How to look after Skimmia

Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'
Skimmia japonica 'Finchy'

What to look for across the season


Ah, spring. The days lengthen and the weather starts warming up.

Keep an eye out for new growth on your Skimmia- it's a sign of better things to come.


Your Skimmia should be romping away in the summer heat.

So, sit back and relax and enjoy your outdoor space. Watering is the only thing you really need to worry about, particularly for plants in pots.

You'll soon know if your Skimmia is thirsty as it will start to wilt, so get your watering can out.


As the weather starts cooling down in autumn, your Skimmia will start hotting up by producing bunches of berries.

These should hang on right into winter and are a great source of food for the birds.


Winter won't really bother your Skimmia.

It won't be growing much, but will still give some structure to your outdoor space.

Plants might get a bit battered by wind and frost, but don't worry, this is normal and when the weather starts warming up, normal business will resume.

What The Plant Needs


Skimmia planted out in a border doesn't need any special attention when it comes to watering once it is established.

But if you've got a new one, make sure you keep it well-watered during the first spring and summer.

It's plants in pots that need a bit more TLC. Keep a careful eye on watering, especially over spring and summer. If it's really hot you'll need to water once a day.


You don't really need to feed your Skimmia, but it won't hurt to sprinkle a general purpose food, like Growmore, around the base in spring, but it's not essential.

Plants in pots need feeding with a slow release feed, twice a year: once in spring and once in mid summer.


Skimmia needs little pruning, but if you want to reduce the size, or take out a few shoots growing at funny angles, the best time to do this is between mid spring and late summer when your plant is actively growing.

Don't get too carried away though, as you'll ruin the natural shape.


Skimmia is a hardy plant, so won't require winter protection once established.

Just take care with young plants, as they can be more susceptible to winter cold. It won't hurt to cover with a large plastic sheet or horticultural fleece if there is a heavy frost forecast.

Shrubs in pots should be OK, but if you live in a particularly cold area, or your garden is exposed, move pots to the corner of a porch, under the eaves of the house or even hard up against a protected wall of the house.

If you can't move your pot, wrap a few layers of hessian or wool matting around the pot to provide some insulation.