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Interesting Facts

Ternstroemia is native to the woodlands of tropical Asia, Africa, North and South America.

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Cleyera   (Ternstroemia gymnanthera)

Japanese Ternstroemia

Very tough evergreen shrub with leathery leaves and bunches of small, white flowers.

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Plant Types: Perennial, Shrub
Light: Shade to Full Sun
Height: 10 feet to 14 feet 11 inches
Width: 6 feet to 10 feet
Zones: 7a to 10a
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Seasons: Early spring, Mid spring, Late spring
Leaf Color: Green
Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native
Shape: Oval, Upright or erect
Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro® Nursery Select Miracid® Water Soluble Plant Food
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Plant Care

Sow seeds when ripe in containers in a cold frame. Can also propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in late summer.

Plant Growth:

Evergreen trees and shrubs. Ternstroemias can grow to approx. 6-8 ft. tall but is usually seen as a pruned shrub 3-4 ft. tall with a 4-6 ft. spread. Grows best in partial shade. T. gymnanthera is the most cultivated species. Works well as hedge or in a shrub border. Also good against a shady wall or as an ornamental plant. Less hardy species should be grown in a cool greenhouse.


Blooms solitary or small clusters of flowers followed by greenish yellow fruit that turns red. The flowers have multiple stamens.

Soil and Irrigation:

Ternstroemias require average to a lot of water. Does best in humus-rich, acidic soil that is well-drained yet kept moist.


Implement a balanced liquid fertilizer on a monthly basis during the growing season.


Shoots of evergreen species should be trimmed after the flowering period. Remove dead/damaged plant parts in midspring. Trim hedges after flowering has occurred. Plants grown indoors may require extensive pruning.