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Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush

Metrosideros kermadecensis 'Variegata'

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Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush (Metrosideros kermadecensis 'Variegata') at Roger's Gardens

Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush foliage

Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  8b

Other Names:  Pohutukawa


A medium sized shrub with striking cream variegated foliage; bright red bottlebrush flowers at winter

Ornamental Features

Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush features showy red frilly flowers at the ends of the branches from early fall to late winter. It has attractive creamy white-variegated green foliage. The oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Variegated New Zealand Christmas Bush will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features