The Gardeners Almanac

The place to find out what to do in the garden this week
My Back Garden


Common name: Oleaster

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Week Numbers


Collecting seeds


Coral Spot



Heel cuttings

Planting out




Close up of pink flowers

Elaeagnus Ebbingei in flower

SElf coloured dark green leaves

Elaeagnus macrophylla

Lime green laves edged with dark green

Elaeagnus -Limelight

Elaeagnus is a hardy evergreen, or deciduous flowering shrub, that originates from Central Asia.

The most common one in the UK is the hybrid ebbingei sometimes sold as macrophylla or pungens.

They can grow to a height of 2-5 metres (6-15ft) high with a 3-4 metre (10-15ft) spread.

They are often used as a shrub border/boundary or as specimen architectural plants.

The flowers appear in October and are followed by red berries, and some varieties have variegated foliage.

Plants can be trained as a standard with a bare stem up to 1.5 m (5ft) in height.


Plants can stand hard pruning, prune in midsummer, after flowering.

Elaeagnus is susceptible to the fungal disease coral spot.


Week 16:

Plant out in sun or partial shade in soil that is well drained and not too rich in nutrients.

If growing them as a hedge or screen plant them out 600-900mm (2-3ft) apart.

Week 17:

Tidy up the plant/s by pruning out any damaged, weak or straggly branches to maintain the desired look and size.

Suckers can be removed at this time and potted up if required to increase stock.

If variegated forms revert back to self green leaves cut the affected shoots back to ground level.

Week 18:

Pot up cuttings taken the previous year into 100mm (4") pots of potting compost and grow on in a cold frame until planting out time.

Week 32:

Evergreens stock can be increased by taking 70-100mm (3"-4") long heel cuttings taken from lateral shoots.

Pot the cuttings into a mixture of equal parts peat and sharp sand and place in a cold frame to root.

circa Week 40>:

Collect ripe berries, remove the flesh and sow the seed/s in pots of seed compost placed in a coldframe.

Pot on as necessary after germination.