Evonimo - Euonymus alatus

Evonimo - Euonymus alatus

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The evonimo (also called fusaggine) is one of the most widespread shrubs in the gardens: the persistent leaf species are a classic for creating beautiful hedges. Those deciduous are appreciated for their beautiful autumn fruits.
There are about 170 varieties of evonyms, practically all over the world; they can be shrubs, small trees, ground cover and climbing plants, both deciduous and evergreen. E. fortunei is a small evergreen shrub with oval, green leaves; there are numerous cultivars with leaves of various shades, even variegated; it is widely used in flowerbeds and as a border or small hedge, with compact growth and quite slow.
Euonymus europaeus has deciduous leaves, in autumn they acquire a purple-red color; produces small pink berries, with orange seeds, very decorative. Euonymus japonicus has roundish, thick and leathery leaves, a small shrub with compact and vigorous growth, there are varieties with variegated leaves.
Euonymus alatus is a medium-sized shrub with deciduous leaves, very decorative in autumn. The evonyms produce small greenish or purple flowers in spring, followed by small dark or pink berries. In autumn the shrubs are pruned by eliminating the dry or damaged branches from the weather, and the branches of the hedge shrubs are shortened by about a quarter, in order to keep them more compact.


These plants can develop without problems in any position both sunny and shaded; but surely it is advisable to place them in full sun to get the best possible development. The Euonymus alatus is not afraid of the cold and can withstand the heat of the most torrid summers.
In general, these shrubs are suitable in the city or coast, since, being a rather rustic and resistant variety, they tolerate pollution and brackish air without any particular problems.
Also in this they are tolerant: they grow well both in the sun and in partial shade. Clearly the deciduous varieties prefer a cooler position in the South and the evergreen ones a brighter and warmer in the North (especially the variegated cultivars).

Description, classification and origins

The genus Euonymus (which belongs to the family of the Celastraceae) includes at least 160 species spread in the spontaneous state throughout the world, but mostly from Europe and Southeast Asia. Making an overall description is difficult because it is a very heterogeneous genre. It includes shrubs and trees that can range from as little as 30 cm high to 7 meters. The leaves also vary greatly from species to species: there are opposite and alternate ones, oval, lanceolate and dentate. There are also many colors: light green, dark, yellow or rosé. An aspect that makes them all interesting is the autumn production of fruits, usually very lively and with a particular shape. In the horticultural field, mainly cultivars obtained from the Japanese name are used: they have the advantage of being very tolerant, of growing slowly and requiring little maintenance.


There are important differences between evergreen and deciduous varieties. The first ones need quite frequent irrigations only in the first years from the plant trying to keep the area cool, especially during the hot and dry periods. Later they will become very independent.
On the contrary, the deciduous spindle is more delicate in this respect: in summer we will always have to monitor the soil to prevent it from drying out completely. The attention should be greater if we live in the South, on the coasts or if our soil is poor and holds little water. In this case a valid help can come from a thick vegetated mulch.
Euonymus alatus is one of several types of euonymus present in nature and also has the same needs as other varieties. From March to October it is advisable to water regularly at least once a week, especially during periods of prolonged drought; in the winter months it is not necessary but it is useful to water the evergreen specimens sporadically.
In general, these shrubs can easily withstand drought, but they develop best if watered regularly, always waiting for the soil to be dry to avoid the possible formation of water stagnation that would be very dangerous for the health of your plants.


The plants of euonymus they grow without problems in any type of soil, even poor and very alkaline. For an optimal development it is good to put the plant in a soil made of clay mixed with a part of leaf soil and a part of sand or other incoherent material. This mix helps promote soil drainage, facilitates root growth and guarantees the plant all the nutrients it needs.
Fusinage is tolerant with regard to the substrate. It grows discreetly in a large variety of soils provided they are not too dry or too poor. The ideal growth will be in a neutral or sub-alkaline soil, therefore calcareous or slightly clayey, and with a good amount of organic matter. It must also be able to always stay cool, especially in summer, but it must also have good drainage to prevent root problems.


Common name

Evonimo, spindles
Family and Latin name Celastraceae, Euonymus (Europaeus, Japonicus, alatus, fortunei); more than 160 species
Origins Europe, Asia
Type of plant Tree or shrub
Leaf color Green, yellow, pink
Foliage I fall or persist
Height From 30 cm to 7 meters
Cultivation easy
irrigations To read to medium
Growth slow
Exposure Sun-shade
Ground Tolerant, better fresh and rich, calcareous or clayey
Minimum temperature Some are very rustic, others -7 ° C
soil pH Neutral or sub-alkaline
Composting Organic soil conditioner
Pests and diseases Aphids, cochineal, oziorrinco, ragna of the apple tree, cryptogam
Propagation Seed, cutting
Use Isolated specimen, groups, hedges, topiary, vase


The multiplication of these shrubs generally occurs by seed, in autumn, or by cutting in August-September, using semi-woody branch portions to be planted in pots to increase the possibility of taking root.
Both can be multiplied by seed or cuttings. Clearly, only the last method preserves the specific characteristics of the cultivars.
The sowing requires winter stratification of at least 3 months: when the first radicle is emitted we will be able to move into final compost, in individual jars.
The cutting requires different periods depending on the species.
For deciduous trees we proceed with agostato branches, for evergreens with semilignified branches (in July): they are placed in a very light mixture, always keeping wet and with temperatures that are not too low, even in winter. In spring we can move into individual jars.


