Home generalSpindle shrub, Euonymus - care manual

Spindle shrub, Euonymus - care manual

  • Care - Instructions
    • sorts
    • Optimal location
    • Watering, fertilizing and wintering
    • Cutting the spindle bush
    • Propagation and sowing
  • pests
  • toxicity

Whether as a decorative hedge in the garden or as climbing climbing plant for the wall - the spindle shrub, which belongs to the genus Euonymus, is a versatile plant. Numerous different species of bushy shrubs with strong woody and branched shoots can be distinguished, which inspire every hobby gardener due to their adaptability and robustness. Especially due to the partially colorful leaves, the spindle shrub in the garden is a real eye-catcher. Well maintained and planted in optimal locations, plant lovers can enjoy the decorative plant for a long time.

Care - Instructions


Within the genus of the spindle shrub different varieties can be distinguished. Basically, these are divided into two groups:

There are summer-green varieties or those that are planted because of their decorative autumn foliage and colorful fruits. These varieties include, for example, Euonymus europaeus or Euonymus planipes . The latter is one of the most lush fruiting varieties that produce bright crimson capsules and in the garden provide intense splashes of color.

In contrast to the large-sized varieties, which can reach a stature height of several meters, form the numerous plants of the East Asian species Euonymus fortunei creeping to ascending shrubs, which are also referred to as creeping or climbing spindle and are among the evergreen varieties . These plants are used as ground cover or hedge. Particularly attractive here is the climbing shrub radicans, which can quickly grow into larger areas with the help of its anchoring roots.

Small creeping spindle

Among the best known and widely distributed in Europe and Asia is the Euonymus europaeus, which is also known as "Pfaffenhütchen". The naming is understandable in view of the colorful fruits that resemble the headdress of Catholic clergy. In the garden above all lush fruiting varieties are pulled, because the bright carmine-red capsules, which jump at full maturity and release the view of orange-red seeds, make up the real attraction of the wood. As a housing plant, however, especially Euonymus japanicus is drawn.

Optimal location

All species of the spindle shrub thrive best on a sunny or partially shaded spot. In order for the plant to grow optimally, attention should be paid to sufficient brightness; dark locations can lead to atrophy. Evergreen varieties can be combined as hedge plants in rebates with other shrubs or used as Bodenbedecker. Climbing spindles can also be planted directly in front of a wall or a fence; There the plant gradually creeps up.

In addition to choosing the location, attention should also be paid to the optimal composition of the substrate:

  • The spindle shrub thrives on normal garden soil on compost basis very well.
  • The earth should be rich in nutrients.
  • Slightly acidic or alkaline substrate does not bother the plant.
  • Particularly important is a permeable soil to avoid waterlogging.
  • The substrate should be as deep as possible so that the fine roots can penetrate the soil well.
  • A compacted soil structure counteracts optimal growth.
  • The uppermost layer of the substrate should therefore be loosened regularly.

Watering, fertilizing and wintering

Maintain the spindle shrub properly

The species of the genus Euonymus require little care overall. Nevertheless, both irrigation and fertilization should be done carefully. From early April to late July, the plant is usually in the growth phase; during this time the spindle shrub is moderately cast. Nevertheless, pay attention to regular irrigation. For this purpose, the soil is only moistened and must dry before the next dose. Waterlogging is essential to avoid, as these damage the fine roots. During the rest period, the irrigation is very careful. However, care must be taken that the shrub does not dry out completely.

In addition to optimum irrigation, targeted fertilization is important so that the plant can thrive optimally. In the period between the beginning of April and the end of July, a liquid fertilizer is used which is moderately concentrated. During the resting phase, the fertilizer is completely adjusted. Freshly set plants are best mulched . Here can also be dispensed with an additional fertilization. It has been proven to spend a thick layer of grass clippings or compost under the substrate in spring and autumn. Then the growth conditions of the shrubs are improved even more.

The overwintering of the Euonymus is very easy with hardy species. No special arrangements are necessary here. Indoor plants are moved to a winter quarter at the onset of frost, at temperatures between 5 and 10 ° C. During this time irrigation is done only sip-wise. However, the earth must not dry out completely.

Cutting the spindle bush

The spindle shrub can be cut several times a year. However, not all varieties are equally suitable for a cut. For example, creeping spindles drive poorly after the cut; This especially affects older plants, which should not be cut for this reason.

Euonymus alatus

Overall, ornamental shrubs are often cut back to rejuvenate; In this case, a targeted Auslichten the plant is sufficient. Older shoots are cut out just above the ground. Dead branches should be separated from the shrub. Before the cut, the shrub should be carefully inspected to get an overall impression: at which points are too close standing shoots on ">

Propagation and sowing

As the shrubs are propagated and sown, usually decides the variety to which the plant belongs. All species can be multiplied by cuttings.

