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Rainbow Leucothoe

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  • Partial Shade to Partial Sun (3 - 6 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
  • Mature Height 3 - 6 Feet
  • Mature Spread 3 - 6 Feet
  • Growing Zones 6 - 8

Leucothoe fontanesiana Rainbow, commonly called Rainbow Leucothoe, is a small evergreen shrub with outstanding foliage color. Bright red stems hold shiny, lance-shaped leaves, which are marbled with green, pink, bronze and cream. They mature to a plum color in the fall that remains throughout the winter. In spring, watch for the long, drooping clusters of pieris-like creamy flowers that eventually age to dark blue berries. 

This is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub with elegant arching stems. It has a compact and tidy appearance, reaching 3 – 6 feet high and wide. It is native to the southeast region of the United States. The fragrant flowers attract butterflies and are lovely in cut flower arrangements. It is deer resistant and tolerant of soggy soil. Its evergreen foliage is well suited for a mixed border or foundation planting, where it can show off its prized year-round color. 

Rainbow Leucothoe Care

This shrub prefers partial shade but can be planted in full sun in cooler climates. Without sufficient moisture, the foliage will burn in full sun. Rainbow Leucothoe appreciates consistent moisture and can even tolerate boggy conditions. It requires acidic soil (pH 4.5 to 6.5) that is rich in organic matter, similar to rhododendrons and camellias. Mulch new plants with high quality compost to conserve moisture and keep the roots cool.

You can prune in late winter or early spring if your Rainbow Leucothoe becomes a bit leggy. Remove damaged or crossing branches any time of year.

Rainbow Leucothoe Spacing

To plant a tight hedge, space these shrubs approximately 3 feet apart, center on center. Increase the spacing to 6 feet apart if a gap between shrubs is desired.

Rainbow Leucothoe Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 - 8
Plant Type: Bushes
Light Exposure: Partial Shade to Partial Sun (3 - 6 Hours Of Direct Sunlight)
Mature Height: 3 - 6 Feet
Mature Spread: 3 - 6 Feet
Spacing: 3 - 6 Feet
Habit: Upright
Flower Color(s): White
Flower Description:
Bloom Period:
Foliage Type: Evergreen
Foliage Color(s): Green, White
Foliage Description: Variegated
Seasonal Interest: Spring Flowering
Watering: Average
Resists: Deer
Tolerates: Drought
Attracts: Butterflies
Container Role:
Uses: Borders, Hedges & Privacy, Mass Planting, Wildlife Gardens
Features: Attracts Pollinators, Foliage Interest, Low Maintenance
Common Name: Rainbow Leucothoe
Other Name(s):

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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.