The Lovely Plants

Lovely and Colorful Foliage Plants: Coprosma

Coprosma is a genus of ornamental and very useful shrubs and small trees from New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. These evergreen plants are known for their glossy and leathery foliage that makes them attractive houseplants. Most species of Coprosma are quite easy to grow and maintain. Traditionally these foliage plants have been used to make effective hedges and borders. However, Coprosma offers a wide variety of small to large ornamental shrubs that can be grown as specimen plants in gardens and landscapes.

Coprosma ‘Tequila Sunburst’/ Image by Leonora Enking

Most species of Coprosma can be grown in poor and sandy soil though they benefit from rich and loamy soil as well. Young plants require regular watering until they are established and are ready to withstand drought. The best spot for Coprosma plants is a brightly lit corner where it can establish its roots and become a sturdy plant.

Popular species of Coprosma include:

Coprosma repens (Mirror Plant) – Grows as small tree and can be trimmed back to make an ornamental border or hedge.

Coprosma robusta – A quick growing and a sturdy, small tree that can grow up to 3 meters; good choice for creating borders and screens.

Coprosma ernodeoides/ Image by David Eickhoff

A number of hybrids and new cultivars are widely grown these days. Some of the popular cultivars are:

Coprosma ‘Pacific Sunset’, Coprosma ‘Clearwater Gold’, and Coprosma ‘Rainbow Surprise’.