure how to dry out already soaked soil, but I would remove it from your irrigation system. I never water any plants in my garden other than when they are first planted, and it is routinely in the 90s and drought conditions here in the summer. I am curious why you would need an irrigation system in the PNW

  30. I recently purchased an E. papyrifera,” Akebono” for my partial to full sun, southern facing garden. It was purchased and planted late winter while in bloom in PacNW zone 8b. Transplanting it did not seem to cause any shock or loss of blooms and the leaves came in the spring as expected. However, over the last several months, in which we have had lower than usual rains, some of the leaves have begun to brown and wilt, starting on the leaf tips and spreading to the whole leaf.

    From what you’ve said about your plants thriving in heat and even drought conditions I am not certain that the low rain levels are the cause of this wilting. I wouldn’t even call it wilting either, as the leaves are not drooping, just seem to be shriveling and dying.

    I am quite taken by this plant and would hate to lose it – but information is so limited online I am at a loss as to what might be the cause.

    • Leaves on edgeworthias tend to turn yellow and die off on a regular basis. If this is what is happening with your plant, then I wouldn’t worry. However, I do not grow E. papyifera as it is not hardy in my zone 6b/7a garden. Other readers should feel free to reply with their experiences.

      • Hello, I planted an ‘Akebono’ three years ago in my Walla Walla WA garden in partial shade. While I’m in zone 7A, the winter temps for the last three years have been a zone warmer. I found your discussion when googling the bud drop that has plagued my Edgeworthia from the beginning. Late this fall all the top growth died away, replaced by lots of strong shoots. Alas, the buds have dried and dropped again. I hope again for next year. And I might add the buds are about a quarter of an inch across, not like the whopping great buds your plants carry!

  31. Jessica R. Veldman Says:

    I have one I got many years ago, edgeworthia papyrifea, zone 7a coastal as it’s a small island off RI. I I got it for myself but lacking space I planted it at a clients house against a southeast facing wall. It is now 7ft and blooming splendidly this year. It has a more vase shape in this garden. The soil is an acidic clay. The wind and salt spray can be brutal but this shrub has weathered it nicely. I am definitely going to propagate another one for myself.

  32. alicdoodle Says:

    My baby Edgeworthia has been savaged by snails and the leaves have gone crispy. I don’t know if it will survive. I live in the UK near London. Any advice?

  33. alicdoodle Says:

    I have not found any advice elsewhere including from the nursery who sold the plant. Very worried. Grateful for advice. It’s a Grandiflora.

    • catmadwoman Says:

      The leaves of mine keep going crispy and it’s in a sheltered position. The only sun it gets it early morning for maybe two hours.

  34. Caroline Osborne Says:

    I have already made a comment here replying to alicdoodle but it hasn’t appeared for some reason. I’ve noticed that others on here have a similar problem with the leaves on this plant withering softly at first at the ends and then crisping up soon after. I’ve searched as well as I know how on the net and this is the only site that mentions it. This plant is still growing and alive but it looks terrible. I might end up throwing it even though it cost me more than any other plant I’ve purchased.

  35. Cynthia Harding Says:

    I planted an Edgeworthia in zone 8 (northeastern NC) in early March. It didn’t look like much at the time, but it has thrived! It does get quite a bit of morning sun, so I have been careful to keep it watered. Just a few minutes ago, we had a fast, hard downpour of rain (and likely more will follow with TS Isaias on the way). Many of the leaves fell off, even though they looked healthy prior to the rain–only a few were yellowing. I am certain that they have hung on through equally strong downpours earlier this summer. Should I be concerned?

  36. I’m in southern Oregon (Z8) and I got an edgeworthia in the nursery section of the local farm co-op – I had been looking for one and was so happy to find one there! I have it growing in a sheltered spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. After several years it is about 4′ tall. I do give it summer water because we have such long hot dry summers here. The fragrance to me smells something like baby powder, and the glowing yellow flowerballs in winter are so cheery! I absolutely love this plant, and plan to get at least 1 more or maybe 2.

  37. Hello I live in Maryland zone 7a ( potomac) and I just bought a creamed/ yellow colored edworthia . It is still in a pot, it was delivered from a nearby nursery 4 days ago and today I am noticing yellow spots in several leaves . Is this normal or should I do something. Spots look like freckles almost like such a jalonica.

    Help please .

  38. I first saw Edgeworthia three months ago in a nursery and bought a small specimen however, I am having trouble with the lower leaves turning brown at the tips and going dry along the full leaf. I would welcome any information as to why this is happening.
    Take care Phil in Hull U.K.

  39. Hi Carolyn! Just stumbled on your posts on the Edgeworthia and appreciate all the information! I have a 3 yo plant here in Havertown, PA, inspired by my first sighting of the plant at Chanticleer. The inner leaves of my plant are turning yellow already. Not a nice buttery yellow like in your pictures, but a blotchy yellow. Early July seems too soon to be dropping leaves which has me thinking some sort of fungus, but what do you think?

  40. Anita Pinto Says:

    From the UK. Bought one. Cost me an arm and a leg as its the red one. Planted exactly as described. Started dying back from the tips, now dead!!

  41. Katherine McClatchey Malsbary Says:

    After having a large overgrown red maple severely pruned I put a new garden plot under it. I live in the NC mountains 20 miles from Asheville with moderate seasons.

    I went into Asheville to a large garden center with knowledgeable sales people to find things to plant in the new bed which is still deep shade. I was sold a Red Pygmy Japanese maple, a small Laurel, and a Edgeworthia. I’d never heard of an Edgeworthia but the clerk convinced me that this 5’ by 5’ bush would do well in deep shade…

    It is in a very important position in the gardens.

    Has anyone had success in deep shade? I have nowhere else to move it to. Sieglinde from Asheville wrote in 2017 that they’d tried it as an experiment but there isn’t any follow-up.

  42. Mary Pat Bean Says:

    Hi all,

    I live in Raleigh, NC, zone 7b, and am new to this blog! Can anyone tell me how wide an E. chrysantha will get? Having read/been told that chrysantha can easily be kept to a manageable size, I planted one last fall (2021), allowing for it to get to 5 ft-6 ft wide, at most. (If it gets wider than that, it will block the walkway.) It is multi-stemmed, and I want it to be shrub form (mounded) but don’t really want to be pruning it every year. I’m almost thinking I should move it so it will have more room. If I want to keep it to about 4 X 5 (preferably smaller) am I going to be constantly pruning? I will be most grateful for your comments/thoughts/experience.

  43. Carol Frank Says:

    I live on Long Island, NY and planted an edgeworthia in the fall of ’21 in a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade. I was happy it survived that first winter and it had lots of healthy foliage last summer. It is now covered with buds and I’m hoping that our crazy weather with highs and lows which bounce around madly from freezing days to soaring to the 60s won’t damage them and that they will fully open. Very nice to find this post and sending good wishes for all of us who long to make this plant a happy camper in our gardens.

  44. Carol Frank Says:

    Thank you! I have been eagerly anticipating spring and seeing those buds bring hope and joy. I can look forward to experiencing the fragrance that gardeners rave about.

  45. Mary Whitesel Says:

    My Edgeworthia is thriving in part sun part shade location. I purchased this plant from you probably 4 or 5 years ago and it’s probably 6×6 and spectacular! I live in Exton in the Marchwood development. My question is should I prune out suckers that are developing in the center of the plant.

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