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Southern California Regional Reports

Reflecting on Mirror Plants

Add a splash of color and shine to your garden with these show-stopping shrubs

‘Evening Glow’ mirror plant. Photo: Francesca Corra

The mirror plant (Coprosma spp. and cvs., Zones 8–11) has several stunning varieties, but they all share some characteristics, foremost being that they are colorful plants native to the coastal rocks, cliffs, and forests of New Zealand. With mirror plants, the leaf is the star and the flower merely a supporting player. They are members of Rubiaceae, with leaves that are among the shiniest, glossiest leaves you can find on the planet, hence the common name. As you can imagine by their origins, mirror plants thrive in ocean conditions, taking coastal winds and salt spray in full sun. Inland they prefer a bit more shade. They do best in well-drained soil with regular irrigation but can become fairly drought tolerant once established. They grow mostly pyramidal in shape, are cold tolerant down to about 20°F, are suitable for sunset zones 14 to 24, and are generally deer resistant. Here are…

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