The climatic requirements are very different between the various types. Deciduous species, such as E. europaeus, they are very rustic and grow well throughout the North of our peninsula and elsewhere, in the hills or mountains. We avoid instead to insert it in the central-southern regions and on the coasts as it suffers particularly from the heat.
On the contrary, the evergreen species are much more tolerant with regard to high temperatures, but not all are perfectly rustic (for some it is good to never go below -6 ° C). In case of uncertainty, we prepare a thick mulch before the winter and, if we grow in pots, we wrap it with insulating materials.



Autumn Spring
Talea July August
Pruning April-August (evergreens), March (fall)
Composting Autumn (manure), spring (granular for green plants
Winter protection From November to March
Flowering Spring-autumn (depending on the species
Fruiting Autumn

When to transplant the name?

The best time for planting shrubs and trees is always autumn; we will be able to buy more bare-rooted specimens, which will have the whole cold season to free themselves in the new location. At the arrival of good weather the vegetative restart will certainly be more precocious and vigorous.
We preferably work from March onwards only if our evonimo is not particularly rustic and we live in regions where it freezes frequently. In this case we opt for plants with clods of earth.

How to plant the name?

We dig a large and at least 50 cm deep hole. On the bottom we create a draining layer with gravel or volcanic lapillus. In any case, but especially if the soil is too poor, mix it with plenty of seasoned manure and, if available, a little clayey soil. We cover and compact well; we irrigate abundantly.
It is very important to leave enough space for the plant to grow: an isolated specimen requires at least 2 meters free in each direction. If we want to create a hedge we leave between a hole and another from 80 to 150 cm depending on the final size that will reach the specific cultivar.

Composition of the vase

The small cultivars can also be cultivated in containers as isolated specimens or to create green barriers on terraces or paved areas. We choose deep and wide vessels at least 40 cm; on the bottom we create a draining layer with expanded clay. The ideal compote is obtained by mixing in equal parts field land, universal soil and coarse sand.


The supply of nutrients is not strictly necessary, but an enrichment of the area is always useful: it allows to keep the soil vital and aerated. The advice is therefore to sprinkle in autumn a good dose of flour manure at the foot of the plant.

Evonym pruning

Training pruning is not recommended for deciduous varieties: always put them where they can grow freely and take on their natural shape. If we want the lower part to be filled, we perform the first few years of drastic cuts. It is also useful to regularly trim the lateral branches to obtain a thick crown. In addition, it is advisable to prune every 5 years, removing about 1/3 of the oldest branches and trying to open the center.
The evergreens, having the right space, can also be grown freely. You can, however, use them to create hedges and in topiary art. We intervene in general in April and August, but every period is right to maintain the form.
To get a full look quickly it is important to cut immediately after the implant and be very assiduous.
Also in this case, every 5 years a renewal pruning will be performed as described above.

Evonimo - Euonymus alatus: Pests and diseases

The great part of the species of the euonymus tends to be massively affected by the parasites, so it is good to be very careful and intervene as soon as the first symptoms were noticed. The greatest enemy of the evonyms is the cochineal, which causes very serious damage; these plants can also be affected by thrips, larvae, mines and aphids.
In general, deciduous species are more resistant than those with persistent leaves. They can be affected by parasites (such as aphids), but rarely perish. We need only fear the "ragna del melo", a butterfly whose larvae eat the leaves until they completely denude the tree. We run for cover distributing Bacillus Thuringiensis.
The persistent evonyms are also affected by cochineal, oziorrinco and cryptogamic affections, to cure all with specific products.


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First name

Size and posture

Foliage, flowers and fruits



Euonymus fortunei 'Harlequin'Up to 30 cmGreen with cream spotsVery rusticGround cover, borders or vase
Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety'Up to 50 cm, bushyBright green with white and pink marginVery rusticGround cover, low hedge, vase
Euonymus japonicus 'Pierrlolino'Up to 30 cm, bushy roundedCream colored with green spots, new white leavesUp to -5 ° C, little sunGround cover, low hedge, vase
Euonymus japonicus 'Aureomarginatus'Up to 1.5 mGreen on with golden marginsVery rustic it tolerates brackish soilsHedge, large vase, isolated specimen
Euonymus japonicus 'Aureovariegata'Up to 1 mBright green variegated goldQuite rustic it tolerates brackish soilsHedge, large vase, isolated specimen
Euonymus japonicus 'Green'Up to 3 mVery dense, bright green, white flowers and pink fruitsVery rusticHedge, isolated specimen, groups
Euonymus japonicus 'Microphyllus'Up to 1 meterMedium green, small leavesVery rusticHedge, isolated specimen, groups
Euonymus nanus var. turkestanicusUp to 1.20 mDark green, flowers and red fruitsVery rusticHedge, isolated specimen, groups

Euonymus europaeusUp to 3 metersFirst green, then yellow and finally red. Fruits in the shape of a pink-orange bishop's hatRusticissimoIn a group, isolated, hedge
Euonymus europaeus 'Red Cascade'Up to 3 metersFirst green, then deep red. Red fruitsRusticissimoIn a group, isolated, hedge
Euonymus alatusUp to 2 meters
(1 meter the "Compactus")
First green, then purple and orange. Red fruits. "Fire ball" with more intense colorsExtremely rustic, it fears the heatIn a group, isolated, hedge