For deciduous bushes, the mid-autumn and early spring are suitable for propagation, and evergreen shrubs are best planted in the first half of the fall or towards the end of spring.

For this purpose, a drive plug is first cut. The best time for this is the end of June. The shoot is cut with a sharp knife and cut to about 10 to 15 cm. The cut should be kept clean and done just below the leaf node. Subsequently, the lower leaves are removed, so that at least three to four pairs of leaves are available. The cuttings are placed in cultivation soil to bring about rooting; this prevents a pest infestation. Often it has proven useful to immerse the cuttings in a rooting agent prior to introduction into the seed soil. After plugging, at least one eye should look out of the pot. During the rooting phase, the soil is to be kept slightly moist so that irrigation is only moderate. In the following period, a high humidity is important, which is why the cuttings can be provided with a plastic hood as evaporation protection. After rooting, three or four plants can be planted in a pot of compost soil. The optimal site conditions are the same for young plants and old shrubs.


Although the spindle shrub is basically quite robust, the plant shows susceptibility to certain pests. In this context, the aphid presents itself as a typical pest. The infestation can be recognized by the classical damage pattern:

  • The leaves of the shrub are strongly rolled up.
  • Partly you will find bubbly bloated leaves.
  • Also sticky plant parts, often with black mushroom coating, suggest aphid infestation.
  • In addition, caring, deformed shoots and inflorescences can be seen.
  • Who examines his shrub carefully, the aphids usually densely crowded on the underside of leaves or young shoots.

Remedy can create targeted spraying with soap solution or nettle extract. Also Rainfarntee has proven itself in this context. As simple and effective, a targeted water jet has proven with the hose. Heavily affected parts of plants are removed.

Tip: An effective and gentle method of pest control is the introduction of beneficial organisms, for example, the ladybird.

In addition to aphid infestation, the spindle shrub is particularly frequently attacked by mildew. This is a fungus that covers plant parts with white or gray spots and brownish discolorations (powdery mildew) or gray velvety coverings (downy mildew). With plant strengthening agents an attack can be targeted counteracted. In this context, especially Schachtelhalmauszüge or garlic broths have proven. Infected plant parts must be removed prematurely.


Anyone who acquires a spindle shrub for their own garden should remember that the plant is poisonous. For example, the common spindle shrub, also referred to as the "prawn hat", contains various poisonous substances.

In all parts of the plant - especially in the seed - you will find the alkaloid evonin and small amounts of the cardiogenic evonoside. Because the fruits animate with their enticing colors in particular for tasting, numerous poisonings have already occurred. Already after 15 hours symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and irritation of the stomach and intestine occur, sometimes accompanied by bloody diarrhea. Circulatory disorders, convulsions and liver or kidney damage were also observed in connection with the intake of fruits of the spindle shrub. the intake of 30 to 40 fruits leads to death in humans.

But even pets should be kept away from the bushes. Dogs, cats, various rodents (rabbits, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters), but also horses, goats, pigs and sheep suffer the typical symptoms of intoxication after enjoying the colorful fruits, which can also cause tachycardia and respiratory distress. Therefore, children and animals must be saved from eating the fruits of the spindle shrub!

The spindle shrub is one of the most popular shrubs in Germany's gardens. The shrubs are quite robust and undemanding and can be cultivated with low nursing effort. Regular and targeted cuts can be made to rejuvenate the plant or decorate it. Children and animals should, however, be kept away from the bushes, as the plant parts are poisonous.

Tips for quick readers:

  • The genus of the spindle shrub includes different species, all of which, however, thrive on conventional garden soil.
  • The substrate should be rich in nutrients and regularly loosened.
  • Sunny or partially shaded locations make the shrub thrive.
  • During the summer months, the plant is moderately poured; Waterlogging is essential to avoid.
  • During the rest period irrigation is only sporadic; However, it is essential to prevent the plant from completely drying out.
  • A fertilizer is only recommended during the summer months and should be moderately concentrated.
  • The spindle shrub can be cut for rejuvenation purposes; In addition, ornamental cuts are possible for certain varieties.
  • The propagation of the plant via cuttings, which are rooted first in a small pot.
  • Among the important pests of the plant are aphids, which can be treated with the help of a strong jet of water and soapy water.
  • An infestation of the fungus Mildew can be prevented with plant strengthening agents, for example a garlic broth.
  • The plant parts of the spindle shrub are poisonous; Children should therefore be saved from tasting the often colorful fruits!
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