3 reasons to love colourful Coprosma

By Octavia Hammer

Tags: autumn colour, border plants, caring advice, coastal garden, coastal plant, Coprosma, Coprosma repens, drought tolerant, glossy leaves, hedge, looking-glass plant, low care plants, low maintenance garden, mass planting, mirror plant, pest resistant plants, salt resistant plants, shiny leaves, shrub, tough plant, wind break, wind resistance plants, winter colour

There are many reasons to love this glossy evergreen shrub but we’ve narrowed it down to three really great ones.

Coprosma Green & Gold
Coprosma Green & Gold

1. Coprosma provide year-round colour

While seasonal stars bring interest and joy to a garden it’s the well selected, year-round plants that make a design consistently great. Coprosma offers year-round colour and a range of new hybrids offer a selection of choices from yellow to lime green and cream to pink to burgundy with variegated foliage creating a lovely mottled effect.

With this plant you will enjoy colour every season plus a little extra drama in the cooler months when Coprosma colours deepen and you’ll see creamy pinks transform to rich red and pale greens to deep orange.

2. You don’t need a green thumb for it to thrive

This shrub is hardy enough to have become a coastal garden favourite. The shiny foliage of Coprosma doesn’t just look great but is tough enough to take wind and salt in its stride. This makes Coprosma a wonderful plant choice for those tricky, exposed areas or simply a very low care filler plant, shrub or hedge for those of us looking to keep garden maintenance at a minimum.

3. They make an instant impact

This New Zealand native is fast growing allowing you to create a full and colourful hedge, border or statement faster. They make fantastic border plants and look striking when mass planted.


Coprosma Pacific Sunset
Coprosma Pacific Sunset

Coprosma at a glance

Botanical name: Coprosma repens

Common names: Mirror plant or looking-glass plant

Height: 1 – 1.5 metres

Width: 1 metre

Ideal spot: Coprosma is a well deserved favourite for harsh coastal positions but will thrive in any sunny position in well draining soil.

Where to grow Coprosma? You can grow Coprosma in your garden bed or a pot anywhere that doesn’t get frost or snow.


Care tips

How to prepare for planting?

Improve drainage in heavy clay soils by adding coarse compost and river sand.


In spring give a light feed with an organic slow release all purpose fertiliser. If planted in a pot it will also appreciate a liquid foliage feed.


Pruning isn’t required but you can clip Coprosma back to keep in shape if your prefer a more formal look to your hedges. The ideal time is toward the end of winter, before new spring growth.


A plant you can almost pop in a forget about when it comes to maintenance, Coprosma also resists diseases and pests.


Coprosma has very low water needs once established and will tolerate drought. To keep leaves looking their full, glossy best however they appreciate regular watering.

More colourful Coprosma

Coprosma Rainbow Surprise
Coprosma Rainbow Surprise
Coprosma Lemon and Lime
Coprosma Lemon and Lime
Coprosma Karo Red
Coprosma Karo Red
Coprosma Evening Glow
Coprosma Evening Glow

breakPictured in top image: Coprosma Pacific Sunrise


Octavia Hammer

Octavia Hammer

  • Kristie Arundale

    Why is it then that lots of the coprosmas I recently brought from Flower Power are dying? We have lots of hot days, but we kept the water up to them and they are meant to be hardy. We have had plenty of rain since, but they seem dried out and the ends of some branches are blackened. Any suggestions on what we can do?

    • FlowerPowerAustralia

      Hi Kristie, oh no! But don’t worry we can help. Rather than go back and forth it with questions it might be quicker if you contact the store and they will be able to help you. Have a lovely weekend! The FP team.

  • Melissa Hall

    can they be planted in the shade