Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

branches of the plant called Gaultheria procumbens with red fruits

Here we have a plant that stays green throughout the year. The glossy leaves are evergreen and are complemented by small hanging flowers that produce red berries.

Outdoors, the leaves take on a beautiful red tint in fall. The fragrant oil from wintergreen leaves was traditionally used for medicine, but care must be taken not to chew the leaves raw, as can cause an upset stomach.

Table of Contents

Features

leaves and fruits of the Gaultheria procumbens plant after snowing

Plant a Gaultheria procumbens in the garden where it can slowly spread to form a cover of colors and enjoy its fragrance.

Evergreen hedges stay alive in the landscape even during winter, this being a sweet little plant that produces edible berries and its leaves have a mint aroma.

It is perfect for colder regions and is native to North America. Some tips below can help you decide if it is the right plant for your garden, as well, how we will give you a guide on how to care for Gaultheria procumbens.

These low-growing plants form creeping carpets of bright foliage which turns from red to bronze in winter. The flashy red berries are an added bonus often used in candy, gum, perfumes, cosmetics, teas, and other synthetic scents.

It is a forest plant and colonizes mainly plants around it, such as mountain laurel and rhododendrons in moist, acidic soils. Much of its wilderness is west of the Mississippi River, but it is also south of Georgia.

Like understory plants, an area with little light is the most suitable for growing plants winter green in color. The name of the species refers to its ground cover, because it means "lying down."

Plants keep their green in winter because perform better in light than in shadows and as in areas of cool summers. Plants do not enjoy hot and humid conditions, they suffer in droughts, and they do not like soils that are too humid and soggy.

Care

This is a small and easy plant to grow, as long as it is located in a suitable place.

Plants grow slowly and should be 10-15 centimeters apart. When the plants are installed again, caring for these plants should include regular watering and even established mature plants will require additional moisture in hot, dry summers. No pruning or mowing is required with this plant.

It also has few pest or disease problems, in part due to the pungent oils emitted by the leaves and berries.

The only concern of the problem is in cosmetics, where rust can discolor the sheets. In summer, pale bell-shaped flowers appear leading to deep red drupes. Berries can persist well into winter if birds don't eat them.

Farming

Gaultheria procumbens planted in pot with small red balls like fruits

The cultivation is done in any area of ​​the garden that is shady or partially sunny, what allows it to grow in ideal conditions.

The propagation of this winter green plant like most berries, can be done with its seeds.

In fact, under ideal conditions, plants can self-sow, where the seeds must be separated from the pulp and treated for 4 to 13 weeks in the cold. Plant seeds in soils full of peat and sand early spring.

Place the soils in a greenhouse or cold frame until sprouts are noticeable. The seeds should sprout in 1 to 2 months, but you will have to be patient as plants will grow slowly. A faster method of propagation for this plant is through division.

Divide the plants in early spring and after planting the divisions, provide them with water as part of essential care, unless the spring rain is consistent.

This plant can also be propagated by semi-mature stem cuttings with a little rooting hormone and a low soil medium.


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