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Euomymus 'Blondy' vs 'Moonshadow'

Posted by Mark Luchtefeld

Euonymus fortunei: 'Blondy' vs. 'Moonshadow'

This post is not about a blonde and a rather odd 1970s song by Cat Stevens.  It is, rather, a highlighting of two particular varieties under the Euonymus fortunei umbrella.  Perhaps you already know how confusing the Euonymus umbrella can be.

There are many different variegations in the group..  We're going to look at  two of the most popular varieties:  ’Blondy’ and ‘Moonshadow’. 

Check out the details below for application.  Color and size will dictate the use of these plants. Both varieties remain evergreen and need direct sun to partial shade and both varieties are hardy. 

The lack of green on the leaves and stems is not a manipulation by botanists.  Actually, yellow and white are naturally occurring mutations.  This particular mutation is celebrated and embraced in horticulture and floriculture.  Euonymus ’Blondy’ and ’Moonshadow’ are two such mutations.

Mutations are frequently found growing among perfectly green healthy Euonymus plants.  In some plants, the variegation or mutation is unstable and can return to all green.  Propagation of the euonymus blondymutation must be accomplished by cutting, grafting or budding to hold the mutation.  Cuttings or branches with complete variegation are near impossible to propagate and root cuttings do not preserve the variegation.   

Euonymus fortunei ‘Blondy’ was discovered by a Dutch nurseryman in a batch of Euonymus ‘Sunspot’.  After years of testing, it proved to beeuonymus blondy hardy and sun resistant.  ’Blondy’ exhibits bright yellow leaves with green margins and yellow stems.  The color is enhanced by sunlight.  ’Blondy’ grows in a tight mounding habit.  It does not creep along the ground.  It tolerates most soil conditions.  Being a low-maintenance plant it works in mass plantings or a border along sidewalks.  ’Blondy’ matures to a height of 18-24" and a spread of 18-24".  It is hardy in zones 5-8.

Euonymus fortunie ‘Moonshadow’ was discovered at Dugan Nursery in Ohio again as a sport of ‘Sunspot’.  ’Moonshadow’ or variegated ‘Winter Creeper’ shows deep green leaves with bright yellow blotched on the inside of the leaf.  The bright euonymus moonshadowyellow is strongest on the newest growth and fades to a creamy yellow to almost white on the older leaves. 

This plant dose not revert back to all green.  It grows in full sun and well drained, evenly moist soil of average fertility.  ’Moonshadow’ grows to a height of 2’ and a spread of 4’.  It is hardy in zones 5-8.  You can learn to trim on this plant because it isn't fussy when it comes to pruning and it won't be offended by your efforts.  The dense branching habit of this plant discourages weed growth. 

My advice to you:  If you have issues with blondes or think you're being followed by a ‘Moonshadow’, see your doctor very soon.  If you think your yard needs a Euonymus ‘Blondy’ and/or ‘Moonshadow’, go to your nearest garden center.  Both varieties will be an wonderful addition to your landscape.


Tags: Plants, Shrubs