Skimmie: evergreen with berry jewelery

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Skimmie: evergreen with berry jewelery: berry

The bright red inflorescences form in the fall and remain over the winter on the plant

The sprightly Skimmie (Skimmia) belongs to the family of the Rautengewächse (Rutaceae). It comes from u.a. from the mountainous regions of the Himalayas, which makes them a frugal, hardy garden plant.

From the small group of Skimmien "Skimmia japonica" is most widely used as an ornamental plant. Although she is very undemanding in her care and also copes well with low temperatures, she still shows pretty flower and berry trimming throughout the year. So it is no wonder that the Skimmie in our latitudes is one of the popular winter jewelry plants.

Of flowers and fruits

Skimmia red

The Skimmia makes wonderful as winter balcony decoration

Most Skimmien are dioecious. Fruits only form after pollination, so most species require male and female plants. In spring, male and female shrubs drift fragrant white flowers, the male plants are therefore nicknamed "flower skimmers". On the female plants grow bright red berries after fertilization in autumn. They are therefore called fruit skimmers. Danger: Do not clean blown female flowers! From them the fruits develop later. For the home garden, there are now also two-sexed varieties of the species "Skimmia reevesiana", which fertilizes itself.

Winter wonder Skimmie

Skimmia Marlot

The small flowers of Skimmie "Marlot" are in large clusters together. They change color in the spring from red to white

Skimmie is known for its bright red berries. These develop after fertilization by bees and butterflies in October from the flowered female inflorescences and remain hanging over the entire winter on the plant. The leathery leaves of the fresh green Skimmie also retain their color throughout the cold season. In addition, Skimmien already in late summer their pink to reddish-brown inflorescences for the coming year, which decorate the winter over the plant and open in spring to white flowers. As a decorative plant in the pot, as a arrangement or tied to the wreath, the Skimmie enjoys great popularity in winter.


Pulled as a potted plant, the roots of Skimmie are more sensitive to frost. The pot should therefore be well packed when it gets very cold

Especially in winter, the Skimmie with its laurel-like leaves and red berries is a popular decoration plant. If she is cultivated in the house as a houseplant, but she keeps only in a very cool location (maximum 15° C). Dry heating air should be avoided at all costs. On the terrace or the balcony, the Skimmie feels much better. Protected from direct sunlight and heavy frost, it can stand outside all winter long. The substrate must never dry out. During the growth phase in spring and summer, you can add some liquid fertilizer regularly to the irrigation water. Since the Skimmie grows only very slowly, must be repotted every two years at the earliest.

Skimmie as a bedding plant

If the Skimmie planted in the garden and is well rooted, even strong frost can not harm them. The evergreen plant prefers the sun, direct sunlight gives it a curling and discoloring of the leaves. If you want berry decorations in autumn, you should be careful to plant male and female plants together. This has another advantage: in the summer especially the male specimens beguile with wonderfully fragrant white flowers and attract innumerable insects.

Plant and maintain Skimmien

Skimmia rubella

In autumn and winter, the buds of up to 13 centimeters long flower panicles of the variety "Rubella" are strikingly brown-red

The best planting season for Skimmie is September. Place the plant in a shady spot in slightly acidic rhododendron soil and pour generously over several weeks. The Skimmie needs a lot of moisture. A mulch layer of bark or compost protects them from drying out. In the field, the Skimmie is about 1.5 meters high. In the company of rhododendrons or azaleas it feels good, but the evergreen is also suitable as an underplant of shady coniferous trees. In order to prevent new shoots on the plant from freezing in winter, the water supply will be reduced already from the end of August so that the Skimmie stops its growth. The older, woody parts are completely hardy.

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