Spindleberry Growing Guide

Euonymus europaeus


Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil with a near neutral pH.


Full sun to part shade.

Frost tolerant

This cold tolerant deciduous shrub is winter hardy to -20°F (-29°C).


None generally needed. Keep plants mulched year-round to prevent weeds and maintain soil moisture.


Single Plants: 3' 11" (1.20m) each way (minimum)
Rows: 3' 11" (1.20m) with 3' 11" (1.20m) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Set out purchased plants from spring through early summer. Spring is also the best time to dig and transplant suckers that have grown up around established plants. Water young plants regularly, and cover the root zone with an organic mulch to keep the soil lightly moist at all times. Space spindleberries 4 feet (1.2 m) apart when planting them as a hedge. Purchased plants can be held in containers for one season if they are attentively watered.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Native to much of Europe, spindleberry grows into a large shrub or small tree up to 15 feet (4.5 m) tall and wide. In summer, tiny flowers give way to hanging clusters of brightly colored berries that persist into fall. Spindleberry is a well-behaved shrub in its native range, but its tendency to spread by root suckers, and by seeds dropped by birds, has earned it invasive status in Oregon, New Jersey and New Hampshire. Closely related Euonymus alataus, commonly called burning bush, is listed as an invasive species in 21 states.


Berry-bearing spindleberry stems make excellent additions to cut flower arrangements, which gives you the chance to admire them up close. Spindleberry rarely needs pruning, and is at its best when allowed to grow into its natural shape.


Spindleberry has few disease problems when grown in sunny, well drained sites. The berries are highly toxic to people and animals. Children should not be allowed to play with them.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Spindleberry